Average speed: 11.3 mph!
Vertical gain: ??
Today was a very pleasant day, much easier than I expected.
Almost all 32 miles were uphill, but it was gradual, and only occasionally steep for a short distance. I was able to spin the entire day, not even once having to put my foot down to catch my breath.
Admittedly, it was the first, and only, climb of the day. Also, it just wasn’t that tough. Nonetheless, I am struck by the fact that if I had had this exact climb 2 weeks into this trip, I would have been huffing and puffing the whole way, stopping frequently.
(It is worth noting that if this had been the second big climb of the day today, it may have been a whole different scenario.)
This morning was very interesting.
I knew it was going to be a short day, 6 hours max, so I was in no hurry to leave. (In the event, it turned out to be 4 hours.) I figured if I started pedaling by 10, I was in good shape. Then I thought, no, let’s get an early start and get there earlier.
It was about that time, 7:30, that I realize that my front blinky light needed charging. I should have plugged it in last night, but forgot. So I plugged it in now, and decided that okay, I guess I’m leaving at 10 after all. (Check out time from the motel was 10:30.)
The free breakfast that came with the motel was pretty inadequate, so instead, I put on my street clothes and sneakers, and walked 5 minutes into town. I ate at one of the local places, I forget the name, and had an omelette on an everything bagel, with coffee. It was really good.
Then back to the motel, where I commenced to finish my packing, when disaster struck. As I was packing the dry bag into which I put all my winter clothes, the bag tore. Fortunately, I had purchased a spare a week ago in Escalante. It just seemed that this was too important a piece of equipment, to not have a spare. Am I glad I did.
As it turns out, this was the one location where it did not matter if I had a spare or not, because I was in a town that had at least two stores that sold dry bags. Also, I had meant to top off the pressure in my tires, but forgot that as well.
So after packing the bike and leaving the motel, I rode to the first bike shop I visited yesterday, Tomichi Creek Cycles. The lone guy in the shop remembered me from yesterday, and was extremely friendly and helpful. He let me borrow the floor pump to pump up my tires. He also recommended where I should walk a block away to buy a new dry bag, and suggested I leave my bike there in the store while I did so. I took him up on that, and soon had a new, spare, dry bag.
I geared up and started riding a few minutes after 10 a.m. Four hours later, I was at my destination. It was an amazingly scenic ride, through the foothills of the Rockies.
My campsite is one of the prettiest I’ve had so far this trip. There’s grass with dandelions, mountains all around, snow covered peaks in the distance, and a fiercely babbling brook right next to my tent.
Dinner at the cafe was an elk meatloaf sandwich, which was superb.
Best of all, the place has a good selection of ice cream, and a bar where I can watch Game 7 of the Stanley Cup tonight. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Tomorrow is the big day, my first big pass, Monarch Pass. I am very psyched.