Sunrise in the desert
Glorious morning here with beautiful views in all directions, but it is already starting to warm up at 6.30am local time.
Shu had a second wind early this morning but is having her first short sleep now. The team will rendezvous just before time station 4 to set Shu up for a day in the desert – fresh hydration, sunblock, taking the lights off the bike and a temperature pill so we can monitor her body temperature. Erica, the paramedic, and the crew have been monitoring Shu’s heart rate and other key factors every stop so we hopefully get an early warning of any problems (hence the purple box in previous photos).
All three support vehicles navigate using the route book. Although we have gps files for the route it’s the route book which takes precedence and it takes all the navigator’s concentration to keep Shu and the follow vehicle on track. So far there has been some reassurance from seeing other riders and follow cars on the route. This will spread out dramatically in the next couple of days.
The route book also has all the section specific restrictions and advice. So for the next 150 miles of desert we have been warned provisions will not be so readily available on the course. To try to prepare for this James and Beth drove on in the support vehicle to time station 4 and a huge Walmart. We arrived at 4.30am local time to find the store shut, but luckily the store manager kindly let us in anyway. All the shelf stackers wished Shu well as we wandered round looking for water and ice. Inspired by an Italian team we’ve picked up a watermelon to share between the crew.