Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Day 40: 5 down, 5 to go

Day 40
Tribune, KS to Eads, CO 57miles

A bit of a lie in today as I adjusted to the new time zone. But out on the road by 7am, with the plan to cross over into Colorado. But Kansas clearly didnt want me to leave! Straight away I was battling an absolutely brutal headwind. It was difficult to keep my bike moving at some points. The wind was almost constant, but every so often an extra strong gust would come along to add to my torment. Added in to the uphill slope I was climbing, it didnt make for much fun.

Eventually I saw the sign marking the border of Colorado. Stopped for a quick photo, but not for too long as I was scared I might get blown back into Kansas!
Bring on those mountains!

I hadnt seen anyone coming the other way yet, and I was actually quite glad. I dont think I could have been too polite to them knowing they were getting blown down hill whilst I struggled slowly on!

After about 3hours I made it to Sheridan Lake, and stopped for a break. Inside I noticed a log book for cyclists. And also some leaflets from the towns on the Colorado section of route 96. They had formed a kind of group and dubbed their section of the route the “Prairie Horizon Trail” and the aim was to make this section of the route extra friendly to cyclists. Its nice to see that some people do actually acknowledge that cyclists are here, and can see the benefits that we might bring in terms of money etc.

The sun was coming out a bit now, and as it did the wind dropped a bit to allow me to pick up the pace. As I got a little further into Colorado, the scenery definitely changed from fields of wheat and corn, to more like scrubland with more cows and horses. It actually seemed like I was in 'the West' now. American's use the Mississippi river as the dividing line for what is considered east and west. Even though the Mississippi is nowhere near halfway across the country. But now feels a bit more westerny.
This bit of road even had a bend in it!

Just before arriving in Eads I met 3 cyclists coming the other way, including a guy from London! He had barely any kit. He had a small backpack, with a few bits hanging off it and that was it! He was also riding a single gear bike – that will be interesting back east in the Appalachians!

Got to Eads, and grabbed some lunch. Grabbed a room for the night, and even got to use the motel washing machines to do my laundry! The heatwave might just be ending – this afternoon was only ridiculously hot rather than unbearably hot! And ahead of me on the route, the temps up in the mountains are much cooler. So getting back in the tent shouldnt be too far away.

Bit later in the day I saw another cyclists, Matt from Washington DC, who was actually riding with the english person I saw earlier! He also had barely any kit, and was about to ride to Tribune in the mid-afternoon sun! The winds had also changed, so he would now have a headwind. I wished him luck – I think he would need it!

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