* Team Blog – Day 7, 16 January 2017
Monday 2017-1-16, 2 p.m. Narranderra – Yass / Hume HWY
- Although we woke Christoph very kindly this morning, and did all massage techniques and used all ointments available, he’s very slow to get back into gear. Symptoms of sleep deprivation overshadow everything else. Anxiety, confusion, self-doubt and hallucinations make pedaling a torture. A Situation which is challenging even for experienced crew members. It takes hours of intense cheering to get to only a few more kilometers on his trip recorder. Busy morning traffic on Sturt Hwy with poor surface and a narrow, hard shoulder made him choke. Every lane change has to be announced. Even the sports-mad guys from Wagga-Wagga who set up a little fan fest seemed to make him insecure, even though he was aware of their admiration for his ride. Later on, when he realized it, he was really happy about their present, some special Aussie Butt cream.
- At the bottom of the Kosciuszko National Park, the last mountain area before the coast, we recommend him to change to the Roubaix. Combined with the nicely finished Hume Hwy, where we could safely use the emergency lane, Christoph regained his usual strength, which was really impressive to us.
- Suddenly everything is still possible: Speed increases and, unusual for the time-trial specialist, he climbs the hills as if they are nothing. Nevertheless, we still had to control all of his moves, which was giving us a hard time.
- Amazingly, sleep deprivation has intense effects on mental strength, but apparently little reduction in crank force. Latest calculations allow an ETA of far below seven days. The suspense is killing us. Christoph focuses on pedaling as hard as ever before.
Monday 2017-01-16, 04:00 right before Narrandera
- An again successfull day (or better shift, as Christoph’s days and nights don’t really differ, a never ending cycle of fun, left-right-left-right-…) comes to an end. We shared many experiences like emus, sheep, cattle and roos trying to keep up with Christoph’s pace. One sheep even committed suicide by truck impact and lay there dividing the road which made it a challenge since when we saw it we were right next to Straps and had to split up so we wouldn’t hit it.
- We came as close as 575km to Sydney and let Christoph have a short rest in the RV. Meanwhile the crew gets gear and the car ready so that Straps can continue right away and ride to Sydney with a new world record.
- Sleep deprivation effects are inevitable and although he sees funny colorful paintings on the road and imaginary situations he knows those aren’t real and tells us as if it was the most hilarious thing in the world. Of course we are worried but are also an experienced crew and know how to deal with it. We let him keep going as long as it is safe and take him off the bike whenever it is too dangerous (for example moments in which he tries to show everybody that he is European and wants to ride on the right side of the road).
- After his sleep it should be better again and he can get on the bike a last time (interrupted by only short breaks) on his way to a new world record.
Monday 2017-01-16 – 330km to Sydney – additional note
- Apparently one of Christoph’s „brightest“ moments was, when he saw media-chief Groox carrying a dead Emu over his shoulders around the pace car. He wondered where he got that from. Solution: it was the camera tripod… on the home stretch.
… to be continued.
* How to follow the “World Record Down Under powered by owayo” ride LIVE:
> Facebook page with regular images and videos straight out of the support car, driving behind Christoph