Critical Section

Furnace Creek 508, here I come!

Thursday,  10/01/09  11:00 PM

I am delighted to report that in addition to my experienced crew captain Joani, I have now added Greg to my team, and yay I can ride!  Whew.  And OMG, now what?  All week I have not allowed myself to get excited, because I was not sure I'd be able to ride.  Now suddenly I'm going to do it, and I'm excited and scared and worried all at once.

If you're new here, I'm talking about the Furnace Creek 508.  A 508 mile cycling race through Death Valley, in which you have 48 hours to finish.  For some it truly is a race, but for me, it is an adventure.  If I finish, I win.

My 508 'totem': Rocky the Flying SquirrelWell first things first, make the [long] list of things I'll need to bring, read as much as possible, eat, drink, make a plan, and then... go for it!  It is better to have loved and lost, then never to have loved...  and infinitely better to have raced and dropped out, than never to have ridden.  Although it might not feel that way on Saturday night.

You might wonder, if you're doing one of these long rides, what do you do?  It is amazingly not-boring.  There are always things to see - you see a lot on a bike at 18mph that you miss in a car at 70mph.  And you can think - cycling is great for thinking.  And you can listen to music!  I will certainly be Powered by Chickenfoot!

So I start at 0700 on Saturday, checkpoint one is California City, checkpoint two is Trona, and by Saturday night I should be climbing the incredible Townes Pass into Death Valley.  Check point three is - ta da - Furnace Creek, where I should be in the wee hours of Sunday morning.  At that point I plan to sleep, get about 3-4 hours.  Then it is up the Salsberry grade to Shoshone, checkpoint four, and then Baker checkpoint five.  That should be mid-afternoon Sunday.  Then the endless climb up to Kelso, checkpoint six, descend through the desert to Amboy, checkpoint seven, into the evening.  And the final false flat to Twentynine Palms, and the finish, late late Sunday night aka early Monday.

Please keep your fXf!
You may follow my progress here...

See you Monday night, same blog channel :)

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