Archive for July, 2010

Day 50: What’s Wrong With Jeffrey?

Friday, July 16th, 2010

70.00 miles (Total: 2744.85) Avg Speed: 12.5mph Max Speed: 34mph

The early riding again was great, I’am really enjoying Wyoming. About a week ago we had past an Eastbounder who told us to get out of Wyoming as quick as possible because its just a desert! He was from L.A which in my books is the worst place on earth so what does he know? Clear skies and perfect heat forecast, again with none of the headwinds we had been told about.

Morning guys.

The scenery rapidly changed again into something resembling more of the wild west with red rock formations, mesas and buttes sticking out amongst the flat landscape. We approached a cafe for some lunch which turned out to be closed and then pressed on towards the next services at Muddy Gap. We encountered a group of 5 female cyclists who warned us strongly against staying in Jeffrey City where we had planned to stay. It wasn’t the first time we had been told this and they gave us some more negative stories about the town. They seemed like a miserable bunch though and all this bad press for Jeffrey City has made me intrigued to the point at which I WANT to stay.

The roadside turned to sand.

Stuck between rumble strips and rubble.

Wyoming is beautiful

We got refreshments at Muddy Gap, it was the only services for miles around so everything was treble the price. A bunch more people got talking to us including a dad and his son about my age. He jokingly slapped his son on the head and said “Why aren’t you doing something like this!”. We continued to Jeffrey City now almost excited to see what the fuss is about. We know this, it was once a uranium mining town with a population around 7,000. It went bust and is now a ghost town with about 70 people. Once we arrived we headed to the cafe/bar, a few sorry looking locals are in there each strangely sat behind a laptop playing online gambling games. One elderly woman was even playing Warcraft! It seems this is literally the whole town, every other building is closed. We sat and had some beers whilst making use of the wifi. We talked with a guy who had just gotten out of jail after 6 months for what he said was running a stop sign. It all made for great people watching and we spent about 4 hours inside before heading over the street to the old Lions Clubhouse.

The Old Lions Club

It had an outdoor pavillion and a derilict building. Mosquito’s swamped you outside so we opted to head indoors. The place looked as though it had literally been left behind the day the town went bust with papers and books dating back to the 80’s. The building had no electricity or water but we had stocked up on the latter in the bar. One end had a toilet block which must have been left for some time and now kicked up abit of an odour. At the other end of the building however it was fine. Terry cooked some pasta and we set our tents up inside anyway to avoid the bugs. It may not be a nice place but I’m glad we stayed hear and ignored the naysayers. Its free afterall and was probably the most unique evening of my trip so far. If you have to stay in Jeffrey, don’t be scared.

Home for the night.

Day 49: 49 on the 49th

Friday, July 16th, 2010

49.62 miles (Total: 2674.85) Avg Speed: 11.4mph Max Speed: 23.5mph

When I woke at 6am the sun was shining through my tent and it seemed pretty nice outside but when I eventually emerged at 6:30 to Terry cooking breakfast a dense fog had covered the place, blotting out the sun. It was icey cold and I ended up sitting inside my sleeping bag at the bench waiting for an hour or so for the sun to finally burn through. My breakfasts with Terry have been great, I would have probably eaten very different on occasions if it wasn’t for him.

Standard breakfast from Terry, Bagel, Oats & Tea

The early riding was great, Wyoming has a fresh feel to it just like most states seem to manage. I was cruising happily with my iPod this morning and was glad to see clear skies after having to dodge storms more than I would have liked recently.

Today I will mostly be listening too the Monsters of Folk album.

We stopped at Walcott for a quick snack knowing today wasn’t going to be that long. A convoy of vans carrying a large family on a road trip turned up and asked where we were riding too. The usual shocked response was soon followed by an offer of food and water but we had just restocked. We then had to ride for the first time on the interstate, I’m not even sure if its legal but the maps tell us too! Traffic was medium-light and we had a nice wide shoulder, Wyoming is actually the least populated state which is maybe why we can ride it.

