Middle of Nowhere, CO to Riverside, WY
Total Miles: 4127
I woke up this morning at 5:00 and, I mean it this time, seriously considered just staying there in my tent and not getting up until the sun finally peaked over the mountains. I thought I had been cold yesterday and the day before but, let’s face it, I was just being a wimp. This morning, though, this morning was a frosty, freezy, kick-you-in-the-nuts nightmare of frigid proportions. I bundled myself up in everything I could, put on my rain jacket and only then did I poke my head out of my tent. I got everything packed up onto Forrest and headed out. My sock mittens work surprisingly well to keep my hands warm and the layers of shirts I had on kept my body pretty warm and my legs don’t really get cold but holy shit were my feet freezing. All I could think about was getting into the sunshine, my whole mind and body were focused on this one task of pedaling as quickly as I possibly could so that I could get some warmth in my toes. There was only on problem. Nothing too crazy. Just a giant fucking mountain resting smack dab in the middle of me and the warm sunshine I desperately needed. It was a long, slow 3 mile climb to the top and if it wasn’t for the blocks of ice that were my feet it wouldn’t have been that bad. I guess my body is finally getting used to working in this elevation because, unlike the last few days, I wasn’t gasping for breath by the time I reached to top. Hooray for the adaptability of the human body!
After we waited for the rest of the guys to reach the top we commenced another screaming downhill bathing in the blissful warmth of the morning sun. Being the incredibly fit and monstrously powerful cycling beasts that we are, Sebastian and I quickly pulled ahead of the rest of the pack and, bolstered by a slight tailwind, raced ahead at warp speed. Once off the mountain the scenery began to slowly change towards high desert rather than mountainous forests and it all seemed to be downhill 🙂 We stopped at the 45 mile mark in the town of Walden and found a nice little cafe to wait for the rest of the guys and get some breakfast. I had about 3 cups of coffee and ate the best chicken fried steak I’ve ever had in my life. I just want to eat all the food. ALL OF IT! But, sadly, we had to move on and I could only eat 1 meal.
We had a bit of a headwind upon leaving town but that’s where the cycling line really shines. You only really have to deal with that bullshit when it’s your turn in front and even then it’s only for a mile. Easy peasy lemon squeezey. A few miles and a couple of pretty challenging hills brought us to a…. wait for it…. NEW STATE! And not just any state, it’s lucky number 13 for James and his Bike.Time to kick some Wyoming ass! There happened to be a woman at the sign waiting for her cyclist husband to show up so she was able to snap a sweet pic of the team.
After our photo op we had about 20 miles left to our destination and it was gonna be easy sailing. We had a ripping tailwind, it was looking to be mostly downhill and there was only one easy looking climb left. Only it wasn’t so easy. Sure, compared to the nasty uphills we’ve tackled the last few days it was nothing, a small blip on the radar. But man did it kick my ass. You could see it coming off in the distance, there were no trees to block the view and the whole way up all you could see was more and more steep road ahead. It was deceptively nasty and by the time I reached the top I was done! Even the screaming downhill on the other side didn’t make up for that wretched thing, if I had tackled it earlier in the day it wouldn’t have been so bad but man was I tired. The rest of the miles to our camp weren’t any better, the road was filled with these wide ice cracks every 10 or 15 feet and although it didn’t really affect my momentum, it was incredibly annoying. When we arrived in Riverside the first thing Sebastian and I did was head to the bar across from the campground and down 2 ice cold beers and some burgers. There’s absolutely nothing more refreshing in this world then an ice cold beer after a long hot day and now I have a partner in crime that thinks along the same lines. Stay tuned for the next edition of James and his Bike!
Too Drunk; Didn’t Read (TD;DR)
-Ice cube feet and giant mountains
-Downhills and chicken fried steak
-Deceptively Deadly Hill of Tears
-Cold beer and hot burgers