Thursday, June 9, 2016

Sweet glorious cloud cover

Day 3 - June 9
40.5 miles 
Total 98.5
Day - Moving Avg 7.6
Day - Overall Avg 3.4

It is a strange feeling to look down a long long long straight highway through the desert. The distant hills seem to never get closer, and as the parallel lines of the road vanish far off in the distance, there is a subtly illusion that you are biking downhill.

So, if the road is slightly graded downhill, how come I feel so tired?

Oh yes, I biked fifty miles yesterday. I should be. Oh, and I probably only got four hours of good sleep. But if the road is going downhill, how come I feel the need to always be pedaling?

Well, it turns we weren't going downhill. It was a long slow steady climb. So slow, that the road looked flat. But we definitely felt it. Especially when the headwinds kicked in. Then it really dawned on me. We were suddenly close to six thousand feet. We are still acclimating from the near zero elevation of Portland.

It was a perfect storm of things that beat you down. Heat, climbing, elevation acclimation, head winds, and lack of sleep. To be fair, Apricots was definitely rocking it while I was whimpering and asking for breaks. Then, finally my bike developed a squeak. I used this as a ploy to convince her that we could walk our bikes for a mile or two, so we still made progress.

Eventually we made it to Bayard, where I demanded hoards of red meat to up my iron levels and help me acclimate better. After tasty burgers, we moved another two miles down the road and took a long nap in a gazebo while thunderclouds started forming overhead. As soon as the clouds hid the sun, we put our gear back on, and pushed the final six miles to Silver City. Stopping for electrolytes, a driver warned us of heavy hail coming our way.

The rain caught up with us as we entered Silver City. We took shelter in Gila Hike and Bike and had the friendly staff help us repair our bikes. The gears were acting a little off, likely due to the disassembly and reassembly after shipping. While tweaking my gears, the mechanic found some other minor things that needed tweaking (a crooked wheel), and some unnecessary rubbing between the front derailleur and the rear fender. He fixed things up for us, as the rain poured heavily on the streets outside. Residents were claiming that the weather was super irregular lately, and this storm was on par with being completely crazy.

We are now huddled in our tent as rain pours heavily on us, and lightening crashes overhead.

We are taking a smaller day tomorrow, as we have errands to run in the morning. Then a 4.5 day leg to Pie Town. Also, we finally move off the paved surfaces and hit the real trail riding. Exciting and terrifying.

Live life at a slower place.
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Live life at a slower place.

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