So upbeat is the Tent City vibe that support crew members have as much fun as the riders. At any rate so says Peterson, who has done both. "I missed going out on my bike a little bit," she says of the years she has supported her teammates, "but in the middle of the night I sure didn't."
It is the very definition of gut check: dragging your carcass out of a sleeping bag at 3 a.m. to go suffer in the desert. Some riders dread it, others get off on it. "It's so quiet and peaceful," says Lori Hutchinson, office manager at Poison Spider, "and you have nowhere to go but into your light beam."
In the predawn hours riders may hear the whine of big rigs bearing south on Highway 191. The trucks are hauling nuclear waste to Monticello, 60 miles down the road. Been there, done that, Moabites can dunk to themselves. They've moved on to the next big thing.