Falling, Apart (USA Day 55)
For the third morning running, we rose at four to get cycling before the heat, but this time the zap of excitement wasn’t there. We were exhausted, and had counted those pre-hatched chickens in the form of having already mentally arrived in Pueblo.
The ride started great: for the first twenty miles we had sufficient signal to listen to the BBC’s coverage of the Tour de France, as the peloton ascended the legendary Col Du Tourmalet. Sadly, (no spoilers), it wasn’t the result we wanted, and in our heated post-race discussion Amy collided with my back wheel and toppled to the soft verge. A bruised hip and ego were the only real injuries, but we slowed the pace considerably as our sleep-deprived brains grappled with a significant headwind: enough to make us both grumpy.
Next came a main road with a hard shoulder piled high with glass, which made for slow progress and provided me with a nasty shard of metal through my rear tyre. For those keeping count, this morning marked Amy’s first crash to my two, but my second puncture to Amy’s zero! As I replaced the inner tube by the side of this roaring road, the sun did its thing and my mood worsened, then took a real nosedive when the newly-fixed wheel waggled about unevenly and my bike skipped as I rode. I got half a mile before throwing a tantrum and spending the good part of an hour outside a gas station trying to fix it, blaming (in no particular order) the inner tube, the tyre, the spokes, Amy, myself, the sun and Boris Johnson for the problem, before giving up and resolutely riding into Pueblo on a broken bike. Least happy about all of this was my bum, who received ten miles of unpleasant jolts between there and the nearest bike shop.
Well, the bike shop were lovely. They re-trued the loose spokes (Amy’s fault) and evened out the tyre placement (that’s on Boris), and as we cooled down in the shop we picked up a new pair of padded gloves and a rope with which to elevate our food up a tree when camping in the mountains. You know, to give the bears a fun game to distract them while we run away, or something.
That was our last day without serious climbing until…well…maybe November? Great to know we made such tough work out of it. Tomorrow, the Rockies.
Today: 53 Miles
Total: 2601 Miles