Meir and I woke up in Blythe, CA and had some catching up to do to get with the group. A few phone calls back and forth to the RV, and we had our "go-for lists" for the day- regular food shopping for the group, 12v plug in fans for the RV...and the replacement orange flags from the evening before. Apparently, the RV rental company did not put oil in the generator and it blew. Being Sunday, they were no real options for repair or exchange. Paul has a line on that today. Though it was toasty, temperatures did not get as hot in AZ as they could have been and by the time we caught up to the group in Prescott---things were cooler. So that was good.
We drove to Parker, AZ, the next time station and Walmart in the vicinity. Struck out again on the flags as well as the fan; however, wandering up the street found the 12v fans in a home improvement store and the flags in a marine repair shop. This felt pretty lucky seeing as how there were few signs of life in Parker where the route went through. The hunt for the flags may continue....as these were a bit smaller than the ones we had....but good enough for now. So with a car overstuffed with groceries, we made our way to Congress and the RV. We missed them by minutes but did get to see Mike M. powering up the first in a series of climbs to Prescott. Then we passed Sean and crew on the road waiting for the exchange from Mike. They both looked really strong. Next we met the RV in Prescott at yet another Walmart parking lot and stuffed it to the gills with groceries (no more grocery shopping for at least a day).
John and Kyle were stretching and getting ready for their upcoming shifts and the series of climbs out of Prescott and into Flagstaff. . . over 6000 feet of climbing total and billed as the toughest section west of the Mississippi. Since the RV isn't permitted on this stretch, the two follow vans needed to take all four riders with them for the climb. This required some van re-configuring to recline the seats for Sean and Mike to rest during Kyle and John's shift. While the crew took care of the vehicles, Kyle geared up to ride and was visited by one of the head race officials. He was just checking in on the team, and Kyle took the opportunity to tell him a little about FA and how it impacts his and Sean's bodies and energy production.....as well as how important cycling is to him to keep his heart strong. And very quickly after, the team was off on their climb. The RV headed for some quick showers and up the course to meet the cyclists on the other size of that 90 mile stretch.
Meir and I went ahead one time station to Tuba City, Az so as not to be too far from the team in the AM. Going up the course, we encountered several other teams in night-time close follow mode. At 7pm local time, all crews ae required to keep the riders in their headlights to light their way and make them more visible to nightime traffic----that is close follow mode. We encountered this the night before...but there was a lot more room to pass them tonight. The night before was really tight with the only option for passing being the oncoming traffic lane---and bit of a white knuckled ride. So that is the view from the go-for car on day 2. Onward to UT and CO.
Oh- Linda, we haven't been keeping a roadkill count (at least I haven't) but a bird with a deathwish did pe bomb the car window while Meir was driving yesterday....causing Meir to slow down to about 40 mph and beep at any critter that came within 10 feet of the car.