Coast to Coast 2022 Adventure Day 20: Byers, CO to Eads, CO
This post is part of a series detailing my 2022 coast to coast cycling adventure.
Day 20 was a slog through brutal and oppressive headwinds. I still got to ride my bike all day though 😀🚴♂️.
Day 20 Highlights:
Song of the day: Friend of the Devil by Grateful Dead
Start: Byers, CO
End: Eads, CO
Distance: 129.7 miles
Elevation: 3,041 ft
Breakfast: Pot luck in hotel (no coffee 😔)
Lunch: Roadside sandwichs a la Sue
Dinner: JJ’s Restaurant in Eads
Progress so far: 1,634.4 miles, 60,951 ft. climbed.
Here are all of the details on today’s ride:
If I am ever in a job interview and someone asks me “what is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?, the answer will be “ride my bike for 130 miles directly into unrelenting 20 MPH headwinds.” The stats tell it all. 11.6 MPH average speed. 11:11 riding time (and more like 13.5 hours total). Everything seemed to be moving at half speed at twice the normal effort.
The day did start with a nice sunrise. We knew it was going to be a long day so we started early.
No too many pictures today. There’s not a whole lot to eastern Colorado.
Today’s hero was Tom in Kit Carson. The heat (close to 100 degrees) and wind meant that we went through a lot of water. We were counting on there being a convenience store in Kit Carson, about 20 miles from our destination in Eads. Much to our surprise, nothing was open. Dave got there a few minutes ahead of me and got to talking to Tom, who worked at the Kit Carson School (all grades). Our hero opened the building for us and let us help ourselves to the ice machine, water fountain, and restrooms. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers and especially for Tom!
Today was also an interesting day from a teamwork perspective. Dave and I approached the difficulty of the day by splitting up and each riding at our own pace. In a way that worked well because we each stopped exactly when we wanted to, took snack breaks exactly when we wanted to, etc. But for the last 20 miles, the wind was so strong, and we were so exhausted, we decided to try a drafting rotation swiching off every 0.5 miles. Not only did that help each of us conserve energy but it also provided a mental device to focus on something other than how tired and sore we were. Score one for teamwork. And that technique would prove handy the next day too.