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Day 19

About 25 miles with emergency call to England.

0500 and the alarm sounded to announce the beginning of what was planned to be a long and challenging day. We planned to ride to Torrey about 65 miles away with a MASSIVE climb. 

Thirty minutes out of Escalante I re-heard a rubbing sound that seemed to come from the front wheel. I thought it was the breaks so I pulled over and loosened them off a little. This did nothing to help the sound. I then spun the back wheel and here was the problem. A warped and wobbly wheel. Upon closer inspection I found the cause – a broken spoke. I had been warned that this could happen and has to be taken seriously. My friends Dave and Tristan had looked at the issue with me before we left but I have never changed a spoke before and it is s big deal. 

So, here we are, 30 mins from Escalante Utah , 4 days from a bike shop, spoke broken , wheel wobbling with the risk of wheel collapse a distinct possibility. What else do you do but call THE BIG RED BIKE Co in Harrogate and get Paul the expert mechanic to talk you through the process of changing a spoke. I cannot speak too highly of these guys, they helped us prepare for the journey and well and truly saved my vegan bacon today. 

It took the best part of an hour to get back on the road and the wheel will need a proper mechanic to true it as soon as possible (ie 4 days) but I am back in business. We did however lose our early start. 

The delay led to us climbing the dreaded hill late in the day. We made it to Boulder about 1400 where we stopped for food. Here Tracey, Mike and I held a conference and decided we will stay in Boulder today and recommence the climb early tomorrow. We will not loose any time really as we can make up the distance to the next day’s destination easily due Tia massive downhill section. 

The scenery we have passed through today has been stunning. Huge cliffs, deep valleys, roadside streams flowing through otherwise dry landscapes. Simply splendid. 

I am proud of myself re the spoke fix and have enjoyed the day albeit somewhat stressful early on. 

We are in a motel tonight and will be asleep super early for tomorrow’s challenge. Utah do your worst!

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