Writing this in the morning… so yesterday was a reminder that the ride cannot be great all of the time. We finished yesterday with only 41 miles, and a broken derailleur hanger. Before that happened, it was shaping up to be a day of battling through the darkness into the light.
The day began with a drive to mile marker 200 and about 1,000 feet climb over 11 miles to the top of Soldier Summit. No pictures were taken or anything like that because of the conditions. Wet, cold, windy. I definitely did not pack enough cold weather gear. One of my waterproof gloves is missing, so I was using wool gloves, meant to be used as liners. Those were soaked through immediately and the temperature stayed in the low 50s. I was wearing all of the clothes, but my core was freezing. Horrible shoulder, bad visibility (in the clouds), etc etc etc. I got to mile 17 and Katie came back to meet me. I was dying. I sat in the car heat for about an hour, and I put on the barmitts. Usually the bar mitts would be used for temps below 40, but with only a pair of wet wool gloves to use, they really needed to be used.
After a harrowing descent, where a small shoulder had me weaving in and out of 60 mph traffic due to rumble strips that were applied by a seemingly drunk guy, I had another rest stop at mile 30. Looked like we made out of the rain, we could see the clouds hanging out over the other mountain. Warmed up to 60, so I changed socks and shed most of the gear. We wanted to do a 22 and 22 mile leg to finish the day at about 75 miles, in the town of Duchesne. I got about halfway through the first of those 22-mile legs when I had to shift to the lowest gear and the derailleaur hit the spokes.
I finished the day after climbing back up to 7,100 feet. When Katie finally came back to pick me up, we drove ahead to Duchesne, so I got to see the road to be travelled on Monday. It’s a brutal 8-9 miles up to a summit of 9,100 feet before a huge (I believe 30 mile) descent all the way into the town. I wasn’t going to attempt to finish the climb on a singlespeed back up bike, especially a singlespeed that is on a 43-16 gearing. We drove straight to Salt Lake City to enjoy our time off.
Very happy with Contender Cycles, they are running a streamlined operation and turned my bike around in less than 45 minutes. We are going to exercise extra caution with that rear derailleur, because it must have been significantly bent for it to hit the spokes. It will be easier when Katie and Marlei switch out for my sister, because the organization of the van does not depend on creating seating room in the back. The extra person makes organization and storage so much harder. I almost wish we had one of those Thule roof storage container things.
Bike is good. Chain needs to be relubed after the rainy ride and I ought to wipe down the very muddy frame. To look good is to already go fast. It’s psychological. It’s the reason we shave our legs in the morning.
Me and my sister are staring at 9 days of 104 miles per day average. From what I can tell, it’s going to be mountaineous to Duchensne, and then about two days or rolling hills and flats until we encounter the Rockie mountains. I long for the Rockies. When I am in the Rockies, I will long for them to be over. I really am excited though, I just hope it’s not raining. I got my sister bringing me a waterproof and windproof vest that I can wear underneath my jersey which will help my core stay warm, and I bought some super-on-sale gloves from the bike shop while we were there.
Today we are exploring Salt Lake. It’s the last day I’ll be with my friends so we are going to enjoy it and I get to spend quite a bit of the savings I accumulated for this sort of thing. I think we are going to the zoo!