The first day will be a logistical nightmare. There are 31 4-person teams, as well as several 2 and 8 person teams that all start around the same time later today. The first ~20 miles of the race is on a bike path, so there will not be any vehicles following the racers until that point is passed. That means that the first racers will be unsupported longer than they will normally be later in the race, and will bring basic supplies with them.
At 20 miles though, most of the teams will be looking to exchange riders. That makes the 20-25 mile range completely packed full of vehicles and support crew, likely in the hundreds. Let’s hope we can find a space somewhere in there!
The crew in the RV will mostly be doing errands during the day, since they are not allowed on the route until after 80 miles. We’ve got to fill the gas (can’t wait to see how much that will cost), buy some groceries, stock up on water, and just wait in Borrego Springs for the team to show up.
At last night’s team meeting, we discussed how and when riders and crew will trade off. Gary and Jim feel better with 15 minutes of racing at a time, which will mean 1 vehicle doing “leapfrog” support during the day. Leapfrogging just means that they keep the rider in view most of the time, but will drive up at highway speed, check on the rider, then pull off and wait a few minutes again. And again. And again. At night, this will be better done with 2 vehicles, since they have to directly follow 50ft behind the racer at all times. Steve and James were more interested in racing for an hour at a time, so they will be a little less crew intensive with fewer exchanges. Fortunately that allows more crew to sleep, though mostly during daytime (defined as 6am-8pm) when direct following isn’t required.
I’m off to go get approved to drive the minivan, and then to the start of the race at 2pm. Word is that we have 3 SPOT gps units, though only one does the tracking. Check the link on the right for that once we get rolling.