The rest day in Pueblo re-energized me. I feel like I spent the majority of the time at City Diner watching the Tour de France. Just a side note: cycling is so much more cool to watch on TV now that I understand a little more of what is going on. It is way more strategy than I ever had imagined. It goes without saying, but man, are those guys good at riding bikes. Sorry friends, I’m not quite there yet.
It was a sad morning. Pepper had to leave Team Pacecloud to continue the Transamerica Trail up through Yellowstone and eventually to the coast of Oregon. We said goodbye to the Transam and hopped on the Western Express route which will take us all the way to San Francisco. It was extremely hard to say goodbye to our friend. We wish you the best, Pepper, and we talk about you all the time and love getting Twitter updates about your progress.
Pueblo is right on the edge of environments, where the Plains meets the Rockies. Almost back into the mountains….
Of course Liza started out the day getting something like four flats and we all had to wait in the blazing sun for her to patch her tubes. Here’s Alex attempting to use Seth for shade. He’s terrified of getting burnt. I thought you’d enjoy this pic, Mrs. Pearlman.
And the climbing starts again. In Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri, we were always talking about how magical the Plains would be because it’d finally be flat. We dreamt of the flatlands. Then we finally got to the plains and yes, it was flat, but it was also so windy that we ended up going slower than we were in the mountains. Hills are finite; you climb up them and you’re done. The wind blows forever. And there’s no fun downhill if it ever stops. The point being that riding never got easy. Literally every day is a struggle with elevation, wind, or heat. We flew through the Plains so fast that it seems weird that we’re back in the mountains again. Weren’t we just here? It was raining (pictured) during our first real climb. The best part was to get to the top, turn around, and be able to see the Plains for miles and miles behind you. And wave goodbye.
This being our first real day in the Rockies, we all took a million pictures. I took so many that it’s impossible to show you a fraction of them. Instead, here’s a picture of Dan taking a picture. P.S. I am now very skilled at taking pictures while riding my bike. I haven’t dropped my camera once. Ok, that’s a lie. I dropped it once and the screen stopped working. Then a few weeks later it fell out of my handlebar bag while going over a speed bump and the screen started working again. I love how things like that work. It’s rare to be rewarded for being clumsy.
Another picture of that beautiful sunset from our first day back in the mountains. We were too busy gawking at the scenery and taking pictures of the sunset that we failed to realize that the sun going down = night time. Subsequently we were left riding in the dark on some pretty sketchy back roads. But everyone made it to the campsite eventually. At the time I was about to have a heart attack I was so scared bombing down hills at 30mph in the pitch black dark, but I’ll pretend that I didn’t tell you that and instead say it was an ‘invigorating experience’.
I filmed a lot of this one, it’s really fun to carry the video camera around. Let’s hope I never drop it…