Into the mountains

June 12, 2014 RAAM 2014 0 Comments

Shu set off strongly from Congress after her sleep and smashed the first climb. She worked steadily into the night into a constant upwards gradient. Now she’s settling in for the night shift with a decent descent.

Ele and James have taken the RV on the separate route and we’ll see them at the rendezvous tomorrow lunchtime. Chris, Erica and Matt are in the follow car and will share the next 18 hours with Shilpa, Phil and Beth.

We have an awkward stage coming including some interstate. For safety the rule book requires Shu to leave the interstate at every exit ramp and join again immediately. The fear is that if racers stayed on the interstate then cars joining the interstate wouldn’t spot a rider. Nevertheless this will add some elevation for tired legs.

It is a very full on experience crewing in the follow car. There is so much going on: the driver either needs to leap frog the rider finding safe places to pass and park without disrupting local traffic, or has to direct follow the rider which at night means having the rider within 15 meters of the car. The navigator is following the route, chatting to Shu to keep her awake and focused, making sure we are charging all MP3, radios and garmin devices along with bike lights. The nutritionist is checking we are following the feed plan and reminding Shu to eat and drink. Working with such focus as a team of four, including Shu, and all the chatting about random topics makes it a very intimate and exhausting experience.