In the van with Kirk again! Here are some pictures:

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This morning while everyone was getting ready and eating breakfast, I cleaned out the water van. It was an absolute pig sty. People’s clothes were everywhere, trash was everywhere, it was a general disorganized mess. I can’t handle that. So before everyone was ready to roll, I had filled a few trash bags, organized the van, and put people’s clothes and stuff in one trash bag so it could be easily found. I also had to throw out some of our bright orange traffic cones. They are really fancy and even light up! They were provided to us by 4k, but yesterday, an 18 wheeler demolished all three of them because the driver couldn’t stay in his lane. I guess they served their purpose? Anyway, they were wrecked and had to go.

Today was a hard riding day from what I’ve heard. It was overcast and cloudy for a lot of the day which kept the heat down, but apparently the wind and rough roads exhausted everyone. Taylor carried my GPS watch, and the ride totaled about 100 miles even. While my watch was in her bag, the start/stop button accidentally got pressed so it missed about 6.5 miles between mile 15 and 21. Here is the GPS route and data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/549372133.

At the first water stop, Kirk and I stopped and got some Arizona iced teas, and an ice cream sandwich at the only gas station that existed in the middle of nowhere. We also met two stray dogs there but I only got a picture of one:

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It started to look a little rainy so everyone put their jackets on and left for the second water stop. There were a few flats right out of the gates that we helped the teams to fix and then we were on our way. We made one turn during this stretch, and because of that, the direction of the wind was different and the road was paved much more nicely. Kirk and I didn’t know this, so we thought the riders would take a while to come in. We both called our moms to chat during the downtime but had to hang up when the riders came in earlier than we thought. I had my “Chill” playlist turned on for the riders and they all seemed to like it. It’s a collection of over 100 songs that I’ve been accumulating for a LONG time. It has stuff like Jack Johnson, Slightly Stoopid, 311, Sublime, Shaggy, the Chili Peppers, etc. Kirk and I had a fantastic day drinking Arizona’s in Arizona, wearing nothing but neon safety vests, playing music, singing along, and even jamming on the harmonica:

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At the fourth water stop, we met two old guys who were biking across the southwest on their motorcycles. They had gone about 3000 miles in a week and were just exploring the country for the fun of it! We got some food from the food van at that stop and everyone had to stay there a while because the last team had run out of tubes to change their flats! We had to drive back to rescue Max and Shawna. We found them perched on a rock when we got there:

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With them back on the road, we returned to the water stop and started sending everyone on their way. With only 22 miles left to the host, Kirk and I didn’t have time to chalk the rest of the route and return to set up the final water stop before the riders had passed it! We made sure every group was okay and ended up not even having the last water stop. There was a nice long downhill descent into Page and apparently it got blazing hot at the bottom of the hill. Luckily it was only another mile before the host at that point.

Our host was/is First Baptist Church in Page, AZ. We arrived an unpacked our things, I took a cold shower, then set out to find food! I ended up with a group at a Texas BBQ place with really good food, but Carolina BBQ sauce. The mix-and-match was interesting… After that, we went to horseshoe bend!

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Our whole team went and stayed to watch the sun set. We all had a great time and it was a great team bonding activity. Once it got dark, we continued to hang out as a whole team at our host until we went to bed.

We went to bed SUPER early because our plan for the rest day was to get to the Grand Canyon (2 hours away) in the morning in time to see the sun rise.

At some point during the day I took another picture of the bruise on my leg. It’s spreading!

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Some of my scabs are also starting to heal and fall off so that’s nice.

Remember to comment on this post, and the one before it, and the one coming later tonight!

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