let me explain. I knew yesterday was going to be tough. everything thing pointed to an epic day mostly due to fatigue in the legs (several big days up to phoenix and over 500mi straight with no rest not to mention most of the country), the length (around 90mi), the heat (its in the middle of the desert), lack of support (there is only a single stop around mile 70), and a single tough climb of around 1k. I get it, there should be some challenging days, its supposed to be hard. usually a lot of goals are worth some amount of sacrifice or even suffering, but come on.
the day started fine, I was in a great mood, the sun was out. the road weaved out of town into some incredibly gorgeous farm land (mostly cotton which should have been a sign – cotton kills). the wind was even gentle and the fatigue let go of my legs around mi 15. that’s when things started to turn. the first indication was my 6th flat tire on the rear wheel. road pumped it a few times to limp to palo verde.
from there as the local farmer said,
wow your going south, lots of semis and (insert wave motion with his hand). well I am sure you know what you are doing.
yeah we didn’t. in fact damn u map my ride (our first piece of bad data) for your inaccurate data set that showed a climb but not the constant dips. what do dips feel like – imaging a pissed off pro club spinning instructor with a mission to make you puke, their tool intervals. wha? that seems mean. exactly. net, is I like ripples inn ice-cream (if they are caramel), icing (on a cake), water (if I tossed the rock or need a wave), but do NOT want it in my pavement.
we climbed and descended for miles. and miles. it got hot. I ran into a couple from new zealand who are doing C2C west to east (net just starting) who told me that the ONLY watering hole (which I planned on at mi 70) was closed for the season due to the heat. (our second piece of bad data – read on) I started to conserve the water and gatorade that I had.
I was definitely playing with dehydration and heat stroke when I arrived (at the said closed) at the glamis store. which was in fact open, where I drank 4 pops, 1 liter of water, and 32oz of gatorade, ate a snickers, bag of chips, cliff bar and an ice cream sandwich. jon made a short cut by just buying and drinking a case of mug root beer. we chatted up a motorcyclist and a driver – both assured us its one more major climb and then a gentle down hill to brawley (our third piece of bad data). I slept on the benches in the now near 100 degree heat and then hit the road.
the road led us through the sand dunes which felt totally surreal to bike in. it led us up a good steep climb to the top near an observation deck. it is now 100 degrees I still have almost 30mi to go and the non factor based upon predictions wind started to pick up (our last piece of bad data) – but it at least should be down hill.
the road wound down a short welcome decline before continuing on with rollers all the way to brawley, but now facing a 15-20 mile constant head wind. perfect. I literally crawled into brawley. in fact at one point I took a rest and literally sprawled out on the side of the road (about 6 inches from passing semis) hoping to either get hit (requiring a ride in an ambulance) or someone to stop for vitals (likely to result in an offer for help) both of which I would have taken, neither were offered.
rest day, oh rest day. going to figure out if I can drop any gear, drink a bit of jack to forget this ride, sit in the hot tub, eat, and sleep.
2 days left, 1 crazy day, one gentle one – then the ocean, my wife, my kids, and a lot of soothing skin creams.