Wednesday, March 28, 2012

We ride!

200 miles (and $22.95) later, we're back at Furnace Creek after hauling our bikes back to Las Vegas and the crack mechanic team at McGhies.

Because of the non-stop action that is AdventureCorps, I'll be posting in batches, when I finally get a chance to stop riding/yoga'ing/eating/socializing.

My first 'unofficial' ride was with Tim Marks. He and Jill had just arrived from their 2-day megadrive from Minnesota to Death Valley. An hour later, he was on his bike and circling the parking lot like a hungry shark, itching to ride. Jill wanted to unload their week's worth of supplies and then take a break. So I agreed to ride with Tim, but just up to the entrance to Artist's Palette Loop, a roundtrip of about 20 miles.

Tim and Jill Marks
The day we arrived was cool and windy, and I wasn't feeling the love from Death Valley. Today was different - cooler (maybe high 70's), sunny, and very little wind. Not often this happens, I'm sure, but it was  perfect for the inaugural ride.

Nevertheless, riding with a 2-time Furnace Creek 508 finisher is a bit intimidating, and so I rode out harder than I probably needed to or should have. I figured Tim's average pace was somewhere between 'rather aggressive' and 'beastly'. I was not disappointed.

Getting back out of on the road in DVNP is a surreal experience. There are many ways to describe the landscape, but the most appropriate is 'vast'. In seconds, a cyclist disappears behind a backdrop of massive mountains, a blip on the screen of expansive salt pan. Sort of the perfect accompaniment for the power display that Mother Nature likes to put on, throwing everything at you: wind, heat, blasting sun, freezing nighttime temps. Be ready for anything.

Tuesday is the official start of AdventureCorps camp. More to come..

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