June 18, 2017 – Barstow, CA to Pahrump, MV – 85 miles
The fourth ride of the trip is a special day for the team as they travel through Death Valley, a ride that has always been perceived as one of the hardest rides on the South Route’s journey. Our team this year woke up at 3:00 AM in order to drive to our starting point in an effort to beat the much anticipated heat. Our riders set off around 5:30 AM in an already warm temperature of 80 degrees. The days ride takes the team 85 miles from Barstow, CA to Pahrump, NV. We often hear that only a few riders complete the ride but our team set off with the completion of the ride at the front of our minds!
The pace lines started off great, cyclists worked together to motivate each other and ride effectively. The day contained three long climbs the first of which was several miles long and exhausting. However, the pace lines could be seen all up and down the mountain helping and pushing each other to complete the climb! After the second climb, the team experienced heavy headwinds making the ride a lot harder than anticipated considering the route had flattened out. Despite the winds, the team pushed on towards the lunch spot!
The third and final climb came with a wonderful descent leading to the Nevada state line! The guys were unbelievably excited as this was the first state line the team had crossed. The state line brought about the end of the ride and a confidence boost for the team. If our team could complete Death Valley we could take on any of the rides set for the rest of the trip.
The day wrapped up with a friendship visit with Pahrump Special Olympics! We had the opportunity to swim with some of the Special Olympic athletes and share dinner with them. Mike, one of the athletes, was celebrating his birthday so we got to take part in the festivities. These visits are what make this trip so great and are what push me to cycle through the day.
Oregon State – Alpha Zeta