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 :(.

Brookside?

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

13 Responses to “Day 43: The End’s Not Near”

  1. mum says:

    Hi Rye,i really felt for you at joe,s departure, i can tell by your blogs what a strong friendship that has built up between you,but im sure like i said before you will all become lifelong friends after this . i,m glad you have still got terry to ride along with it makes me feel better knowing your not on your own,you must feel so lucky to have had the company of these lovely guys throughout your trip, keep enjoying,thinking about you luv mum xxx

  2. Helen says:

    Hi Ryan, Thank god the lightning didn’t hit you, but what a close call (definitely someone up there looking out for you). Sorry to hear that Joe has gone, but you’ve probably made a friend for life now and you will meet up again. The weather continues to stay warm over here and we’re all out at a barbie this evening. William has discovered football and has adopted Bradley’s old top with Michael Owen on the back (say no more) – we’ll have to sort him out with some decent kit – Middlesbrough – lol – your Dad would go crackers. Everyone great this end – stay safe and love you loads – Helen, Bradley and Will xxx

  3. Nate Dogg says:

    Ry you fool, I’m sure Autumn loves a man with thighs of STEEL 😛

  4. Gutters says:

    Hi Ryan, I had to leave this msg to say how almost fell off my chair laughing at the thought of how Joe “DESTROYED” the mens, ha ha.
    Sorry to see Joe go but I’m sure you guys will plan another trip together, hopefully blog and all. Keep your chin up and as Nate Dogg says, your a fool to let Autumn slip past you man. Not many guys can say they’ve have the swingers to cycle in a thunderstorm but then let a fine lady slip past. Great pics of Pueblo. Hope the bike shop overhauled the bikes good for the roads ahead!
    Good Luck man, safe journey

  5. Mike Anderson says:

    Ryan, sorry you lost another buddy but the bike fraternity is close and i’m
    sure you guys will ride together again. Enjoy the mountains

  6. Liam says:

    You now have legs like Mark Hughes or a snooker table

  7. ryan says:

    Legs like Steve Bould.

  8. Zee says:

    Dude, these blogs have been the highlight of my day for months now. The whole thing sounds amazing! Must be painful losing someone after riding with them non-stop for so long.

    Take it easy bud! (ps, next time don’t fanny out eh)

  9. Amy says:

    Ah well seeing as Joe missed it ya kno he is welcome anytime at our very own slice of Royal George! love it!

  10. Tony J says:

    LMAO, “Legs like Steve Bould”.

    Another great read and can imagine it must have been heart breaking to lose Joe! I’m sure you’ll come across other guys (or even cuter girls) along the trip to satisfy your egotistical ways! 😉 Haha.

    Keep on tr….riding matey!!

  11. keith says:

    Hiya rye,Sad to hear joe has moved on but i’m sure you will meet up again in the future.Can’t believe you bottled it with the cute chick,he who dares.Keep up the good work.

  12. Genevieve says:

    Loving the virtual journey, Ryan. Your blog is a daily ‘net destination.

    Does Joe have a blog of his own? If so, please pass along the addy!!!

    *waves* to kin across the pond

  13. Glen says:

    Legs more like Roberto Carlos..
    ‘Brookside’ don’t suppose you seen barry grant kickin about.
    Keep it up!!

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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

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