Tuesday, June 21, 2011

In like a lion, out like a lamb. A typical day of cycling.

Two young guys showed up at the church last night, and they were not with the ACA group. I decided to ride with them in the morning into a strong headwind. They set a terrible pace, and it was hard to keep up. The wind whipped into my face, and I hated every second of that ride. We covered 28 miles into Eads, Colorado where I decided to drink coffee and eat a sandwich instead of continuing with the pointless pace. Part of me expected to spend the entire day.

Eads didn't speak to me, and soon I knew that it was time to continue in spite of the headwind. I reminded myself that the pace doesn't matter, and I set off to cover some distance at an average speed well below 10mph. I was happy not to be in a hurry. I listened to music and spun the pedals gently and comfortably. 

I made it to Haswell, Colorado which is little more than a gas station. I'd caught one of the ACA riders, and I was happy to stop. I considered setting up a tent in the town park, but the day was still relatively young. I set out again, and was glad that I did.

The headwind disappeared, and the road turned. The effect was a slight tailwind and a long stretch of wonderful riding. The road was nearly traffic free, and I flew along the pavement. For an aerodynamic position, I can lean my forearms along my northroad handlebars, and lean forward. I can pedal hard and maintain 20+ miles per hour for a long fun stretch of highway. I did this, and in spite of leaving late in the morning and wasting plenty of time, I caught up to a couple more ACA riders.

I caught up to the ride leader, Sally, and slowed my pace to ride along. I sat up and held the northroad handlebars in the typical position. We chatted as the mountains appeared on the horizon. One moment, the only visible thing on the horizon was the grain tower of Sugar City, and in the next instant, a hazy outline of mountains framed the tower. 

A few of us stopped for a soda and ice cream in Sugar City. The ACA would be ending their day 5 miles to the west in Ordway, but I decided to stay here. There was a bar across the street, and free camping in the park. 

The bar was empty. I talked to the bartender for several hours about life and dogs while we watched reality television about people who buy the contents of disused storage lockers. Another show was about the workings of a pawn shop. I left when the sun began to set.

I put up my tent in the park, and the weather was perfect. My tent poles are a little bent up from the storm two nights ago, but nothing is broken.

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