70 miles a long tough day but we did it.
We had a good hard look at the maps last night and decided to try to cycle this long route in a day if possible.
I know many friends who would think this distance a fairly reasonable ride. The critical factors for us are weight (bikes + weight in the panniers = 42kg plus about 14 litres of water between us), heat (26c), hills – lots and wind – a grim headwind all the way.
We left Austin at about 0700 and hit the hills immediately. We worked well together to get up Austin summit and two other big rises on the way.
About 20 miles in we saw a shimmering in the haze of the opposite lane. This slowly turned into the recognisable form of a cyclist. When he reached us we of course greeted him and had a natter about life on the road. Robert is s young German lad who is cycling the exact opposite to us ie NY to SF. He was a very nice guy and is doing very well with his challenge.
We left Robert after about 10 minutes and carried on east.
The wind worsened throughout the day and at various times we found ourselves having to pedal hard to keep moving on the flat. The wind took the heat out of the day but was uncomfortable and unwelcome nevertheless.
About 10-15 miles out of Eureka we passed some workmen who were fitting some cables or some such. One of them shouted over ‘hey guys’ we both looked over as he proceeded to lower his trousers. My first impression was that he had seen the US and UK flags and decided he didn’t like Brits. How wrong I was, as he turned to apparently moon at us his Union flag underpants lifted our patriotic souls. I shouted “Rule Britannia mate” and there was much laughter. A very unexpected encounter that I suggest made all of our days. He has probably waited years for this opportunity!
We carried on to Eureka finding the last 5 miles extraordinarily difficult but we made it to the Sundown Lodge a motel where we collapsed exhausted onto the bed. We have now showered and eaten and at 2015 we are off to bed. 0500 rise to hit the road to Ely (78 miles)
Please remember when you read our blogs that prior to this the furthest I had ever cycled was 43 miles and for Tracey 60 miles. That was on unloaded bikes. This is a great challenge for us and it is bloody tough. It’s also amazing every day and I wouldn’t miss this opportunity. Please share my blog with anyone who may be interested / prepared to donate and also have a gander at Tracey’s perspective which you can find HERE