After passing through Sinclair, which is essentially an oil refinery with a housing estate in the back garden we arrived in Rawlins and headed for the bike shop, I wanted my spokes looked at and we needed some supplies. There were 3 young kids aged about 10 in the shop looking at the BMX bikes, they soon started asking me questions. The chubby one was the spokesman for the group and kept referring to my bike riding as driving. “Where have you driven from, where are you driving too.” They were drooling over one special edition bike for $350 but I told them it was a long way from Christmas. It seemed like they were considering pitching in to share the bike, either way it was funny watching and talking with them. I told them not to be so astonished at what I was doing because if they remained friends there is no reason they can’t do the same thing together when they grow up.

I want one.

Rawlins, Wyoming

We had split a cheap motel room which I went back to after grabbing food while Terry continued to shop. I sat and watched TV for a while which I haven’t done all trip really apart from the England games and then got an early nights sleep, double bed to myself is a rare treat.

Day 48: Riding The Storm

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

70.70 miles (Total: 2625.23) Avg Speed: 11.8mph Max Speed: 34.5mph

Before leaving Walden we returned to last nights place for breakfast. They had wifi too so I could catch up on some blogging, bonus. After starting the ride I soon realised we were going to have to dodge storms again. Creepy looking clouds were pillowing above my head and growing darker by the second.

This thing chased me like the black smoke of LOST

It wasn’t until after reaching the Wyoming state sign that things got ugly. I set my camera up ready, waited for Terry to catch up had him snap my picture quick as the rain started to drop. I then roared on, I was going pretty fast today and was determined to ride out the storm. A few miles down the road I caught the edge of it, so before it soaked me through I pulled my bike off the road and got under my tent. Terry caught up a little while later wet through just as it started to pass.

State No.7 Yeeeeehaaaaaaw!

On the edge.

Trail Mix disaster at the worst possible time.

It teased us right through to Riverside, everytime I would look back towards Terry it seemed to be engulfing him. After stopping and eating in Riverside we found a bunch of eastbounders. Our destination for the night was Saratoga and they informed us of the hot springs there. Unlike in Hot Sulphur Springs, these ones were free!

We pressed on the last 20 or so miles to Saratoga in calmer skies and after arriving followed the signs in town to the ‘Hobo Pool’. The springs were adjoined to the city swimming pool. There was a more glamorous looking section by the river which was full but we went for a dunk in the standard section. It took me several minutes to ease my way in from ankle to knee, to waist before finally submerging. Wyoming has several areas with incredible geothermal activity, most notably Yellowstone national park where I will be in about a week. It was so hot but once I was in my whole body tingled like crazy. I boiled for around 10 minutes before retreating to the showers feeling rejuvenated.

We passed through town to find the campground by the lake for $3.50 each. My tent was still wet from using it as a shield from the storm so I hung it in the tree to dry out before Terry cooked up some pasta in pesto. The sunset over the lake was intense and I watched it dip below the horizon before I went off to bed wearing nearly all items of clothing I have with me to avoid a repeat of the last time we camped.

Day 47: The Cop, The Bad & The Ugly

Monday, July 12th, 2010

74.45 miles (Total: 2554.53) Avg Speed: 10.6mph Max Speed: 37mph

Today had the first genuine low point of the trip, it started badly and proceeded to get worse. I rolled out of my tent around 7am to the freezing cold, the inside of my tent had condensed so badly it dripped from the roof if I shook it. Me and Terry stood in the sunlight the second it rose among the trees to get warm. Having only a splash in the river last night for a wash I wasn’t feeling particularly clean, the porta-loo on camp wasn’t either. We went into town in search of breakfast to find everything shut down. The liquor store Terry went to last night was the only thing open. It seemed bizarre as it was a nice town which cleary had some tourist pull with the canyon and hot springs, there were at least 3-4 motels.

After wasting about an hour riding around town for food we realised our only option was to ride 3.5 miles off route to Granby, in total a 7 mile detour. On empty stomachs we rode on when only a few miles down the road a white pick-up came roaring past us sounding his horn violently. These occasions have been pretty rare all trip so we didn’t think anything of it, just another driver who feels cyclists have no right to be on the road. We see him pull in just ahead of us so I brace myself with one of those furrowed brow type aggressive chav face’s to show I’m angry and mean business. I roll past his truck without incident, he is on the phone. Me and Terry carry on bewildered but a further mile up the road we see a police car sirens blaring signalling for us to pull over with the white truck driver just behind him.

He steps out with the usual artillery strapped around his waist and comes strutting over. The pick up driver is about to join him when he shouts back to stay in his vehicle. He then informs us of the complaint put forward by the driver that we were cycling in the middle of the road, whereas we were as usual hugging the right hand side as much as possible trying to avoid the glass and debris on the edge of the road. He tells us the citation is all he needs to right us up a ticket which we would then have to defend in court. This is insane, he is threatening us with this based on one crazy drivers say so. The guy tries to walk over again and the cop tells him to back away, apparently he had to be calmed down several times as he was so angry about us riding on the road.

Once the cop gets our identification and realises this could be more hassle for him than its worth he goes to talk to the guy and then returns again. At that point I predict to Terry exactly how this will play out.The truck driver wanted to demonstrate some power and will now back down as to look like the good guy in the situation ‘letting us off’. I tell the cop I’m willing to apologise to the guy so he is then summoned. Me and Terry then have to grovel to the maniac who nearly just ran us down before he finally does as expected and says he is willing to let us go. The cop with a smug grin thinks he’s done a good job resolving the situation and we have to swallow any pride and ‘thank’ him for the cooperation. Its going to take weeks to shower the slime of my skin.

The whole ordeal takes about and hour and a half, at this point we have barely got going and are starving. After reaching Granby we grab gas station breakfast and push on. We entered the station for one entrance and blindly left it from the other which lead us onto the wrong road. It looked so similar we didn’t realise till about 4 miles up when the expected turn wasn’t coming. We head back to Granby in foul moods. This is the first wrong turn I’ve taken all trip. After getting back to the route we have done around 15 miles without even starting the days ride and its midday.

To make matters worse this was going to be a taxing day anyway with lots of climbing and then another pass. We wound our way up into the mountains again still furious with the morning. Some of the scenery was magnificent but I was barely looking at it. After plodding up to the peak we finally felt some accomplishment for the day and readily looked forward to what promised to be a gentle 30 mile downhill towards Walden. The elevation profile lied, after one initial downhill we had to climb back up again and this continued for a few more climbs before it eventually levelled out. It still seemed like tough work though and it wasn’t helped by the expansion cracks in the road every few feet which meant we had to almost break and crawl over each one. Whenever we stopped for just a few seconds a swarm of mosquito’s attacked so we just had to ride on. It was at this point when my head dropped and I had negative thoughts for the first time in the trip. Terry could tell something was up and asked if I was feeling alright.

The miles crawled up as we averaged around 8mph limping towards Walden, I thought it was never going to come. Finally we see the sign and I let out a groan of relief. The city park offers camping but we both know its going to be a motel night so we get booked in at the first one we see, it has a laundrette and a hot tub. Much deserved. Finally cleansed and able to laugh off the events earlier in the day I’m amazed at how quickly things can turn around. 30 minutes ago I was cursing to the sky having the worst ride yet, now I’m happy as Larry. We treat ourselves further to a nice restaurant meal in town then I crash out asleep at the motel whilst Terry blogs away into the night. Today could only make us stronger for the rest of the trip.

Insane Colorado clouds.

Me and Walter the Bear.

Day 46: Cold Sulphur Springs

Monday, July 12th, 2010

58.77 miles (Total: 2480.08) Avg Speed: 11.7mph Max Speed: 38mph

After leaving the nice lodge we continued on a busy SR9, it was a cool morning so the wind-breakers were donned. I glided past a really sweet looking knife on the side of the road and wished I had picked it up for bear protection. I then realised Terry would DEFINITELY pick it up when he went by. Sure enough I stopped a little further down the road and waited for him, when he caught up he brandished it. The knife was etched with ‘Ozark Trail’, appropriate, it should be useful around camp.

Morning at the lodge.

At one point SR9 left the route although it seemed to make sense to stay on it. The country road the maps directed us onto seemed to go up into the hills and right around the lake. After deciding not to dissobey the map in fear of missing something special we crawled up hill after hill looking down on the cars flying along the nice and flat SR9. There were some nice views of the reseviour but nothing that could have been had from SR9, thanks Adventure cycling for adding 3 miles and unnecessary hills.

We did get to ride across the dam, although when I stopped in the middle of it to take a picture the security guy rolled up straight away and told me to move. I guess he had nothing better to do seen as how there wasn’t a car went past on this road. I said OK before proceeding to take the picture I felt the extra leg work was worth anyway. He didn’t look impressed.

The Dam


Once we arrived in Kremmling I opted straight for a Shake ‘n’ Burger. Calories stocked, I felt good to push onto the next town and so did Terry. So we set out once again this time for Hot Sulphur Springs. I was absolutely cruising around 17mph when a women pulled up slowly alongside me and asked for directions to Denver! I said I didn’t have a clue but she continued to ask me if the current road went towards Denver, I don’t no! The ride then took us alongside the Colorado River before bending into a stunning and rather unexpected canyon. I rolled through the last 10 miles amazed at the fascinating rock face I was housed between.

Thinking of trading the bike in...

Hot Sulphur Springs

After reaching Hot Sulpher springs we scouted out the city park that offered free camping. It was a nice place resembling more of a private campground than a free one, with individual tree shaded sites alongside the river. They have hot springs here which they charge you $18 to use which seems crazy for a natural phenomenon, so we passed and settled for the river. Mosquito’s were out in force, the first time its been noticable on the trip at least. After lathering myself in Terry’s tropical strength repellent I got the fire going to smoke them out of the place. Terry had went to the shop and asked when my birthday was, I said November. He handed me the shopping bag and said “that’s your early birthday present then”. It was a pack of Newcastle Brown Ale to sup over dinner. We cooked up some pasta and sat by the roaring fire until dark.


I went to bed in a t-shirt and boxers neglecting the fact this is the highest elevation we had camped at. The fire had fooled me into thinking it was a warm night, I could soon see my own breath and began to shake. I put a few more layers on then zipped myself up to the throat in my sleeping bag and pull the hood over my head. It was like being back at Uni with heating strictly turned off in the Newcastle winter, I can deal with this.

Day 45: Happy Birthday America!

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

44.22 miles (Total: 2421.31) Avg Speed: 11.2mph Max Speed: 37.5mph

After a snug nights sleep I wandered downstairs to probably the best continental breakfast I had ate all trip. I started with cereal, then moved onto eggs, sausage and omelette followed by watermelon and banana all sandwiched between several glasses of fresh orange and coffee. It was July 4th, the USA’s birthday. A humbling experience seeing as how they were celebrating the independence from defeating the British, I sat and pondered how different things could have been for us if the French weren’t involved, but soon resolved I wouldn’t change a thing.

Happy Birthday America!

The big breakfast was essential as only 10 miles into the ride this morning we would be hitting Hoosier Pass. People walked around with smiles wishing each other a good day. Being a Sunday and a national holiday the roads were busy but leaving town we had a bike path all the way to the foot of the climb.

I could see the road snaking up the mountain to the pass, this is it, 4 miles of bottom gear climbing and I will have reached the highest point on the Transamerica Trail. I begin fast and just focussing on my breathing, it seems as though no matter how hard I breathe my lungs still feel empty. 2 miles up I stop for a few brief pictures then hook up the iPod to take me over the pass. I need something to get me in the zone, I opt for some Phoenix and one of their more ambient tunes.

This was it, just me an the mountain. If I can do this I can do anything, I watch the digits on my cyclometer notch up one by one, the scenery is breathtaking. I see a bend in the road up ahead, I eak my way around to see the Hoosier Pass sign and I almost laugh. Is that it? Is that all you got! Piece of cake, the Appalachian’s are a beast not to be underestimated but the Rockies as everyone says are gradual and not all that bad to be honest. At the top I have a look around, people are driving up in their cars, getting out to have their picture taken with the sign then driving off. Seems a little hollow, but I guess we can’t all take months off to ride bikes. I have time to eat a Cliff bar and people watch for a while longer before seeing Terry’s head slowly edge up to the pass.

Hoosier Pass, highest point on the Transamerica Trail.

After the early leg work it was time for the fun part, we would be descending for the next day or two so I warned my breaks in advance. After flying back down the other side we made it to the happening town of Breckenridge. This was the kind of Colorado town I had envisioned before the trip. Super fit people cruising about on their carbon fiber bikes. Nice town, nice shops, nice food joints. We stopped and had some thai food for lunch. From Breckenridge right through Silverthorne there is a dedicated bike path away from the busy highway. Unfortunately as it was the holidays every man and his dog were making use of it so I ended up going around 9mph for the most part trying not to ride into the back of babies in bob trailers.

Time for the downhill.

Ski runs in summer.

Breckenridge, CO

Town was crowded with July 4th celebrations.

I took tons of pictures today...

Bark Beetle infestation had killed some of the trees.

Typical homes in the area.

The campsites were all full around the lake due to July 4th fireworks displays scheduled for the evening. This left us in a pickle, we knew of a hostel/lodge from the maps in the neighbouring town of Silverthorne but after going there we found a current resident who said the owners were out fishing on the lake and wouldn’t be back till 6pm. We checked in with the police to see if it was ok to camp at the city park, the recreational area had the usual toilets, showers and pavilion. They were happy for us to camp but said they couldn’t let us because the nearby residents would phone in and complain if they saw tents. After procrastinating for some time we returned to the Riverside Lodge & Hostel to find a guy outside unloading his car. “Are you the owner?” I asked and he immediately replied “need a place to stay?”. The lodge was owned by a few people and mainly housed people on short term contract work. BBQ was already on the go as the owners family were using the place for their July 4th celebrations, $20 each for a room, shower, beer and food. DONE!


Riverside Lodge

I watched the fireworks on TV.

The food was amazing, the meat literally fell off the bone and disolved in your mouth, pasta, potato salad and chocolate brownies for dessert. One of the other residents sat with us drinking a bottle of Yukon Jack whiskey, he was french-canadian and talked to me an Terry about rugby, football and hockey before repeating himself with the exact same stories. It was funny and ended the night with a few laughs. I retired to a double bed all to myself, today was a great day. Life is good.

Day 44: South Park

Friday, July 9th, 2010

68.39 miles (Total: 2377.09) Avg Speed: 10.4mph Max Speed: 37mph

After some gentle stuff yesterday the real climbing would begin today, starting the morning at around 6000ft and finish at 10,000ft. We rolled out of the campsite after a light breakfast, Terry making me some oats and a cup of tea as usual, cheers cobba. The grades got steep pretty quick but I simply geared down low and spinned my way up. Terry in Pueblo had talked to a cycling coach from the USA Olympic Team. After explaining my recent spoke issues the guy asked if I like to stand alot whilst I ride, which I do regularly! Apparently this is a major cause of broken spokes especially when carrying a load. So now I’m ‘spinning for spokes sake’ in my lowest gears over any uphills. It has slowed me down a touch but I don’t mind if it solves the problem.

Leaving campsite

Looking back down the climb.

There were a few nasty pinches early on but for the most part I found them easier than the Appalachians in Virginia as expected. The hard thing to stomach in Virginia was that any climbing you did was almost immediately lost with big downhill and you had to start all over again. Getting into the Rockies you gain elevation but don’t lose any, it just levels out at parts than goes up some more. The landscape was fast becoming grand and epic, the air was thinning but it was fresher than anything I remember inhaling before. At 22 miles we took a detour to the small town of Guffey, a known TransAm cycle stop. A 70 year old dutch couple were in the Bull Moose Restaurant we went to for lunch, they had started a few weeks before us and taking fairly short days, their in no hurry for anybody.


This afternoon we rolled inbetween two storms either side of us but somehow managed in avoiding them both, they seem to crop up in the afternoon so it may be an idea to start riding a little earlier. Over a few more ridges an I finally got my first glimpse of some snow capped peaks. I couldn’t take my eyes of them for the rest of the riding down to Hartsel. This was a whacky area of Colorado, joint with the next town of Fairplay where we would be staying it made up the area known as South Park, as in the setting for the TV show. Accomodation for the night was the Hand Hotel, an old building that had been restored with a really cosy finish. I was expecting a fairly rural town but what we found was a busy tourist town with plenty of bars and a few restaurants. Tomorrow is July 4th so everybody was in jolly mood, me and Terry headed over to the steakhouse where I got the the steak salad, perfect. At 10,000ft I thought I felt slightly nauseous but it was probably all in my head. One thing I did notice however is that just running up the hotel stairs had me panting for breath, Hoosier pass tomorrow will take us a further 1,500ft higher and its the highest point on the Transamerica Trail. Bring it on.

Yes, thats a dog driving.

Day 43: The End’s Not Near

Friday, July 9th, 2010

60.41 miles (Total: 2308.70) Avg Speed: 11.8mph Max Speed: 35mph

Me and Joe woke and had our final early morning netbook session. Today was the day Joe left us but first we had 30 more miles of riding until the big split at Wetmore. We went across to Subway for breakfast, Joe destroyed the men’s but he blamed somebody else. So bad I had to sneak into the women’s, nobody was about.

Immediately after leaving Pueblo the scenery changed, it was like riding another planet. Strange rock formations and new shrubs cropped up on the sides of the road. There was a storm brewing in the mountains up ahead, they are notorious for cropping up suddenly out of nowhere. Before long we started climbing heading straight for it and soon enough we began to get blasted with strong rain that turned briefly to hail. Thunder started to rumble followed by a few flashes of lightening. At this point I could see Joe near the top of the climb about to head round the corner, Terry was a way behind me. I waited for the next flash to count how far the thunder was but was then jolted when a huge crack deafened me. The lightening had just struck the road right infront of me. I almost crapped my pants, riding a chunk of metal through a storm is nerve racking. I remember Terry saying he had to take shelter under his tent in a previous storm. So I hopped of my bike, lent it against the guard rail with the water now gushing downhill from the rain covering my feet. I jog down the hill to Terry, Joe has disappeared in the distance, he leave his bike by the road too and we take cover under his tent on the grass until it eases up.

I took no pictures during the storm, this was it in the distance near the start of the ride.

We get back on the road as the edge of the storm passes over, when I get back to my bike I see the water still gushing downhill tangling any weeds it carries inbetween my wheels. After making it to the top of the climb we cruise down to Wetmore to find Joe waiting for us at the point in which he turns off. We were all rocked by what just happened. Joe said his arms we tingling whilst Terry said he felt the lightening strike like a physical blow when it hit the ground. Safe and sound, it was time for goodbyes. I was sad to be losing Joe but because I’m hard as nails didn’t show it. Over the past month or so we had reduced each other to tears of laughter several times, usually in busy restaurants. Our humour seemed to match up perfectly and it made any strenuous riding negligible. I have no doubts we will meet and ride again some day.

Team USA & Team GB United

After departing me and Terry enjoyed a 12 mile downhill cruise to Florence, CO for a much needed lunch stop. We laid our things out to dry infront of the restaurant much to the bemusement of onlookers, I didn’t care. The afternoon from here would see us climbing gradually as we start to enter the Rockies. First stop was Canon City. After skirting round town for a while looking for a grocery store to get supplies for dinner we couldn’t find one so settled for YET ANOTHER SUBWAY :(.


Terry had managed to get us a spot at a campsite that usually require a minimum 3 night stay on holiday weekends but it was still on the pricey side at $30, a heated pool and wifi helped the situation. It was nested amongst several other popular tourist sites as it sat right above Royal George state park. After climbing this afternoon the elevation meant tonight was actually going to be cool enough for me to finally get into my sleeping bag. Probably the comfiest I have been in my tent all trip. I wonder where Joe is? and Cooper! It strange to get my head around the fact they are both still riding somewhere. Sleep.

Royal Gorge

Day 42: El Resto

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

We take the bikes down to Great Divide bike shop in Pueblo. The staff as always with cross country tourers are extremely accomodating despite been fully booked up with work. Within minutes of handing the bike over I see the mechanic in the workshop get cracking straight away. Me and Joe head to a coffee shop for a relax and wifi session to update blogs. After sitting drinking smoothies and eating wraps for a while we get a call to say our bikes are all fixed up and ready to go. I give Cooper a call to see what he was up too. He is back on the trail after the wedding and was just about to enter Kansas, so probably the 8-9 days behind us he had anticipated being.


Great Divide Bike Shop

After returning to the motel with the bikes we all crashed out and had a half hour nap, my muscles didn’t no what was going on. First no bike ride now midday sleeping, it was heaven. Later we returned to the Shamrock Brewing Company again for dinner, I ordered the Buffalo Burger this time expecting a gamey taste but it pretty much tasted like a normal burger. We sipped some more brews an talked about the trip so far, Tomorrow me an Terry will be splitting from Joe has he detours onto the western express trail whilst me and Terry head north on the TransAm. We have known this day was coming for a while but now it was happening and nobody could hide their dissapointment. I had considered the Western Express but decided against it, I’ve already seen that part of the country and I wanted to do the classic and originial Transamerica trail. Joe is pressed for time and really keen to go across Utah and Nevada so the Western Express was ideal as it is around 10 days shorter in riding.

A quick note about comments: I can’t tell you how much it makes my day to find fresh comments awaiting approval (I have to do that to avoid spam) after a long days slog. Especially from those people who I don’t even know, just because I’m cycling across a continent it doesn’t mean anybody should care, so I really appreciate it. Keep them coming and I will try to keep my end of the bargain by updating this thing, it tends to be a few days behind where I actually am.

Day 41: To Pueblo

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

91.45 miles (Total: 2248.29) Avg Speed: 10.9mph Max Speed: 23mph

Two other eastbounders turned up to Haswell late last night after we had gone to bed, we talked for a while then went for another gas station breakfast. Today was Pueblo or bust for all of us. As we got going I did everything I could to make it a smooth ride for my bike, distributing my weight over any bumps and keep my gears low and wheels spinning nicely.

Spider made a home in my lid.

Me an Joe kept each other amused as usual but they were nervous laughs. Can I really go 90+miles further to Pueblo missing two rear spokes? Eastern Colorado is desolate and baron. It seems as though nothing moves or breathes, complete silence. All that can be heard is each others chains slowly turning over each tooth in the crank. The miles clock up an before long were halfway with Pueblo seeming tangible. We stop at a service station and check over the bikes, Joe looking increasingly concerned with his other tyre. What happened next was astonishing. We go in to pick up some Gatorade and guess who is right there, ROD! Whats more, he has his bike in his car and offers Joe the other tyre because he just got two new ones. We sit and laughed with Rod some more and encourage him to take the ride bike to South Carolina again once he is finished.

Back on the road, we all start to get excited about not only putting our bikes in for a service but the fact we plan on taking a rest day in Pueblo because its been two weeks since our last. After taking a wrong turn and having to turn back we realised we had been cruising on a tailwind because now it was in our faces. Despite been so close my moral started to dip, everything hurt and I was mentally exhausted from concentrating so hard on the riding all day and listening for any unwelcome pings or snaps. Finally we made the city limit. Pueblo as the name may suggest has a very hispanic feel to it. It looked like it had more character than Carbondale so should make for an interesting day tomorrow. We found a motel and dumped our gear rejoicing in the unlikeness of making it on our wounded bikes.

String for spokes.

After cleaning up Joe found us a nice place to eat and drink online, The Shamrock Brewing Company & Restaurant. We strolled into town all smiles and my day was made when I found the days special was all you can eat fish and chips. The brews were great and the food just as good, we hobbled back to the motel with swollen bellies and crashed out knowing we don’t have to sit in the saddle all day tomorrow.

Gang on the prowl.

Joe Meyer no longer needs a tyre.

What's this?

My name is Ryan Anderson, in Summer 2010 I rode my bike across America. Starting on the east coast in Yorktown, VA and finishing in Florence, OR. Read more


Previous Entries

Previous Months