Sunday, October 5, 2008

been a tough night..

been a tough night..t storm etc but making it (posted via cell phone)

The first 24 hours of the Furnace Creek 508 we almost behind us. The weather during the first day had been challenging and yet at the same time helpful.

At the start of the race the sky was mostly clear. The elevation was 1100ft. By the time we started climbing in the San Francisquito Canyon we got into thick fog. At times we couldn't see 100 ft. The wind was blowing about 20 mph and the fog. It was raining very lightly along with all this. The road was wet and slippery.

The riders had started with cool morning air so most wore armwarmers, legwarmers, or if lucky a light windbreaker........ but from my position 24.4 miles in at the corner of Elizabeth Lake Rd and Johnson Rd (el 3330ft) I saw a lot of wet, cold, miserable riders. They had crossed a 3740ft summit to get to where I was so the descent had chilled them.

I had positioned myself there to find out what Siberian Husky wanted. Yellow glasses? Clear?, Windbreaker? Long pants? Full fingered gloves?......... scarf and fur lined boots????? I had a walkie talkie with me and would communicate what we needed to have ready to the crew chief Tom, sitting with our support van up the road a good mile. I had dug my coat and long pants out for this duty and was very glad that I had packed them along!

Siberian Husky came by at 8:41AM, I ran along side as he climbed the hill just long enough to get the answers he needed then radioed the information to Tom.

As we crossed over Johnson Summit we rose out of the fog to see a blue sky with about 50% cloud cover.

The map shows road names like "Avenue D", "90th Street", and such, but this was definitely rural hill countryside.

Siberian Husky was riding in a very stiff crosswind, perhaps 25-30mph and had the very deep carbon rims of the Zipp 808 wheels to deal with. At 49.5 miles in, at Bacchus Rd, we traded out the front Zipp 808 for the Xero XR1 so that the wheels wouldn't catch so much of that crosswind. We left the rear Zipp in because it would take longer to change and wasn't as critical to handling issues.... we hoped. Mike also took off the warm clothes he had put on during the drizzle and fog.

At this point Siberian Husky began "The Windmill" climb, an effort that would bring him to 4150 ft elevation.

(more updates to come later)

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