Furnace Creek 508 2012: Stage 7-Kelso to Almost Amboy

Sunday, October 7, 2012

View the entire Google Web Album


We’re back on the tandem! The baton is in my rear jersey pocket and we’re so ready to ride!

The route for Stage 7 stays on Kelbaker Rd for the next 33 miles all the way to Amboy, it’s a one shot deal with no turns! What a difference it is to ride during daylight-I can see and enjoy the surrounding landscape and terrain!

A half mile into the route, we cross a cattle guard which also signals the start of a 12.3 mile climb to the top of Granite Mountain. The gradient ranges from 3-5% for this 2000′ climb.

I actually really enjoy the desert landscape, there’s something about the starkness, openness and vastness of the land with no boundaries or restrictions. The amazing thing is the abundance of plant life that thrives in these extreme temperatures and seasonal weather changes!

The climb just goes on and on……………..

We’re just happily pedaling along as other support vehicles pass us by.

We can almost see the top of the summit; we just have to follow the power lines!

You’re at the summit when you see the huge microwave tower to the left and the huge granite mountains to the right!

The Granite Mountains are an amazing sight to see; the jagged cliff faces and striking formations of the rocks is absolutely spectacular!

The reward for any climb is always the anticipation of a even better descent! This sure meets my expectations-the downhill is a whopping 16 miles long through the Mojave Preserve and the Kelso Dunes.

There are fantastic views of the Marble Mountains as we pass through the Trilobite Wilderness. The rusty brown color of the mountains match perfectly with its surroundings!

We continue to pedal and coast through the desert towards Amboy.

We arrive at Time Station #7-Natl Trails Hwy at 3:41 PM. It’s a Hawaiian themed stop-how wonderful! We both get Lei’d and receive a cold can of Dole pineapple juice-it’s quite refreshing after riding in the heat!

The baton has been passed to Julie and Steve for the last stage of this race and they’re off!

We take a moment to change out of our bike clothes as other teams are arriving.

Ken E. walks over to exchange greetings and a hug before we head out to join Steve & Julie. He not only got Lei’d but also got crowned! Where was the inauguration? He is the one man that truly deserves wearing it!

Congrats to Ken!

Much thanks to our team mates for supporting us out on the road!

Start Time: 13:36
Miles: 33.78
Elevation: 2280′
Arrival at Time Station #7-Natl Trails Hwy: 15:41
Elapsed Time: 30:11:00
Time from last station: 02:05:00
Avg Speed: 16.21 mph
Miles into Race: 451.4
Temps: High 80’s to low 90’s, Sunny blue skies

My nutrition: 2 bottles of Gatorade, water and Enduralytes

*some photos by Lane Parker & Willy Nevin

Click here to continue on to Stage 8

Click here to view the route map & profile

This is the route for Stage 7: