Nick, Mary & Mike
We didn”t have WiFi in Sanderson yesterday so I didn’t write anything.
Plus , I think the sun is starting to scramble my brains so that everything is blending together. Where are we now, where were we yesterday, or the day before? Each place has its own name, and I am sure that for the locals each place is very different. But to us there is a definite sameness to where we have been recently. Small towns, with one place to eat. Lots of prairie with not much of anything in every directions.
Two days of riding into headwinds on generally rough surfaces that is nothing like cobblestones but are still uncomfortable and slow down the riding. Today a 2% descent at 14 mph WHILE I was pedaling. Because of the headwind. A climb at 6%; not bad, but also into that wind. And 106 temperature. No, I am exaggerating. It was really only 105.8.
I ended yesterday’s ride knowing that the sun was catching up to me. My legs had been ok but I was a bit light headed. So I went even slower. We did about 62 miles.
I felt the same for the first 30 miles of today’s ride. Nick was patient and stayed back with me. Then we rested at about 30 miles and when I got back on my bike I felt normal again. I was even able to race Nick up a couple of climbs – maybe the sun had cooked our brains – and was able to pull away.
We stopped at a rest stop where we met Mary and Mike who were resting with their Harleys. The sun\heat had started getting to me again and Nick was again pulling ahead when we started riding. I was running out of water – I had taken the Camelback off when we had met our SAG because I thought I could finish with my 2 bottles – to drink and to pour on myself to try to help with body heat. I texted the girls to come back with ice and water even though we only had about 8 miles to go. When they reached us, the cold water and ice, both that I consumed then and what I took to finish the ride, made all the difference. I then knew I had enough to finish the ride and was able to pick up the pace – I was still trailing Nick – but with the wind and rough surface, it was still a struggle. But I did finish the 61 miles and I will admit that early in the ride I wasn’t at all sure I would be able to.
The photo of my roadside nap was while we were waiting for the SAG yesterday because Nick had 3 flats in 10 minutes, one before he even got back on his bike. When they showed up, he swapped out bikes.
Yesterday we had dinner in Sanderson at the “town’s” only open restaurant. Nick and Sarah both said it was their best meal on the trip but I will attribute at least Nick’s statement to extreme hunger. Maybe also heat exhaustion. I took the photo because the waitress, Tiffany, had a pistol on her right hip. It may not show up in the photo, but it was there.
We saw another pistol on someone else when we stopped in Dryden. Nick asked him if it was loaded – it was – but we didn’t ask him what it was for. Our stop in Dryden, which consisted of a single store that also served as a post office and accounting office, was especially noteworthy for Nick’s “entrance.” There was loose sand and gravel leading up to the store where 3 Texans were talking, including the one with the pistol. Nick being Nick declined to get off and walk – I wasn’t too proud to do that – and instead fell in front of everyone. They were polite and didn’t laugh. I did. No, he wasn’t hurt, except maybe his pride.
Patricia was the waitress in Langtrey where we were picked up – as planned – by the SAG and got refueled.
About ½ way between there and Comstock there was another bicyclist heading the opposite direction who was clearly on a long ride given how he was loaded down. We stopped and gave him water, ice and some food, David said he was headed to California from Alabama and that he had started in February. I didn’t hear an explanation as to why it was taking so long or why he was making the ride. After giving him some provisions, we wished him well and set off to Comstock where there is one place for us to stay. And one place to eat. Lots of fried food. Nick had chicken fried chicken, I had chicken fried steak and we ordered fried pickles which were actually pretty good. The idea is to have the girls drive us back to Langtrey where we woud then ride back through Comstock to Del Rio. We’ll see if we follow through on that tomorrow.
I am hoping that I am not still feeling the heat tomorrow morning. I don’t want to push that too far because the effect would be long lasting; in fact, I think that is already the case to some extent.