We’ve had a couple of hot days after leaving Boise. Monday I rode with the sweep team meaning that we had to take up the back of the pack and ensure that everyone makes their way to camp in one piece. Our morning began at quarter to six. Since the time change from pacific to mountain time there have been a few more people keeping somewhat respectable hours and breakfast is actually starting around 6 am instead of gettting pressured into beginning earlier and earlier each morning as it was for some of the first two weeks. After taking down camp and loading the trucks with all of the communal gear and each rider’s personal gear we rolled across the street to Starbucks and gave everyone another half our of head start so that everyone would be at least a full hour down the road before we got out of camp.
Well “a good hour out of camp” apparently doesn’t mean we aren’t capable of catching up with the last rider within the next hour. That would be the story of the day but it wasn’t all bad. We parked under an interstate overpass in the shade to give another 45 minutes of head start to the trailing riders and proceeded to catch up in the next 11 miles. We then took an hour for lunch in an air conditioned truck stop and caught up by the next patch of shade. From there on in to town the 45 minute head start was capable of holding out and there was not a fourth catch of the day. Spending 7 hours out on the road really takes a lot out of you. Even though it’s not the same as covering 200 kilometers in 7 hours the drain from being out in the sun that long is more comparable to the 200 kilometer ride than it is to the 100 kilometer ride if it were done at my pace. It’s the riders who spend all day every day out on the road like that who are putting out the most effort this summer. Those of us who are blasting along and doing detours a few times a week hardly have anything to really measure that against except for these days when riding sweep.
I did tack on a run Monday evening having not been able to run Sunday night (they closed the showers at 8 pm and I wasn’t about to try and sleep sweaty in these temperatures) but kept it to a half hour as a detour was anticipated for Tuesday.