Today was so long, hot, and stressful that I didn’t take any pictures, so here is an adorable picture of my cats:

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When we left Wickenburg at sunrise, it was already in the mid 80’s. The ride was slated for 117 miles and the high temperature for the day was 114. Kirk and I were in the food van and we kicked butt. We left the host, went to the Safeway, and bought trash bags and yogurt with $20 that was donated to us. We delivered it to the water van, and booked it to Lake Havasu City. When we got there it was only 8:45 and nothing was open besides fast food places. We wanted to try other places with better food first, so we encountered the owner of a bike shop coming to open up the store and she said to come back a little later. Kirk and I went to Taco Bell to feed ourselves breakfast and then to Safeway where we got $30 dollars donated. We bought lunchmeat, bread, strawberries, pita chips, and hummus for the team. We went back to the bike shop where we got 8 tubes donated, and a recommendation to go down the street to an Italian place to ask for food donations. The bike shop owner said that the restaurant wouldn’t be open but that the owner would definitely be inside. On our way there, we found another bike shop that donated 5 tubes!

When we got to the Italian place, La Vita Dolce, we talked to the owner and negotiated a dinner date for the next day at 3pm. This was perfect because we had a rest day and didn’t have dinner provided. He said he would give us food for free if we paid for drinks and tipped the servers. After shaking on the deal and giving him my contact information, the water van called and said to unload the van at the host because we would most likely have to shuttle riders in such hot conditions. So we drove back to Parker, AZ and unloaded the van full of all of our duffels and backpacks as fast as we could. We then sped off to meet the riders on the road, but first, we got 6 bags of ice donated for them!

Kirk and I were never told no when we asked for donations today. I think it’s all about appearance. We both had different 4k shirts on, Kirk was always holding the donation receipt paper, and I always had a pen in my ear. This made us look pretty official. Plus we were unshaven so it looked like we had been on the road for a while. It also helped that we didn’t have to lie about the heat or distance of the ride today.

When we got to the riders, it was about noon. Everyone was short tempered due to having already ridden 80 miles in the heat and we FLEW through bags of ice. A couple people hopped in the van to be shuttled, and I switched into the water van for the rest of the day. The heat was blazing at 114 degrees. We filled up everyones bottles with icewater and made the next water stop in 10 miles and the next 3 stops every 6 miles. Each time, the riders water came to us boiling hot. We went through about 12 bags of ice and that still wasn’t enough to have cold water the whole rest of the day. The series of events and each water stop kind of blurs together because it was so stressful. Riders had tempers and wanted answers to questions, no one was happy with any decision that was made, some people wanted to rest more while others wanted to just get on the road and finish. It was super hot and not everyone could fit in the van with the AC. At some point we had enough riders that wanted to shuttle that we needed to take a van load to the host. We had to clean everything out of the water van and move it to the food van so that riders could shuttle in the van with the bike rack on top. Eventually, after an entire van swap, we had a full load of people and bikes and was sent off to the host.

Shawna and I supported the riders through the rest of the ride. The food van came back and picked up one more rider that was unfit to ride, and the remaining riders all finished the day and made it to the host! The ride took somewhere around 11 hours and was around 117 miles. Here is the GPS route and data that was combined with yesterday’s ride: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/554267752. I don’t even know who carried my watch. I think it bounced around between Michelle, Taylor, and Lisa before it finally died about 7 miles out from the host. Thanks ladies, I couldn’t have done it without you!

I was exhausted when we arrived at the host. I had been running around all day, trying to keep the peace, trying to make the best and safest decisions possible that pleased everyone (not possible), and was super hungry. I put on my swim trunks and met Allison and Taylor at the river. It was the most refreshing water, and I actually got a little cold! We met a lot of people there and more of the team came to hang out with us. We were on the beach of the nicest people who owned a pizza place and offered to let Taylor, Allison, and I shower at their house and to donate 15 pizzas for us the next day. When it got dark, we came back to the host for dinner, then took up the nice people on their shower offer. The three of us chatted with them for a while and met their two dogs who were really fun to play with. We then returned to our host, hung out for a little bit with everyone, and then went to bed.

Don’t forget to comment on this post, read and comment on my previous post, and be on the lookout for my next post about our rest day!

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