With their first night and about 400km (260~miles) behind them Ann and John are holding steady and strong. The first few hundred miles of the trip includes a lot of climbing as the riders make their way across California and western Arizona. To add to that, the heat in Arizona is pretty intense this time of year with average highs over 100-degrees, so getting a lot of riding in at night has it’s benefits.
(source: RAAM live tracking)
Photo Above: Tandem RAAM riding through a section of Anza-Borrego Desert known as the glass elevator because riders lose over 3,000 ft of elevation in just 9 miles. And on a tandem, that’s a serious trip!
It’s also important to keep in mind that pedaling is only part of what keeps the bike moving. John and Ann had a minor set back during the middle of the night when BOTH the follow vehicle and their tandem ended up with flat tires. I cost the team about an hour of off the bike time. Hopefully, the forced pit stop helped John and Ann get enough rest to push through the hot desert today!
Photo Above: John, Ann, and crew chief Chris Hodges prepared for night riding. Lights and reflective gear are mandatory as well as a follow vehicle.
For more updates and videos, you can track Tandem RAAM at http://www.raceacrossamerica.org/live-tracking.html or following us on Facebook.