Day 1 of RAAM for Keith is in the book. ("Day" is a relative term for the racer and crew at this point.) After riding all night, Keith crossed the Colorado River and entered Arizona around sunrise this morning. His ride continued through the desert and a planned stop after the Congress, AZ timestation.
He completed this stretch of riding a little bit ahead of the planned schedule. Much of the day was working against a headwind, and of course, dealing with the desert heat. To deal with the latter, Keith was wearing a special "ice jersey" that Ellen made for him -- it has pockets in the back, and the crew fill them will little bags of ice. These get replenished at every opportunity.
For a short time today, Keith rode with Joan Deitchman, one of the under-50 female solo riders. (It's against the rules for racers to draft one another or even ride side-by-side for very long, so while racers welcome the chance to chat with other riders, they are careful about not breaking this rule.)
Some of you may have noticed that tracker #509 went off course near Congress, AZ, around 4:30 pm Central (5:30 pm RAAM time.) The tracker went south to Wickenburg and stayed there about four hours. This was a planned stop, and nothing to worry about -- actually something to celebrate because this was a 4-hour sleep break for Keith, the first long break he has had since leaving Oceanside. Before stopping for this rest, Keith logged 395 miles and reached time station #6 (Congress, AZ.)
Around 9:00 pm Central/10:00 pm RAAM time this evening (these aren't exact times since I don't have an on-the-road report yet), Keith was back on the bike and continuing on the course. He will now be working his way out of the desert and toward Flagstaff. In this stretch, the course continues to climb until Jerome, AZ, when there is a descent into Cottonwood and then another climb into Flagstaff. We'd sure like for him to be on that stretch south of Flagstaff during these wee hours of the night, since this is where the racers will have to ride 35 miles on the shoulder of I-17.