07/15/2004

Day 46 - 7/15
Tribune, KS to Ordway, CO
123 (2697)

I had a big day planned today. Well rested and well fed I rode with gusto. The conditions were perfect: no wind, quiet roads and flat terrain. Plus my load was nice and light as mom was carrying my loaded pack in the car. I had never gone this fast, averaging 15.5 mph, but often going much faster.

Along the way-again in 100 degree heat with no shade anywhere-I passed several eastbound cyclists and several snakes along the side of the road. That would be nice to get snapped at in the ankle while riding by. I also passed into Colorado-but here, it still looks like Kansas (or maybe more barren still).

I made such great time that I beat mom to our meeting place for lunch. She arrived with all the sandwich fixins, cookies, amazing canteloupe and cold, clean water. By lunch I had already gone 60 miles-halfway to my goal of 120 for the day.

Later that day, I realized just how badly my bike needed a checkup. I knew the rear tire was getting bad, but I was now able to see the kevlar fabric wearing through. During the course of the afternoon, I had two flat tires. I was able to make it the 123 miles to Ordway, but I still have 51 miles to do tomorrow to make it to the bike shop in Pueblo. Will I make it on my last tube?

Just as I got into Ordway, a big dust storm came in that was quickly followed by a wet thunderstorm. I was lucky to make it in just in time.