Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wind watchin'

Crossing into Wyoming, one discovers the truth behind all of the rumors about the winds.  Sure I had ridden through the pancake flat Kansas where nothing exists to interrupt the wind.  Very often there was breeze coming from the side or directly in front.  An annoyance for sure, the winds would contribute to a slow pace.

Wyoming has redefined the term "headwind" and "crosswind" for me though.  Yesterday, I rode about 115 miles from Walden, CO to Rawlins, WY.  I was blown about in all directions... except from behind much to my disappointment.  Most of the day it was a consistent headwind that held me to only 11 mph where I should have been averaging 15 or more.  After a truckstop dinner in Sinclair (of gas station fame) I encountered far more.  A crippling wind hit me from the side that made a straight course virtually impossible.  When the road turned into the wind, I would struggle to make 6 mph in the easiest of gears.

Although painfully slow, I made it into Rawlins, WY.  It's more or less a giant truckstop on I-80 which I had the pleasure of riding for a dozen miles yesterday.  Since I was feeling under the weather for much of yesterday despite regular intakes of orange juice and adding to it the energy sapping mileage I racked up, I stuck around Rawlins today.  There was no way I was getting an early start.  But I have studied the forecast and readied myself to wake up extra early to try and avoid the strongest winds and steal 125 miles up to Lander tomorrow.

I love the irony of a sticker criticizing an esoteric sport being pasted on an equally esoteric bike.  I want a snowbike so bad.
Steamboat Springs, CO is equal parts ski town...
and cowboy town.
One night was spent bar hopping with my friend, Kim, in Steamboat.  In her case, it truly was bar hopping since she had recently chipped the end of her tibia in a mountain biking crash.  She stole my bike to coast from bar to bar.  I really need to work on my action photography.  Jeez.
Bear spray.  Bug spray.  Don't confuse the two.  The clerk at the store really didn't appreciate when I asked if I could save money and use the bug spray for both applications.  Some people have no sense of humor.
I have been in an avocado desert for so long.  I finally found avocado on a menu in Alma, but when I ordered it , they were sold out.  Steamboat finally delivered.  That reminds me of the time that I received a suspicious USPS flat rate box in the mail from my friend, Jeff, who lives in southern CA.  It turns out it was stuffed with 5 lbs of avocados that he had gleaned from the tree in his yard.
Like I said, I hadn't seen avocados in a while.  At brunch following a night on the town, it was understandable that I had the best appetite.
For those that care, my Schwalbe Marathon Mondial tires are still holding strong after more than 4,700 miles of riding.  There are a few small cracks from sun damage like what you would expect on a car tire, but otherwise they look unblemished.  I hope that I haven't horribly jinxed myself before heading into the barren regions of Wyoming.
Thunderstorms and the sunset vie for attention over Steamboat.
Well this looks like trouble.  Except for the Fig Newtons.  That's a whole unopened package sitting back there.
Wyoming:  Forever West & Forever Manhandled by Air Currents


  1. Wow, Wyoming....I'm impressed! Although I was hard pressed to distinguish the cyclist from the signpost. Looks like you need even more avocados(or better yet, Mary's peanut butter pie). Blessings, Mike

  2. Hi there, am loving your blog posts. I see that you wish for a snow bike. Did you know you could win one from Salsa? Check out their contest:


    1. Jennifer,

      Thanks for the tip! Unfortunately I lack video capturing and editing skills right now :( Otherwise, I think I could come up with a killer video.

      I'm glad you're enjoying the posts. When I swing by the ACA office in a week or two, I can regale you with more lame humor as we laugh at how much my bike actually weighs (I'm a little afraid to find out at this point...)