20 May 2008

Great Day


I went to bed at half eight last night having got half way through Genesis in the Gideon Bible and Abraham has just offered Isaac as a sacrifice to God (it's ok - he survives!). This early bedtime enabled me to be up at 5am and on the road by 05:40 which set me up nicely for today's ride.

I had no water or food and hadn't exactly eaten well yesterday so was keen to nail the first 18 miles to Sweetwater Station where there was a grocery store waiting for me. The photo above is from about 6am looking over the mountains behind me as I headed fown the road. I arrived at Sweetwater soon after 7am and engaged in a swearing fit as the shop was shut and I rode over some glass just to find that out. Luckily there was a rest area half a mile ahead which had a water fountain that I filled my bottles from and chilled for a bit. All morning I have had some back pain that I haven't been able to stretch out but hopefully it will go by tomorrow as it is a nuisance when you're riding.
Watering Stop at Sweetwater
From Sweetwater it was only 41 miles to the daily destination of Lander so I made tracks hoping for an early finish to the ride and was helped along by a 6 mile downhill stretch which was signposted as a steep bad boy with warnings to test your brakes before driving down and suchlike. I added 3 miles to my top speed going down at 45.4mph and could have gone faster if I wasn't such a coward applying the brakes in panic.
There were a few more hills to climb back up over the next 20 or so miles and then I came to a campsite with a cafe so I thought I would grab some breakfast at last. I rode down a crappy muddy track, parked up, and found that it was also closed (derelict may be a better word). Like a proper English gentleman I didn't swear or kick the door quite hard, and just pedalled away towards Lander whistling merrily to myself.

Red Hills
Lander came around 10 miles later and it felt great to roll into town before 11am with my whole day's riding done! I thought about going further along the way but there was a campsite 6 miles further then nothing for about 30 miles so I resigned myself to a day of leisure. So far I have checked into a comfy hotel with a hot tub, been to the bike shop to get some puncture repair patches, a new pair of riding mitts (I lost my right one and that led to my horrible swollen burnt and blistering hand) and popped in a shoe shop to get some leather conditioner for my saddle to try and soften it up beyond the granite state it is currently in.
More Red Hills
I'm sat in the local library, have published yesterday's blog post and think I am going to put this one up there now, confident in the knowledge that very little exciting is going to happen today beyond a soak in the hot tub, plenty of junk food consumption and HBO movies! From here the elevation increases again, back up to 9658 feet from the current 5358 feet, and so I may not get any signal or wifi but I will try and keep this upto date during two days of solid climbing.

1 comment:

Nika said...

Wow, that is an amazing feat that you have accomplished. Be careful of bad water though when you are near the Colorado River. Boil it and everything you are going to use. I'm sure I don't need to tell you, but it never hurts to share helpful information. I wouldn't want you to go through what I went through...eeeeh. Come check out my blog and tell your friends!!!