We rode through the night. From 7am-7pm, we must direct follow. Direct follow means the rider MUST be in our headlights. We follow behind Michael 20-30 feet distance maximum. It creates an eerie effect, especially this first night when the riders are still somewhat close together. Like little pods drifting along with lights blinking slowly traversing the desert. As the sun rises our energy is reinvigorated. A new day has begun. Michael…still riding.
At 7:00 am direct follow is no longer allowed. The crew must now switch to leap frog. Direct follow is very peaceful in the desert. We pretty much have the road to ourselves, just cruise along and enjoy the camaraderie and we easily can access Michael with a drive-by handoff to get him whatever he needs. The follow van is outfitted with any possible thing Michael will need.
Leap frog is another story. Leap frog is a flurry of activity. The crew lets Michael get a head start but must always keep him within about 1-2 miles. Crew drives by, pokes their head out the window “Hey Michael, what do you need?” Michael tells us then we drive ahead. We cannot impede traffic. So we drive ahead, find the next turn out to pullover and hand him what he needs – this is a static hand off. He drives by and just grabs it out of our hand and keeps on going – always pedaling….always pedaling.
Michael says: “the only time to get off the bike is if it will make you faster, otherwise keep on riding”.