Furnace Creek: 508 miles by bike


Featurepegsposts Byron_and_crew Byrons_705It’s been nearly 6 weeks since my last great adventure with Jake and several other Garmin associates—the 197-mile Hood to Coast Relay. While we reveled in the highlights of our 24 hours of misery in good company, teammate Byron said simply “too much downtime.” We soon learned that Byron’s bucket list included another run at Furnace Creek—a punishing 508-mile nonstop bike race that swings through Death Valley. Temps can hit 110 in the day with little reprieve once night falls.

Sandstorm Road_to_bakerNight_bike_shot This was the third time for Byron to race the 508. By the way, he’s also done 22 marathons (many of them barefoot) and competed in Ironman. This year, Byron (or The Raven, his chosen race name for this event) and 3-man crew had Garmin devices for navigation and communication for every mile. For the bike, Byron was guided with an Edge 705 loaded with the course ridden last year by a relay team who finished in 33 hours. A nuvi in the support van helped the crew find gas and water, and a set of Rino 120s allowed rider and crew to converse and find each other. Byron: “This is a race made for a Garminized bike and pacer vehicle. It gets pretty lonely out near Badwater at 1-3 in the morning. The racer really starts to look for feedback from the exhausted crew. No need to bother them if you have the 705; it’s got everything I need plus entertainment in case I want to humor myself and find out how far the nearest Starbucks is.” Check out more photos and race reports here.

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