Friday, June 24, 2011

Tour Divide Day 14.

142km. Rawlins to Bush Mountain Ranch.

...Slow ride...
...Take it eeeeeasssay...

I strutted up and down the aisles of the Country Market in Rawlins to this song as I replenished my stock of Peanut M&Ms, Gummy Bears and chocolate milk for today's ride. Though the song is rather fitting for this adventure, it makes me think more of Guitar Hero than of an epic mountain bike ride to the Mexican border.

Nevertheless, this song would play on repeat in my mental jukebox for the next eleven and a half hours as I made my way out of Wyoming and into Colorado to the Brush Mountain Ranch.

I passed some ranchers on horses. They were in the midst of a cattle drive. I like to think that I helped them out some, as I was travelling in the same direction and my presence seemed to compel the cattle to move along. Those ranchers have serious patience. As far as I can tell, cows have an attention span like a goldfish. Not something to be done in a hurry, that's for sure.

Why do cows get so freaked out as you approach them? They watch you coming up a hill for 20 minutes, if you are moving at 4km/hr, as I am. And then you keep your line and are totally predictable and they get all startled once you are within 10 feet of them. And have you ever noticed how cows don't move their heads in a smooth fashion as their gaze follows you? It is more like a ratchet motion. Take note the next time that you pass a cow on a bicycle.
I was bored out of my mind for a bit this afternoon. I contemplated grabbing my ipod out of my bag, but resisted the temptation. It wasn't for lack of scenery or beauty that I was bored. It is just that, sometimes, the monotony of turning the pedals over mile after mile, hour after hour, day after day, alone, catches up with you. And my mind is empty now. That's a good thing. No frustration or sadness. I'm just riding. But I felt like an empty box.

I turned on to pavement after a lovely ride through a forest of aspens (geez, those are nicest trees). There was some severe road damage from a few weeks back (shown in pic). Oh, mother nature. Speaking of which, I had a soul crushing headwind that was so fierce that I had to pedal hard to move down what seemed to be the only downhill of the day.

I'm staying inside tonight at the Brush Mountain Ranch. The hospitality is amazing. A lady named Kirsten runs the show here and seems to know exactly what a rider needs. This is the sort of place that I'd never get to see if I were not doing this ride. It is so nice and comfortable and I can already tell that it will be hard to get myself to leave here tomorrow.

The ranch is set in the forest part way up a climb that is reportedly still under snow at the top. I decided to hole up here and wait for crunchy snow tomorrow morning, rather than slush and darkness tonight. Also at the lodge are some other riders; Helena-John, St. Louis-Luke, California-Dan, Vancouver-Jackie and a...Markley or something like that. There are also some non-riders. The wife of the man who died in last years race is also here to recognise the anniversary of his accident. Seems like a nice way to remember such a tragic event.

After dinner, I went outside to take in the view and there were humming birds everywhere. I counted six around my head at one point. Sucking honey from the little feeders. Chasing each other. Pausing in mid-air like nine inches from my face to stare at me. They have little iridescent pink necks that are so bright when they face you. I'd never experienced hummingbirds so close up before tonight. They are really cool!
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network


Blogger El_Animal said...

GO Tori GO! You are amazing.

June 24, 2011 at 7:52:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Bow Cycle said...

Outstanding! Tori, Outstanding!
I look forward everyday to checking out your progress.

June 24, 2011 at 11:18:00 AM MDT  
Anonymous Elizabeth Evans said...

Glad you were able to stay at Brush Mtn. Have heard such great reports from everyone. JP told me about the hummingbirds and even sent a little video clip from the iPhone.

Keep going, you're doing GREAT!

June 24, 2011 at 6:14:00 PM MDT  

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