It was a glorious day out on the trail.
Stunning day but hot. Hot hot.
André made a significant push for the top of the race, and kept pushing on through, past dawn, into the morning like a machine. Kept the whole crew jumping in and out of vans the entire time as well. It takes it's toll on the folks running back and forth, around him, dancing with a body rig for the camera. Pablo has been burning oil and keeping pace with André like a machine.
But he's rewarded for his efforts with blessings of magnificent light. Everywhere, changing. Sometimes brutalizing, sometimes plain hot, and clear. Pablo took full advantage of the day's beauty to start lining up drone shots first thing. But I get ahead of myself.
Yesterday ended around 4:30 when Pablo sacked out in the crew van and we all found berth in the RV (Thank you Luxe RV). Next day started at 6. Made for a bleary start, but we got to it.
By the time we made it to a small town called Hope André took his first nap of the race - a 30 minute snoozer in the van. At that moment he had been cycling steadily for 23 hours and 52 minutes, covering 340 miles into Arizona.
It's tough to wake up after that kind of nap. It's also the first time mentally André will have let himself go. And thirty minutes later, gentle reminders and waking up. Pablo is right there alongside him running all over the place with his rig (known as the Humiliator) in 105 degree heat.
He's groggy when he wakes up. Grumpy too. His crew keeps notes and and cards from well wishers and - in the case below - loving family to get him moving again. The juice from all the love he's got behind him is part of what he uses to keep himself going.
But in the end, it's a solo journey.
But André is not like other people. At mile 370 he passed this sign and bellowed to all of us flat-footed yahoos, "I'm going to Congress!" Which he obviously will.
The moment that really sprang my sprocket was at the golden hour, when Pablo was sprinting up the side of a mountain, chasing light and beautiful shots, the valley spreading out into dusk below, the media team cheering and clapping, helping André dig into the mountain he's chewing through; we think we are boosting him along. As he passes me he turns his head and says, "That's something over there..." like it was just a quiet day by the lake.
This guy blows my mind.