Day 42 Pueblo Rest Day

Fixed handlebar tape, oiled the chain, and did an inspection of the bike. More laundry today.

We walked a mile and a half to Dillard’s and bought shirts that might be a bit cooler the the bike jerseys.

Met the “BOB’s” downtown for pizza using a cab both way. Good conversation and Mike’s wife Paula had flown in for the weekend.

Tomorrow will go off route and take US 50 to Canon City. A shorter, safer, flatter route than ACA’s route. Probably miss some good scenery and an awesome climb:(

Day 41 Ordway to Pueblo 55 miles

Easy day so no hurry to hit the road until 7:00 am. Wind did not help much today like it was thought to. None the less made good time. Seeing the mountains now so that is a great change form Kansas and eastern Colorado.

Rode with Hank and Dave into Pueblo. Hank is headed to Seattle and Dave is riding the Western Express and Sierra Cascade segments.

Tomorrow is a rest day and not sure what I’ll be doing yet.

Day 41 Eads to Ordway 62 miles

Hot and windy. Just another normal day of riding the TransAm. 106 noted on the bike computer temperature reading. We left at 5:30 am and had a tough ride against the wind and heat. Nothing to note about nothing. Few services.

Staying at Ordway Hotel which like the Eads motel is full of bicycle tourists.

Tomorrow Pueblo and a rest day.

Day 39 Dighton to Leoti 48 miles

Good ride today. “Camping” in Susan’s to be yoga studio. She and her mother painting. With Hank,  Lee, and Joyce (Lee’s wife).

 

Update

The yoga studio is on main street Leoti about a quarter block from a 4 way stop. Because there was no air conditioning we had the doors open most of the night. The trucks don’t seem to sleep and they were gearing up and down at the stop signs every few minutes. To me it seemed like the trucks were falling apart with all the noise they were making. Well the next morning I learned that they were cattle trucks and when they have to stop all the cows scramble to keep standing and from sliding around. Then its a repeat as the trucks start up again. Not much sleep that night.

Day 38 Ness City to Dighton 31 miles

On the road at 5:00am with lights running. 75 and steady wind blowing SSW. Wind continued to shift around to WSW as I rode west to Dighton 31 miles away. Speed dropped off continuously as the wind picked up. At the end I was stopping every mile to ease the arms and shoulders from fighting the wind. Stopping one time I fell as a gust (30 mph) hit the bike just right to dump me. The wind is now 21 out of WSW and gusting to 30.
The three “bobs” made it in but three others and myself were sweep up by a couple of pickups. I was out 4 miles and the others were picked up earlier.

Today was a day not to have four panniers hanging off your bike. The quartering headwind made it a billboard jib that with gusting winds just whipped the whole bike around. The three “bobs” had some of the side wind effect but nothing like those of us with panniers. BTW all the “bobs” rode the distance having started 25 minutes after me. That includes 78 yo Mike.

Tomorrow’s options are 32 miles to Scott City, 48 miles to Leoti, or 70 miles to Tribune. We’ll see what Mr. wind says.

Day 37 Great Bend to Ness City 63 miles

Up at 4:30 am and fixed oatmeal and coffee for breakfast. Packed and was on the road at 5:30 am with lights on. Fast ride to Rush Center with first a tailwind and later quartering wind pushing. Some hills before Rush Center but nothing bad with the wind assist.

After Rush Center the wind slowly turned onto a head wind and temperatures steadily rose to the mid 90s. Was done just around noon and checked into motel.

Made a stop at the Alexander rest stop. Otherwise did the 10 mile butt breaks but no cafe/gas station stops.

So far eight other riders in town so far and it is early in the day.

Tomorrow could be brutal with a very strong quartering headwind and 105 high. 55 miles and hoping for a 7 mph average. That is an 8 hour day. To get done before noon means a 4 am start.

Day 36 Great Bend Rest Day

Looks like there is a heat wave this week! But not to worry. It doesn’t stop the wind from doing it’s thing. On top of that it looks like the sun wants to come out and play too.

This is going to mean earlier starts and maybe shorter days. The big worry is carrying enough fluids in this kind of weather. I am going to try carrying 80 oz of Gatorade in addition to three water bottles.

Bought some heavy duty sunscreen and lip balm because I can burn up pretty fast. Time for the sun sleeves to come out.

Day 35 Sterling to Great Bend 42 miles

In camp last night learned that Larned is jammed up with some event. Not good for a refresh day. Re-route through Big Bend so I could get a hotel. It turns out this will be a shortcut to Ness City. Also it will be a shorter day and have more services.

Going to bed last night the was a big weather cell hanging southwest of us and expected a thunderstorm and rain during the night. But woke up dry and with a good sleep at 5 am. Packed up and on the road by 6:20 am.

Headed north on KS 96 to US 56 west to Great Bend. Strong wind put of the south. A mole or so out Sterling the was a sign to Alden via paved county road. I looked at my state map and saw going that way I could almost get to Great Bend on back roads. The last three or so miles would be on US 281. So I went to Alden where I opened the cafe for breakfast. Then it was on to Raymond and then west to US 281. Very quiet roads.

As time went on the wind kept getting stronger and stronger. For while I thought turn the tires around to even the wear from leaning into wind. Towards he junction with US 281 the gusts were stalling me out.

Turned north on US 281 and it would put a smile on anyone. Wide butter smooth asphalt shoulder with a 20 mph wind at your back.

I hope there is some redeeming aspect to the ACA route besides quiet roads because my route today would be hard to beat.

Day 34 Newton to Sterling 60 miles

Woke up at 3 am and decided to move on because of the wind patterns. Sunday wind is out of west. Good layover day in Larned. Today wind out of NNW. Not ideal but maybe I can lessen the rain chance Saturday by moving west today. Saturday winds out of the south pretty hard.

Did laundry, fixed handlebar wrap and oiled chain. Haircut will wait. Now waiting for breakfast at 6 am. Should be on road by 7.

Was on the road by 6:30 am and it was a good ride all the way to Sterling. Wind was pushing or not and issue all the way and it was mainly flat. It did warm up a bit towards the end.

First stop was the Mustard Seed in Buhler and snatched the last cinnamon roll of the day. Second stop was a convenience store in Nickerson.

Sleeping on the ground in Sterling city park. Nice area next to pool for showers. Free tent camping. Free mosquitoes too.

Using public library to update this. Next is a shopping spree at the grocery store for tomorrows ride to Larned as there are no services.

Hoping the rain holds off tomorrow and the south winds are reasonable.