Day 11, Tour de Spoke continues #TransAmRide4TBI 7/19/17

We woke up, and started packing up our gear. while were doing this our wonderful hostess woke up, made us a bunch of eggs, and potatoes, espresso, had fruit and yogurt out… it was quite the feast. 
I thought had everything ready to go before we ate, but as usual, it still took me while to get ready. Finally we said good bye to Eileen and Gio, and headed out on the road. 

About 3 miles later, PING! I broke another spoke. We were riding in flat road and I was barely putting pressure on pedals but it went anyway and both of us heard it. 

I pulled over, removed it, and we were underway again. It was a beautiful morning and we were enjoying the ride. By the 22 mile mark we knew we’d summit a mountain at over 9000ft, but the road was only rising a little bit at a time. 

Around 12 mile mark we started a slow steady climb up. We were only climbing for a couple miles when a car pulled over in front of us, and a familiar looking guy got out. It was Gio with my wallet which I’d left behind. Thank you! (Ps, missing socks located) 

We continued on and a few miles later the grade of the climb got much steeper. Jr couldn’t stay with me, so I climbed slowly away from him. This was proving to be toughest climb yet, but my legs and lungs were up for the challenge. I paced myself to keep from pushing into the red zone. I’d never climbed this high and didn’t want to get too far into oxygen debt and get into trouble. I was able to manage a strong steady pace all the way. 

I think we climbed for over an hour, but eventually I reached the summit. It was a tough climb, especially pulling 50lbs trailer behind me, but I felt surprisingly good. I pulled over at the top and waited for Jr.

Once he successfully summited as well, we relaxed a bit, took in some calories, and water, and enjoyed the view. We had climbed to 9485ft, and felt we deIserved a moment to enjoy. 

Before long though it was time to get on our bikes again. This time we were going down! Much easier. And easier to enjoy the scenery. I quickly noticed snow just a bit higher than we’d climbed. 

We were descending very fast when Jr suddenly braked very quickly. I didn’t know why, but grabbed my brakes hard and came to a stop. There before us was a flock of sheep that had wandered into the road. We’d seen signs last several days for open range (free range they wander large fenced in areas, own range there are no fences) areas, but this was our first encounter with the animals taking full advantage of their freedom. 

Moments later we were descending again and loving the view. We were quickly down into the valley and almost raced past a little restaurant. Looked like a house except for little flags that said “Burgers” and “Pizza”. After that big climb, burgers sounded really good (and they were). Found out later that we chose the right place. There were couple other restaurants just up the road in town (Hanna, UT), but everything they serve was frozen/ deep fried. We got a great fresh burger and fries. 

 

After lunch we continued on. Most of the rest of the days was gentle descent, and short, gentle rises. We were making great time, and enjoying ourselves. 

Eventually we reached rt 40 and that changed. Traffic was heavy, winds were whipping, and going got tough. Plus we found ourselves racing toward a thunder storm which was cutting across in front of us. As we closed in on the storm we decided to pull over, and take a break while giving storm a chance to move past. 

Rest of the day was a fight against the wind, fortunate we weren’t going much further. Just after riding through Roosevelt, where we had couple nice chats with people at the gas station, we pulled of road for a short break. There was a nice little memorial there that we decided to get a couple pics of. 

While we were there, a woman pulled up in her car, got out, and came over to talk to us. She was a local reporter, and saw us ride by, and came to see if she could interview us. It was for a local paper published weekly on Tuesdays (will try to share when it comes out).

After that we rode on a short ways before stopping to camp. Winds were still very strong from the storm and putting up tents was tough. Jr got his up, turned his back, and wind pulled it up from the stakes, and off it went like a nylon tumble weed. I saw it start to go and immediately jumped up and raced in pursuit. Fortunately there was a ditch nearby that it went into or I might not have caught it. 

Jr then proceeded to set up cook stove and heat water for our dinners. While he was doing that I tried to replace my broken spoke. In the process I found a second one (I would find a third the next morning). I only had one replacement spoke for that side, but couldn’t get it for either broken one without removing my cassette, which I didn’t have the tool for, so I gave up on it.

We got dinner heated up just before storm hit again. Everything was quickly secured, and we were forced to eat in our tents, where we would remain the rest of the night. I spent a couple hours watching and listening to the storm while trying to catch up on my blog. 

#TransAmRide4TBI 3600mi for #TraumaticBrainInjury #TBI please help them and make a donation 

Www bianys.org

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About Douglas Sawyer, MS, ATC

I am an athletic trainer who is also a very avid athlete. My first love is running, but I also love cycling and triathlons and many other activities. I'm not a swimmer though, I just don't drown for 2.4 miles... As a athletic trainer I work with sports injuries. I currently work at a school with athletes in 7th-12th grade in a wide variety of sports. I can be found on twitter at two different names: @IronmanLongRunr - where I tweet about run, bike, tri, & more @Longrunr - where I tweet about athletic training
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