Monday 16th June 2014. It’s 2 O’clock in the morning. Greensburg, Kansas. Zoe, Matt and I are on the ‘graveyard’ shift in the follow vehicle. Our job is to shadow Shusanah throughout the night and early morning. We keep her awake by communicating constantly via the bluetooth headset. Sports scientist Matt is king. He is able to talk about anything and everything.
We hand up water bottles and food on a regular basis. Shu has cycled 1473 miles in 135 hours or approximately 260 miles a day for six consecutive days. She is very tired, but it has been a successful session as, in just over 5 hours, she has managed about 77 miles since Montezuma into a stiff headwind.
Our girl needs a sleep, so we pull off the deserted highway and lay her to rest in the back of the trusty Dodge Caravan. Kansas is as ‘flat as a daisy’, a mixed metaphor uttered by Matt in his tired state. We can see twinkling red lights on grain elevators which are scattered all over the countryside.
While Shu is taking a nap, Zoe decides to become fitness instructor. We lay down on the warm tarmac in the dark night, and gazing up at the bejeweled heavens, she whispers our program. Thirty sit-ups, thirty press-up, twenty sideways planks… there were more, but I surrender.
I want to be as ‘fresh as a pancake’ for the next leg.