Day 75 – 60 Miles

Jeffery City, WY to Lander, WY

Total Miles: 4317

I don’t know why I continue to do this to myself. Some kind of subconscious, self-inflicted penance I’m subjecting myself to for all the wrongs I’ve done throughout my life? Lack of self control? The say-yes-to-everything attitude I’ve acquired over the years? All of the above?! I don’t know… But I digress. After my much needed afternoon nap yesterday I headed to the bar with the guys to get some food. It was pretty good despite my breakfast for dinner omelet being a tad runny in the middle for my liking. Our new west-bound cyclist friends Josh and Heather were there along with an east-bound cyclist named John. We were having a great time just sitting around chatting and swapping stories from the road when Josh asks if we’d all like some shots. Ugh, after last nights bout of heavy drinking with Sebastian I really wasn’t feeling like a repeat so I said, “Yeah, man. I’m just here to party.” The night slowly devolved from there. One of the local cowboys discovered that I’m from the Pendleton area and insisted that I take shots of Pendleton Whiskey with him. Heather and I drunkenly attempted to do some sort of Celtic swing dance to a Flogging Molly song while a giant mustachioed cowboy twirled the bartender around to the same. Basically your average, everyday shit show. I had a blast.

The battleground

I didn’t get to sleep last night till about midnight and when my alarm went off at 5:00 I was sooooo not in the mood to get up. I snoozed the alarm about 5 times before I figured I’d either have to settle myself into Jefferson City, join the church choir and become a real life cowboy or just get my lazy ass out of bed and get on my bicycle. I chose the latter, but only just. One of the guys had the forethought last night to set the timer on the coffee machine so I had a giant cup with my PB&H breakfast bagel before getting Forrest all packed up and heading out the door. When we got outside the other 3 guys in our group had already set out for the day and I could guess why right away. The mosquitos (Or mozzies as the Brits call them) were out in full fucking force this morning! You couldn’t stand in the same spot for more than 5 seconds without a hoard of these blood-sucking bastards descending on you with a fiery vengeance. Needless to say we didn’t stay put for long despite our reluctance to begin the days ride.

Sunrise in the desert 🙂

We got caught up with the rest of the group about 30 minutes into the ride and pedaled along slowly and easily for about 10 miles. In spite of the accumulated hangover of 2 consecutive nights of heavy drinking Sebastian and I eventually pulled away from the rest of the group. I wouldn’t exactly call it being full of rocket sauce, more like we both had an extreme desire to get this day out of the way as quickly as possible so that we could commence nap time upon arrival.  The first 20 miles of road weren’t exactly drab but it wasn’t exactly visually stimulating either but that all changed when we came to the top of this steep little hill and were greeted with a sign proclaiming, “STEEP GRADE-6% NEXT 5 MILES” and it wasn’t going up either, nope, all downhill. Sweet baby Jesus hallelujah!!! We commenced our blisteringly fast descent and holy shit did it feel good to go fast again. The view all the way down was stunning! Wide, colorful canyons, red rocked cliffs rising up beside us framed by snowcapped mountains off in the distance. It was amazing up until the point that it ended and we were facing a steep but not especially long little mountain to climb at the bottom. On any other day it would have been no problem, but today it was agony and the only thing that made it bearable was the knowledge that today’s route trended downwards pretty much the whole way. That’s not to say it was totally downhill the whole time, there were a few steep grades we had to climb in order to enjoy the blissful coasting sections, but it was relatively manageable considering the condition that we were in.

It’s a sign!

On our last 10 mile stretch we passed a small RV park and Sebastian pointed over to a soda machine in front of their building and said, “Hey James you can get your Mountain Dew fix!” I’m pretty sure he meant it as a joke and didn’t expect me to stop when we were so close to the finish line but, well, there are some things in life that you simply cannot pass up and that cool, fizzy green smack is one of them. We both pounded one and continued the ride. About a mile down the road we get slowly overtaken by this giant tractor driving down the highway and I get a brilliant idea. Seeing as how the tractor is traveling only a bit faster than me and seeing as how it’s fucking massive and creates a huge draft behind it I figure I can tuck in close and ride the rest of the way with little to no effort. It worked, too! Kind of. It did indeed suck me along at a decent clip with very little effort on my part but I was being blasted with tiny hay particles the whole time. I could only stand about a mile of this before I had to give up and ride the rest of the way unassisted. It wasn’t so bad. We got to town, set up camp in the city park, showered off at the city pool and dropped our bikes of at the local bike shop for a little TLC. My bike has been producing this annoying ticking sound lately that’s been driving me insane but now he’s purring along beautifully. Good timing as tomorrow is looking to be mostly uphill and windy. No drinking for James tonight. I think. Stay tuned for the next edition of James and his Bike!

The true face of addiction.

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Too Drunk; Didn’t Read (TD;DR)

-Cowboys really like Flogging Molly. And whiskey…

-Double hangover. Mozzies. Misery

-Why can’ the whole route just be downhill?

-James gets face-fucked by a whirling vortex of horse food

-Forrest is happy

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