Furnace Creek 508 2012: Stage 4-Furnace Creek to Shoshone

Sunday, October 8, 2012

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Steve and I arrived at the gas station at FC and prepared for the stage. As we were getting ready, the Mako crew members were busy around their support van because their solo rider had gastro intestinal issues and the crew was trying to convince her to get back on her bike. After ½ hour, they turned off their support lights and drove away, rider inside the van still suffering.

Around 1:30AM, Steve announced the arrival of Tim and Nancy. They rode an incredible leg over Townes Pass and arrived at the time check much earlier than I thought. They were so happy to arrive and we were glad to see them. Then we were off! It felt good to be on the bike.

The temperatures were great (because there was no sun) and we had some headwind. Nevermind that I tucked behind Steve and stayed in the draft. We were on the Gray Goose train. We passed Lionfish solo tandem where we gave them a shout out. We passed team Saluki and gave Jeff a Hurrah! Jeff was a race official last year and checked our bike out. Hey to Deana, a crew member for Jeff, who was a Lead Woman. The 508 is a much different race for those riding solo, when you have 251 miles in your legs.

We rode 20 miles of rollers to Badwater, 282’ below sea level. Soon after, we stopped with the truck to do the driver shuffle. We jumped back on the bike and it was “Groundhog Day”, we had to passed all the teams and riders we just passed an hour or so earlier.

The road was flat for 15 miles and then we turned east to start the climb up Jubilee Pass. The climb was gradual at first and then we were grinding up the 6- 7% grade, 5 miles to the pass. We were elated to reach the pass! We rode a mile downhill and the started the 9 mile climb to Salsberry Pass.

We asked the van to stop for a bio break and then Steve sat down on the back of the van and said his body wants to sleep. ‘OH NO! GetUp! GetUp! GetUp! GetUp!’ This was the difficult part of the 508 for us and we were talking nonsense to each other to keep each other awake and pedaling. We offered to sing songs to passing riders, we thought the Garmin was turned off because it no longer was logging our ascent miles, we heard our support van accelerate to get behind us and then trail off. We hallucinated Indians and Cowboys when we looked to the side of the road in the darkness. We checked our watch every 10 minutes wondering when sunrise would come. We still did not reach Salsberry summit.

Finally 7am arrived. And with that Salsberry summit came.

The van headed off to Shoshone to let Willy and Deb know we were on our way. We thought we would bomb the 15 mile descent but it wasn’t as steep as we hoped for. We had to pedal. GRRRR. We turned south on 127 and reached Shoshone, happy to arrive and hand-off to our fearless leaders, Willy and Deb.

They were ready to go. Pedaling through the wee hours of the morning was tougher than we thought. Hats off to Willy and Deb who rode this leg last year!

*Ride report by Julie Gray & Steve Gooselaw

Start Time: 01:25
Miles: 73
Elevation: 6744′
Arrival at time Station #4-Shoshone: 07:33
Elapsed Time: 22:03:00
Time from last station: 06:08:00
Avg Speed: 12.15 mph
Miles into Race: 326.5
Temps: Low to mid  70’s

Click here to read a ride report from Lisa Mc’s perspective; inside the support van

Click here to continue on to Stage 5

Click here to view the route map & profile

This is the route for Stage 4:

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