Into the high desert (14 May)

Today we moved out of the city streets and across the flats into the hills leading to Beaumont, our first taste of the high desert. We encountered the first long stretches of highway and the busy traffic moving along it. Huge trucks were terrifying, but usually generous in trying to avoid us.

I parked the car at the first SAG stop and rode along the Ramona Expressway, lined by flat empty fields or dairy farms with seemingly thousands of black and white cows standing at their feeding troughs. On highway 79 the 6 mile climb up to Beaumont began. The shoulder ascending this pass was excellent, but the shoulder descending was full of debris and grass growing out of the asphalt. In order to follow the group, I had to return to the SAG stop before everybody left. I got there just in time to follow the SAG truck to the next stop.
Where there are windmills there is also wind (Paula warned us), but luckily the riders were treated to an exhilarating tailwind. Despite the increasing heat, Emil enjoyed today's ride and thanked Robert for the great support.
The route rap this evening was in preparation of the next two days in the high desert, where the riders will be mostly using the shoulder of busy I-10. With the necessary respect and care, this very long  etappe should be manageable for all. The support team has had long experience in dealing with the demands of such a route and are ready to assist the riders wherever and whenever necessary.


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