Ordway, CO to Pueblo, CO
Total Miles: 3785
Gillian (pronounced with the ‘J’ sound) is one of those rare people that can along with everybody; she’s quick with a joke, incredibly intelligent and has a way of making you feel like part of her family from the moment you meet her. When she arrived home from work she spent a while getting to know us and seemed genuinely interested in hearing the what’s, why’s and how’s of our individual stories. After our little meet and greet she clapped her hands together mischievously and asked, “So who’s ready for their 15 minutes of hard labor?” We’d all heard stories from up and down the TransAm about Gillian’s hard labor so were eager to get to work. She assigned 2 of the guys to haul 2 barrels of mulch to the barn, another to put some primer on a door and she assigned Gene and I the task of cutting two telephone poles in half (she said they were to be the frame of a new carport she was building. Before setting us to task she made sure to stress to us that when she said “Mannequin Challenge!” that we were to freeze in place so she could take our pictures, she has an older camera and it doesn’t like too much movement. It was incredibly enjoyable work, if you can even call it that, with Gillian bouncing around between us having us freeze in our tasks while she snapped photos or making us do outlandish poses. Staying at her place was everything I was expecting and more. After finishing our “hard labor” she recommended a great place for us to go get some food in town and afterwards we all hit the sack.
I got up this morning at 5 and began my daily routine of eating a wildly unhealthy breakfast (Bagel, peanut butter with oreos) and getting Forrest packed up. Gillian came out with her camera whilst this was happening to snap some more photos for cyclist scrap books, she said she’s had over 200 hundred stay with her so far this year. I can’t begin to put into words how happy and grateful I was to get to meet and hang out with this lovey TransAm legend, it was perfect. Once everyone was loaded up and ready to go we all gave Gillian a hug and set out into the cool morning.
We had to be in Pueblo this morning by about noon to make it to our appointments at the bike shop but as we only had about 55 miles to go we were in no particular hurry. There’s not much to say about the ride this morning except that it went by fast. The weather was beautiful, we were all rested after sleeping on real beds last night and we even had a bit of a tailwind to help us along. We made one quick stop at the 30 mile mark to get a snack and then back on the road. Upon cresting this long, gentle uphill we could see the city of Pueblo off in the distance and further off in the distance behind that: mountains. Finally after all the flat, endless expanse of nothing that was Kansas and Eastern Colorado the real challenge is finally in sight. Now I’m sure in a few more days when we’re actually slogging up these nasty inclines I’m gonna change my tune, but, for right now, I’m excited. Excited for a change of scenery, excited for the challenge and excited to be inching ever closer to the finish line!
We arrived at the bike shop in Pueblo at 10:00, way quicker than we had anticipated, and hauled all of our bikes inside for a little tender love and care. After almost 4000 miles of cycling through every kind of terrain my chain was on it’s last leg so I had it replaced and had them give Forrest a good ol’ lube and tighten. Tomorrow is a rest day here in Pueblo and then it’ll be on to the real challenges. Stay tuned for the next edition of James and his Bike!
Too Drunk; Didn’t Read (TD;DR)
-The Gillian Mannequin Challenge!
-James can ride his Bike fast
-Forrest gets lubed up and ready for action
-Tharr be mountains on the horizon!
-Cyclists need days off “work” too 🙂