Monday, 11 July 2011

Day 39: Mile 2k

Day 39
Dighton to Tribune 71miles

Had the 'luxury' of a 6am alarm today – bliss!
Getting pretty good at getting up and getting out, so was on the road by 6.30am. And much like many of the other days I have spent on the plains of Kansas, I started out under cloudy skies. I was looking forward to today's ride as it was a bit shorter than yesterday's. One of the advantages to this was that I didnt feel I had to get to my destination ASAP – I could take a bit of time and enjoy the ride. Yesterday I felt very much like I was racing the sun and the heat and therefore couldnt really take much time out from riding. Hence the lack of photos. Even my rest stops were rushed with just a quick drink, maybe a snack, and then back on the bike.

Today was more relaxed. I had more time to take things in, and take a few snaps. The first one I took was a very important one. About 15miles into today's ride I passed the 2,000mile mark. A big milestone, and tantalisingly close to the halfway. Its nice to pass 2,000miles, and interesting to see that it took me 21 days to complete my first 1,000miles, and 'only' another 18 to get to the second. So I'm obviously getting quicker. I think thats natural though. At the start I was still feeling my way in and still getting my body used to what I was doing. 7 out of my first 14 days were more than 50miles, whereas 10 of my last 14 have been.
Not too shabby

Very soon after stopping to photograph my trip computer, I saw three cyclists coming the other way. Stopped for a bit of a chat before heading off again. Cloud cover was still prevalent, and at that time the wind was maybe just helping me, but mainly it was blowing up from the south.

As ever, the terrain in Kansas was very flat, with that ever present upward slope. Today I barely deviated off of a due west course, and over 71miles my elevation increased around 250metres – so around 3.5metres per mile of climbing. Its actually weird to think that when I arrived in Tribune I was actually at the highest elevation of the entire trip. It doesnt really feel like it though, as there is nothing to compare my relative elevation to. When I was at the top of the Blue Ridge parkway, I could see a long, long way down into the valleys on either side. Here it's just fields as far as the eye can see!
Yep, I'm still in Kansas!

Today I also saw some windfarms. I'm amazed there are not more of these in Kansas. Unfortunately for me, by the I came across them they were being powered by a wind coming out of the west. I was destined for another day of headwinds!
Sadly for me, they were turning the wrong way!

As I continued on my way, I came across a few more Eastbound riders. This is obviously very much the crossing point on the route as its around halfway for both directions. All in all, I passed 8 cyclists today, a record high!

Just after chatting to a group of 4, I reached another little milestone. I crossed into my third timezone of the trip. I'm now on mountain time. It seems to me that the phrase 'mountain time', works as both noun and adjective. As a noun it gives a name to this particular timezone, based on one of the most obvious geographical features of this part of the country. But it also describes what I have in store on my trip – I'm in for some serious 'mountain time' pretty soon!
Going back in time - Great Scott!

Shortly after moving to 7hrs behind GMT I arrived in Tribune, my destination for the day. Headed to library for a bit, and then to the pool! Then spent the afternoon doing a few bits on the bike which I was just too tired to do after yesterday's ride!

Tomorrow I will be leaving Kansas, and getting into Colorado. That will be 5 states down and 5 left. That will feel like a big step to have taken – soon I'll be heading for the finish rather than just getting further away from the start!

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