Day two was quite docile in comparison to the prior days activities. The pack had spread out with all riders falling into what, for the most part, would prove to be their relative positions for the remainder of the race. I caught and passed Stefan outside of Bliss, Idaho while climbing on one of the days larger, but by no means big, climbs. As we approached Bliss I heard the all familiar, but unrecognizable, German words of encouragement Stefan’s crew would blast his way from an outdoor speaker the size of the Liberty bell perched atop their support vehicle. The sound from that over sized bullhorn carried for what seemed like miles in Idaho’s serene Snake River Valley. But this time the sound seemed closer than before, too close. As I turned to evaluate Stefan’s proximity, to my dismay, I discovered he had gained some ground back. It was now apparent that Stefan was intent on reclaiming his prior position. So much for riding my own pace, as my uncontrollable competitive instinct kicked in, I dropped Stefan easier than I had anticipated as I arrived at time station 9.

Miles continued to pass as the beauty of Idaho’s Snake River Valley slowly faded to the black of night. Night riding was quickly becoming the preferred time of travel as the cool Pacific Northwest training rides had ill equipped me for the lowland heat I was now experiencing. My fastest split times were at night, as the days heat would drain much of my energy reserves. It was suggested that we strongly consider changing me to a daytime sleep schedule in an effort to alleviate the midday heat’s devastating effects on my performance. An idea that was easier said than done, after all I’m a human, we’re not nocturnal creatures. But, in spite of my insomniac tendencies, after a few days of riding 22 hours and resting for 1½ hours, sleep was not difficult to accommodate, whenever or wherever it was available. But sleep at night I did once again as I rolled into Burley, Idaho.

After one sleep cycle (1½ hours), I was back to the task at hand. As the night dragged on,, reaching the border of Utah was a welcome milestone. Not that it was anything special, but it meant I had conquered two of the nine states and was still maintaining a comfortable second place standing. By morning light I found myself in Snowville, Utah a bit fatigued, but wanting to continue on to Brigham City where I would begin my daytime sleep periods. Brigham City proved farther than desired as the effects of sleep deprivation were beginning to show. The Howard Johnson Inn was a welcome sight as I was unwilling to proceed even one more block without some rest. My crew had determined that I would more than likely sleep for two sleep cycles, or 3 hours, as I was more than exhausted at the time. So rather than immediately prepare for my awakening, they decided it prudent to gather some much needed supplies for the following days journey. I awoke to an empty room with nothing but a sweaty, stinky pile of cycling apparel haphazardly deposited by the foot of the bed in which I laid. . “Where are my clean clothes?” I pondered. “Where’s my crew?” “What time is it?” “Where am I?” Though slightly disoriented, I knew we had carefully laid out plans on how my sleep breaks were to be conducted and this was unacceptable. As questions swiftly raced through my mind, I could come to only one conclusion. I was alone.

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