Friday, June 11, 2010

Two Days in the Books. Let the Grinding Commence

I rolled on as the sky grew dark
I put the pedal down to make some time
There's something good waitin' down this road
I'm pickin' up whatever is mine

- Tom Petty

Rob has been on the bike for 48 hours. His total mileage is 750 - pretty much where I thought he would be in the mid-morning update. As discussed, this is a phenomenally great start, but an unsustainable pace. But it hews to a philosophy of some of the best racers in RAAM history, to wit: "Ride while the ridin's good."

An explanation: Basically, this race will slowly wear these athletes down to nothing, so people try to get in a decent amount of miles while they are still relatively fresh. If you think about it, Rob has been riding for two straight days with only two hours sleep. That can not continue.

A number of things will start to affect Rob (and all the racers) over the next few days:
  • General fatigue
  • The body physically breaking down
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Acute physical maladies (neck pain, saddle sores, whatever)
  • Unknown external factors (mainly weather)
The 375 mile days are long-gone. Now, Rob will try to focus on getting in 190-210 miles during the day shift and 80-110 miles at night. If he stays within those ranges, he is set to continue this already fabulous start.

Note: Rob will roll into TS 13 - Montezuma Creek, Utah, at around 4:30 PM EDT. Next stop: Cortez, Colorado, the site of 2008's pace van breakdown. For you elevation junkies, the ride from Montezuma Creek to Cortez is 50 miles, uphill (1,700 feet of elevation), so if Rob seems to be going bit slower for the next few hours, you know why. Chew on that while you are chewing on dinner.

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