First, a quick note....you will notice my power was down around 150w in Flagstaff. We were reducing our power based on elevation, so you would expect it to be lower. At 7K feet, we were knocking at least 10% off, so my red line went from 210 to 190w. 150w was still low, but not as low as it might appear... Now, back to our adventure...
I slept...I actually slept. I am pretty sure this was the first time I actually slept more than 30 minutes the entire trip! When I awoke, I was dreadfully tired, and it was really dark and cold, wherever the heck we were! On a positive note, the stars were beautiful (we were actually about 30 miles out of Tuba City). Did I mention it was cold? Off I go...my first pull was a gradual climb from 5900 to 6200 feet over 32 minutes, 9 miles, 156w, 160w normalized. JV took over while I tried to warm up in the van.
The next pull took me over the 6700 foot summit. While waiting outside the van for JV to pull up, a team passed the vehicle. I could see the summit up ahead and was eager to get going. Up about 100 feet over the next 2.5 miles, and then the fun begins! I start bombing down the other side, just within sight of the other team. I can't wait to go bombing by this other team! This is my first real descent at night and these Surefire lights are absolutely amazing! The road is lit up like a high beam on a car...the follow vehicles' lights are completely unnecessary (note-remember to point the light slightly higher after this shift!) Willie has now won the MVP award twice, as far as I am concerned...first for that crazy 2-hour pull outside of Prescott and now for making these amazing lights! Woo hoo! Let 'er rip! What's this? 30s prior to passing, JV's van decides to make an exchange! All momentum is lost and I get in the van to have a little talk about appropriate locations for exchanges...
(remember, at night we cannot do rolling exchanges, so doing one on a descent means you lose ALL of your speed because you have to come to a complete stop just in front of the outgoing rider).
JV continues bombing down the descent and continues into some rollers for a bit. We do another exchange, and I get the final 5ish miles into Kayenta (FWIW, we did pass the other team). Bill, Lee and Jon T. decide to gas up in Kayenta as JV takes the last pull to the RV, about 8 miles out of Kayenta. I remember a trucker at the gas station telling us that we were absolutely insane to be out here riding on these roads at 4am...what does he know?
Climbing out of Tuba City
Over the top!
Bombing down into Kayenta