Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Day 39--After 50 Miles, I've Got No More "Pedal Hard"

To clarify from yesterday, we were, apparently, not officially in the Great Basin until we crossed the Continental Divide well into today's ride. Well, it all looks the same anyway. Lots of nothingness except antelope. 
And sagebrush.

I left before the guys again today. We had a lot of miles to go. They actually took a short cut on the CDT, so they caught up to me pretty fast. The wind was really whipping. I had to take the Da Brim off my helmet because it was gagging me. It was a bummer because the one day I could have really used the shade on my face, I didn't have it. 

We stopped at Diagnus Well, 11.5 miles into the ride. Since we had no reliable info on the water situation at our destination of A & M Reservoir, we decided it would be better to have water and not need it, then to not have it, and need it. I filled all 5 of my bottles plus my two 1-liter platypus containers. Derik filled his bottles, and both his gallon dromedary bags. Connor filled his bottles, and a two liter platypus container. Needless to say, the bikes were a bit heavier!

The water pipe of flowing water. We still had to filter the water, so it took awhile.

Back to riding we had a most excellent tailwind for awhile. I was going faster than my hardest gear! It was awesome! Then, of course, the road would curve, and I'd be hit with a crosswind. The wind was non-stop the entire day.

We stopped for some lunch at a potentially inhabited ranch. Mostly it was a bunch of junk. We took shelter behind an old trailer. It did the job.

At about 50 miles in, I was pretty tired. Derik proceeds to tell me, once I caught up to them, that we now had 6 1/2 miles of headwind. He said, just put your head down and pedal hard. I told him, after 50 miles, I've got no more "pedal hard" left in my legs! Those 6 1/2 miles were pure torture! I was ready to flag down a passing pickup and ask for a ride...if only there had been one!

At the end of the torture, we still had 11 miles to go. Connor said it would be a tailwind. Well, some was, but I was so exhausted it was all I could do to just keep pedaling. With about 5 miles to go, I watched a herd of antelope running toward the road right where Derik was headed. They changed course a bit, but still crossed in front of him.
You'll have to zoom in to see them. Derik counted 16.

FINALLY, we reached the turn to the reservoir. Since we toted enough water for tomorrow, we decided not to go the mile off route to the questionable reservoir. We are just camped off the road in a flat spot. We set up the tents to block the wind for cooking, so we are pretty tight quarters tonight.

One of the hard parts for me today was riding the entire day by myself. When I mentioned that to Derik, he said him and Connor ride by themselves too. That's true, but from a mental standpoint, it's much more difficult to always be last. If they choose to ride with someone, all they have to do is slow down. I don't get that choice. I don't expect them to slow down, because they have the strength to go faster. It would just be nice to have someone to commiserate when the going is hard. But then, you say, you tour solo a lot. Again, it's different, because it's my agenda only. I can stop whenever I want. They are very good at letting me rest when I finally catch up, but I know they've already been there a long time, and I don't want to delay them more. Anyway, enough whining! Today, at 68 miles was Connor's longest mileage day ever on a bike.

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