Training and planning could not have been more perfectly fastidious, redundancy intended: more than 10,000 miles on the bike from January 1, 2007 to Cochise; in the neighborhood of 25 hundred-mile rides half of which were greater than 120 miles including two 150's, a 175, a 185 and a 200, as well as multiple back2backs. I tapered respectfully the last 4-6 weeks prior to the Cochise.
I did have The Big BAM on Old Grand (see post by same name) two weeks before Cochise. While not much to look at on the continuum of nasties, the tendons and ligaments attaching to the heads of the Tibia and Fibia were badly avulsed/strained/sprained, and the belly of the Peroneus (front, lateral calf muscle) would swell with exertion, and continued to do so up to the time of the Cochise.
I shipped boxes of supplies to Daniel's in Tucson--extra wheels, tools, tubes, Hammer fuel, Hammer supplements, plenty of Hammer Gel, Clif Bars. My lighting system was perfecto, thanks to Lon and Larry; couldn't want for anything more for comfortable, safe, night riding.
I learned tons from riding with PAC Tour the last couple of years and crewing for RAAM earlier this summer--what was needed in the support vehicle and what I needed from my crew. I loaded the rented Dodge Caravan with an ice chest loaded with perishable rider and crew food as well as loaded five other milk crates: one with 1st aid, one with tools, one with extra clothes, one with cleaning supplies and paper products, like TP, and one with non-perishable rider and crew food.
I couldn't want for a more willing and dedicated crew: Bryan and Daniel--both are cyclists, doing the commuting thing now, but Bryan rode competitively as a teen going to Junior Nationals twice. He also did some serious snow boarding when he was an undergrad at CU-Bolder and even more serious surf-boarding when he lived in Santa Cruz. He knows a lot about putting it all out there on the line, trusting that your skills and experience are sufficient to respond to what the elements and the quirks of your body and spirit throw at you hoping, praying that all of those come together on that given day for a safe, "in the zone" performance of a life-time.
Bryan arrived on time from Eugene; we left on-time for Douglas arriving in plenty of time to leisurely settle into the Motel 6, Douglas's finest. I took the bike for a little test ride to the 1909 vintage Douglas YMCA, the registration headquarters for the 350 riders, only 32 of whom will be riding the 252 mile Challenge Ride. The Y will also be the site of the 6:30 Friday night spaghetti dinner that will precede the final instructions for the 157 and 252 mile riders.
Bryan, Daniel and I took a walk to the start/finish which was just 4 blocks from the Y and I got some cash from the ATM in the event that they needed supplies in the desert from retailers unprepared to deal in plastic.
We were back at the hotel by 8:00; in bed by 8:30 hoping for some sleep before the 1:00 a.m. wake-up call.