Friday, May 21, 2010

Record highs and record lows

The past couple of days have been pretty interesting. I suppose I will
start off with the bad news. Lenora unortunately has dropped off the
trip. Due to the schedule getting down to the wire and her knee
problems not getting any better, she has been struggling to keep
going. Unfortunately, we are unable to extend the schedule to a
comfortable pace as our emergency days off have worn too thin.

Yesterday we broke our mileage record again by going 112 miles from
fort Davis to sanderson. I woke up to be the recipient of the days
morning mystery flat, which has become quite the ritual lately. We
were served breakfast from our wonderful hosts before hitting the
road. The day started off pretty well, the ride to alpine was fairly
scenic. Once we got to alpine we hit up the grocery and a bike shop so
I could get a new deraellieur (which I still have not had time to

After leaving alpine the rest of the day was pretty boring. The ride
was pretty easy until we got about 15 miles outside of sanderson where
we got caught in an awful head wind. We were already exhausted so this
was like the nail in the coffin as we were almost there. During that
15 miles I seriously thought I wasn't going to make it. This is the
first time of the entire trip that I seriously didn't think I could go
on. However, we all struggled through it, but by the end everyone was
super cranky. That day ended up being the deal breaker for Lenora

However, lucky for her, today was much much worse haha. She definitely
chose the right time to dip out because today was for real the
absolute worst day of the entire trip.

We got up after sleeping terribly due to loud ass winds all night and
traffic from the nearby road. Also, it was humid as shit so everytime
I woke up my entire body was covered in slime. Anyway, we got our shit
together and started riding only to realize we had the same exact
shitty head wind and we were most likely going to have it all day. Let
me tell you, this was by far the strongest head wind we had ever
ridden in. It was even worse than the night before when I thought I
couldn't go on.

With no other choice we kept going at an exhaustingly slow pace. We
rode about 20 miles before stopping in dryden to get some lunch. The
only thing in the entire store that we could eat was condensed cambels
tomato soup which we ate straight out of the can dipping peanut butter
crackers in it.

We consulted the map to see how far it was to the next town only to
see that it was 40 miles. We still really had no choice but to ride
even though we were both already dead from the first 20. Lucky for us,
the winds only got stronger as the day continued. It seriously felt
like we were getting physically slammed by boards or something as we
were getting plastered by 20-40 mph winds for 40 miles. My favorite
points in the day were when I was pedeling as hard as I could down
mega descents only to go 9mph. These were descents that I would
regularly go 28 to 34 down. Unreal.

With 20 miles left we had to climb 3 large hills that would have been
difficult with no wind. At this point the wind was stronger than any
other throughout the day. We were going about 4mph up these hills
pedelling harder than I think I ever have. Our bodies could no longer
take it at this point so we decided to walk our bikes up the hill and
attempt to hitch a ride for the last 10 miles. We couldn't get anyone
to stop so we sucked it up and destroyed ourselves all the way to
whatever small town this is.

The map showed that the town has a grocery store so we were so stoked
to get there and eat everything they had. However, after climbing yet
another hill to get tocthe grocery we were greated with a "closed"
sign that said they closed at 5. SHIT!!!! We barely had any food so we
resorted to eating a can of spaghetti sauce and some leftover chips
from lunch. There really was no good spot to camp in the area so we
just set up behind the store hoping to drop in as soon as they opened
in the morning, otherwise we wouldn't have shit to eat for half of
tomorrow. Luckily, the store owner showed up to get somethig so we
popped in to buy what little offerings they had. Hopefully what we got
will last us until the next store...

So yeah, today was awful and the forecast for the next 3 days is
exactly the same. So we are in for a real struggle. Today we did 60
miles in 11 hours which is pretty gnarly. We have shuffled around
some miles and think we have a new plan which should get us in to
Austin by Wednesday night. Shit is going to really suck for the next 3
days though with these winds. Hopefully our bodies can take it. Oof.

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