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Cycling in Outer Space

Canadian Jim Norman arrived at lunch and exclaimed “Isn’t this awesome, I always wanted to cycle on Mars!” Jim might have been suffering from heatstroke thanks to today’s high of 102°F but the lunar like landscapes of the Mojave desert were certainly evocative of another planet. A semi-retired former software engineer, Jim signed up for the North American Epic after discovering the TdA Ltd booth at the Outdoor Adventure Show earlier this year. One might’ve presumed that such interstellar commentary would have come from fellow rider Petrus Dreesen who works at the renowned underground accelerator in Cern Switzerland. Checking his smart phone at lunch, Petrus quipped “it’s been an interesting week at the firm, now we’ve managed to create the smallest particle in history , 1 trillioneth the size of an atom, not long after producing the hottest and the coldest temperatures ever recorded anywhere.”

For the intrepid group of cyclists on the NAE, temperatures have been a constant topic of discussion since they hopped on their bikes in San Francisco 2 weeks ago. After unseasonably cool days along the California coast, today was a day that demanded extra fluids, lots of electrolytes replenishment, and a refresh stop at 120 km. Still virtually all the riders managed to spin through the epic heat on their space machines and arrive at the other worldly “parking lot camp” in Vidal Junction, where their reward was the cold beers and wine awaiting under the pop-up tents.


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