Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ride Day 30

I was on the road well before it was light out this morning because my plan was to ride 90 miles with over 3000 feet of climbing. The weather was predicted to be hot around 84 or more with relative humidity of under 20%. I ate in my room before I left and loaded myself down with 7 bottles of water. The day started well. I made my first twenty miles in just over an hour and stopped there to eat another breakfast. It was a giant wet breakfast burrito that was perfect for me. When I entered the freeway for the next leg of 20 miles the wind was just starting as a light breeze in my face. The light breeze quickly became a strong gusting problem for me. I lost about 8 to 10 mph on my speed. That made it feel like I was going uphill all morning and was sapping my strength. I figured when I turned off the wind would be easier. I was wrong, the wind changed direction just as I did and continued to slow me down and tire me out. The road was very desolate once I got off the freeway. I saw maybe a dozen vehicles all day until I got to Mcdonald Observatory where the traffic picked up. The ride was my most difficult day to date. The combination of headwinds and thousands of feet of climbing just about killed me. I had to use every motivational trick I know to keep going. The ride topped out at about 6300 feet or so and the high altitude was just making it worse. I had to stop and rest a lot because my heart rate was getting too high and my legs were turning into worthless weak rubbery nothings. I had no power or stamina all afternoon. I should have stopped and camped on the side of the road but I pushed on just very slowly. The scenery was all high arid desert scrub with lots of rocky mountains and outcroppings. There was very little sign of humans other than some cattle ranching. Most of the ranches however, killed off their herds over the last few years because the cattle were starving due to drought. I took a few pics but not many because I was so exhausted all day. I finally arrived at the summit and went to the observatory for a while. It is a good place to visit but I was too tired to appreciate it so I rode down the other side of the mountain to my campground and crashed. About an hour later my neighbor and I started talking and he invited me over for dinner. I had already eaten my food but I quickly said yes to more food. I need all the calories I can pack in. We talked over a casual dinner that hit the spot with some grilled veggies and chicken. I enjoyed the company and the food before I went to bed. About an hour after falling asleep the neighbors on the other side came back to their campsite and made a huge racket. It woke me up and ruined my good night of sleep. I watched the shooting stars from my open tent roof and finally went back to sleep. Tomorrow will be a short day of mostly flat and downhill. I need the rest

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