They say a picture speaks a thousand words but today im not sure any of the 4 pics I took would even come close to telling the tale...
I think I set myself up for failure today... 134 miles ambitious even with all conditions perfect...
Id got up reasonably early but was kicking myself that I didnt set off before the sun came up. Breakfast was not offered where I was staying so off I went, but found nowhere open between the motel and the freeway... mistake number 1. I did eat some more of the god-awful cookie dough and some other bits and pieces left from yesterday so I wasnt without sustenance.
I had had it on good authority that there was a big hill on the way out from tucumcari and as I hit it, before my legs had stopped the screaming, I thought that this wasnt the best way to start the day,
Did I also mention that it is still pretty cold here...once again my feet turned to iceblocks and although (emma dunne) I have been colder it wasnt great ti start the day with numb toes.
The morning sky was full of the promise of a beautiful day... the sun was shining over the hills and some warmth hit the ground. The sky was sooo blue, without a single whisp of cloud and for short while all was well.
The initial hill climb was ok, long but not too steep and after Chris Summerrill's welsh training camp, I span up it with a reasonably good pace, got to the top and took a photo smiling brightly... the shadows were definately laughing at my joy tho, because once at the top, the wind grabbed hold of me with a vengeance, head/side wind once again, slowing my progress to a crawl, almost knocking me off my bike at times with a strong gust. It took a good amount of energy to keep the bike going straight, never mind up and straight.
And up is where the road was going... never really steep but long long drags ever upwards (no one mentioned the 2nd to 5th climbs). Downhill sections provided no respite because even pedaling I was scarcely reaching forward momentum speed.
All the while time ticked rapidly onwards until 3 hours had gone and I hadnt made any headway. On one of the good days I would have been at santa rosa by this time so with every second that ticked by, the goal of the day seemed more and more doomed to fail... I say fail cos that how it seems, I set my mind to do stuff and then go do it, but time was not on my side and darkness would hit and if things continued in this way, I would be looking at 2 to 3 hours cycling in the dark. I wouldnt have minded too much, but remain ever conscious of the promises I have made to many people to stay safe.
What other options do I have... this was primarily what I was debating in my head as I continued the struggle towards santa rosa. I also had a slight panic moment when I thought my tab had died and my connection to everyone gone... it was only momentary but did stress me out somewhat!