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Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Day 15... Keep on coming back for More and More

My stay in the hostel in Kremmling was really nice and the proprieters were really welcoming of a world weary cyclist.

I once again struggled a bit to get up but made my way to the Moose cafe for a very nice... filling and cheap breakfast. It was noticably cooler this morning following the torrential downpour last night but was still warm enough.

My first task of the day before I set off was to look at my brakes. And a good job I did. The cause of no brakes yesterday was a leakage of brake fluid all over the pads and the disc. Aggghhh. I cleaned the disc and then proceeded to change the pads... an easy enough job but time taken up. It was at this point that I definately decided to have a short day today and have a longer haul tomorrow.

I have closely looked at maps and discussed with Louize and Mark .. who are kindly picking me up... and have settled on a road based route which from tomorrow takes me further away from the tour divide route. Im hoping to take some quieter roads but the fact remains that there will be cars and traffic and the blissful silence that I have enjoyed so much will have gone.

So when I set off down route 9 it was with some nervousness as have been unused to traffic lately and the deaths of Mike Hall (legend) and Eric Fishbein this year were suddenly uppermost in my mind. Gone was the fear of death by bear... here was the possibly more realistic fear of death by truck. Therefore I was being EXTRA careful.  There was a shoulder initially to go on and as I wound up and down (mainly up) I had more time to gaze at the scenery. 

The high mountains were clearly visable and getting inexorably closer... pulling me towards them. I was up around 8000ft but haven't felt any effects of altitude particularly .. I seem to have acclimatized ok to this point. My route today followed a river (No that doesn't make it flat) and despite the cars and trucks thundering past at times... cmon it's not the M25 after all...  I was able to find peace in the scenery that unfolded. Due to the really dry weather lately ... the grasslands looked parched ... reminiscent of my time in New Mexico previously... 
As I wound my way up through some of the cuttings... the rock was black and volcanic looking in places ... 
Then I approached this beautiful lake. White topped mountains jutting a little above and their shadows being cast on the surface of the water. It was serene and an idyllic spot. A bit of house envy reared its head when gazing upon the lakeside ranches and holiday homes.

I couldnt delay too long however and continued to plod along the blacktop. As time went on.. I settled into road riding again... letting my mind run more free than it has been able to do off-road but I already miss the quiet... the myriad of little furry creatures that skitter across your path. In contrast today I think I saw more dead than live animals... although a bird of prey did swoop down over my head to try and catch one of the aforementioned fluffy things.

Today also... for the first time on this trip... I noticed pins and needles in my hands with the occasional cramp and slight numbness. I was expecting this earlier but took care to start stretching out my fingers every now and again and served as a reminder to change hand position more regularly.

I think this part 2 of the journey has been harder from a mental point of view... to drag myself from off of the floor... keep on coming back for more and more ...
(Points if you can finish the next 2 lines😁)
Failing the race also had the effect of removing a focus that I had had. I had more than 1 focus fortunately... and the other focus is raising money for LHS. But it is hard to get up after failure and start again. I realise that you may think that I am moaning or exaggerating the mental aspect to gain sympathy ... (great if it gets more people to sponsor me 😁) but im not doing it for that. Im trying to relate honestly how the mind plays with you... how it teases you and brings you down so that it takes every effort of will to drag yourself up by the bootstraps... and doing something like this... you may well have to kick yourself into action 10-20 times a day. No where else in life have I found a situation that demands so much 'getting back up' after being knocked down.

And its not that I am not enjoying it... many times I am not enjoying it... but will enjoy looking back on it... there are many moments even within the moments of despair where something will make me smile or a view will make me stop and appreciate it. Or I feel the silence and the isolation and cherish them... to be missed greatly when gone.

As I got towards Silverthorne... once agajn the clouds bubbled up and this time hit me with more than a few drops of rain... but it didnt last long and soon the sun was shining again.

It was early afternoon when I crawled into Silverthorne and found a place to stay... a dump... but a place to stay. 

My routine on finding a room is pretty much the same when I'm on the road.

1st ... the cycle shorts come off... 
Shorts go back on .... yup going commando (allows airing of sore areas) and then go find food (if early evening)

Back after food... shower..... catch up on all messages and fb comments (reply to as many as possible) .... blog and put up photos. 
All this is done with the tv on in the background... this trip I have preferred CNN as it has special programmes on about the 70's 80's and 90's which have been interesting.

Arse care (TMI) ... has to be done. Check rest of body for areas of breakdown /stress. Deep Heat application where necessary.  

Electronics charging.... ipod ... camera... etc ongoing throughout evening.

Look at bike if required.... clean/lube chain either now or in the morning. Pump up tires if necessary...

Post blog.... answer further comments if appear.

Catch up on the Daily Mail 😁


In the morning... the waterbottles get filled...
I reply to any more fb comments and messages...
Check maps/route

Get Peddling!!

So essentially.. thats my routine... exciting huh! 
Really appreciate all the comments and messages... they have enabled me to pick myself up off the floor ...