Friday, October 14, 2016

Day 41--I Had a Plan...or, So Much For My Plan...or, I Need a New Plan!

Let's face it, the last few days have been pretty hard. I've struggled with riding alone all day, and the mileages have been pretty high. So, this morning when we set out from the KOA, I had a plan. Simply, I was just going to ride my own ride. Meaning, if I was hungry, I'd stop for a snack. If I was tired, I'd take a break. I wouldn't continue to ride until I caught up to the guys before taking a break. It was going great! I stopped for a snack after about 10 miles. It was perfect. At one point, when I caught up to the guys, I suggested to Connor that we take turns drafting. He turned on his music, and we switched off every song. That worked okay for awhile, but I asked Connor if it was harder to wait long periods of time for me to catch up, or go slow with me. He said it was harder to go slow. I told him he didn't have to ride with me, he could go on ahead. He has to ride his own ride too.

The scenery was similar, from a vegetation standpoint, to what we had been riding through the last few days. But, there were more mountains and rock formations.

The wind, which had been pretty calm at first, picked up substantially once we got to the top of the first climb out of Rawlins. Of course, it was a headwind. But, I was riding my own ride. It was first.

At about noon, Derik said he would start looking for a place for lunch about 12:45. I reminded him, unnecessarily, that his 12:45 was not my 12:45. He said he'd done the math, and had it figured out. So, off we went. As I was riding, I figured he would probably stop at a spot where there was an informal campsite next to a creek. Sure enough, that's where they were. 

It was after lunch that my plan didn't go so well. It did at first, but as time went on, it started to fall apart. First of all, there was a 6 mile climb. Secondly, it was into a nasty headwind. Thirdly, there was a lot of traffic. A short distance into the climb, I started taking a short break (10-15 seconds) every quarter mile. For the first part of the climb it was working pretty well. I even took a couple of pictures.

That's not the top in the distance.

Then, the wind was really starting to get to me. The climb itself would not have been that bad were it not for the wind. It was constant and demoralizing. Finally, there was just one more part to go. Unfortunately, at the Divide crossing, it wasn't a nice long descent. In fact, it was just a little down, then more up. One part was so nasty with the wind and steepness, that I finally had to walk. My plan had completely fallen apart at that point. The tears were running as I trudged up the hill. Fortunately, I had sunglasses on because a guy in a pickup stopped to tell me not to let "those guys" slow me down, and that I was almost at the top. 

I caught up to the guys and told them I wanted to go home. I've never wanted to quit and go home on any tour, but I have had enough. I can't do it anymore. It's not fun. 

It was obvious we weren't going to make it to our planned destination for the night. There was a primitive campsite about 6 more miles. The guys rode slow so I could draft as much as possible. We came down to where there was a good creek. It's fenced, but there was a gate. That meant no cow poop! We decided to call it a day. I think we are about 13 miles short. Turns out Connor was tired and didn't want to go all the way to the planned stop either. 

I don't know what the plan is for tomorrow. What I do know is that when we get to Steamboat Springs, I need to decide if I'm really done. If so, I'll need to figure out how to get home. We'll see what happens...maybe the wind will stop and the riding will be enjoyable again. It sure isn't any fun now!


Robert Barnes said...

Keep on going. You are an inspiration.

Dirtbaby said...

I hope you continue. I too had a wobble moment in
Lima, Montana where I just wanted to quit and go home. Mainly due to always being last of 3 and feeling stressed about trying to keep up. I'm so glad I kept going. For sure, there will be bad times with weather etc. But vastly outweighed by the good times. Can't wait to see how you get on in Colorado, it was pretty cold in August! Thoughts with you.