Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Two Canadien Hot Pots

Or Ellen and Cathy

Day 48 Eads to Ordway

Only 5 miles down the road and I'm already demoralized.  No storms but the headwind is still there relentlessy ripping into the body. It's barely possible to make 6 mph just mile after mile of straight line nothingness. This is the toughest part of the trip for me but I must keep motivated. Today is the first time I have asked myself  'Am I really Crazy for doing this' ?

And then up ahead I see a sweeping left hand bend. Does this mean a tailwind.  I can barely control my excitement.  My cadence increases. My leg muscles are pumping. 7 mph 9 mph 11 mph. My heart is pounding. I'm sprinting down the Champs D'Elysees to win the Tour de France, I've served an ace to win the final at Wimbledon. I'm about to score the winning goal for Leeds in the Champions League Final. I'm at Woodstock llistening to Jimi Hendrix play the 'Star Spangled Banner'. And I get to the bend. And the bloody wind changes direction!!!.

But tbings are going to get better. After lunch the wind stops, the sun shines and it appears to be downhill making for a pleasant 38 miles to our destination, a very agreable family hotel in Ordway with a restaurant next door.

And at my last coffee stop of the day an American I chatted to paid for my afternoon tea.

I am re motivated.

Miles Today 60
Total         2356

Day 47 Tribune to Eads

Well wbat a 24 hours since tbe last post. Yrstetday afternoon life was pretty good. Cycling done for the day, sipping a beer by the pool in the afternoon sun followed by a very good Indian meal served up by Cathy and Ellen our cooks for the day.

It all changed at approximately 9 PM. The Goats Head Thorn has but one purpose in life which is to make the life of a cyclist miserable unless you like repairing punctures. And my time for misery had come. A cursory check of my tyres revealed three of these nasty little buggers embedded in both front and rear tyres. Took the first one out PSSS puncture. Took the second and third out of the back wheel PSSS puncture. Then discovered that lots more tiny little offshoot thorns were embedded randomly all over both tyres. So out came the nosehair tweezers and the next hour was spent catefully removing each and every one of them.
So next job - fit both spare tubes. Wheel 1 no problem. Wheel 2 HUGE BANG halfway through inflation as I hadn't seated the tube on the rim properly. Count to 10 then proceed to repair two punctures in the dark.  Finally after much frustration and cursing I got to bed about midnight, wondering whether my repairs would hold up, or would I wake up to a flat tyre.

No sooner was I  snuggled up in my tent and the wind came. And it  blew all night  and when it finally stopped the birds started. So after coming to the conclusion that no further sleep was possible I jumped out of bed at 5 30 AM determined to get everything packed so that I could make an eatly start for a change. The rest of the Stop and Stare team would catch me somewhere down the road. And the puncture repair had held up.

So off I went pedalling into a delightful but slightly breezy morning planning to do a very leisurely 58 mile ride to Eads. Or so I thought. 15 minutes down the road it all changed.

The skies darkened, the heavens opened, thunder and  lightning for good measure and a ferocious side wind buffetiing tbe bike towards the centre of tbe road. Pretty scary. 17 miles down the road just before the Colorado State line I came across the fast group taking shelter in a cow shed. I joined them for a while before taking the decision that things would not improve so I pressed on to Sheridan lake, the 29 mile point where hot coffee, food and shelter would be available. With the weather still not improving I holed up for a wbile as a few of the others appeared in dribs and drabs. News came through that the State Police had taken the rear group back to Tribune as the conditions were deemed unsafe for cycling. To cut a long story short, Greg and Ellen turned up about 4 PM and as the weather had improved we decided to press on and do the final 29 miles to Eads. The rest of the group decided to stay over at the church in Sheridan Lake.

Those last 29 miles were straight into another monster headwind but we took it on the chin and finally rolled up in Eads at 9 PM. Across the road  we found a bar where we drunk beer ate pizza and exchanged banter with David, a very well spoken young Englishman and his American cousin Elliot who were cycling East to West.

Miles today    60
Total           2296