Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My first boo-hoo moment

Another new post below this one.

This morning we began our climb to the Continental Divide.  Carol checked my bike out and Flo and I got out the gate - last, but out the gate.  The first couple of miles were pretty good, though it was quite chilly.  Then we turned east onto 190.

What had been a pretty nice tailwind while we were going north was now a full on crosswind from the south.  At the point you turn onto 190 it begins a gradual climb that starts at a 2% grade and gradually increases.  We were soldiering up this quite nicely, but as the sun rose higher so did the wind.  Pretty soon we were struggling just to keep the bikes upright and moving forward.  After about 10 miles of this, I was. ready to quit as it changed to 3-4% grade.  The van, however, did not see my signal and didn't stop - thus the boo-hoo.  But I put on my big girl panties and forged ahead another 4 miles (at which point, my computer was saying we were on a 5-6% grade.

There were several of us at that point that decided that with more climbing, steeper yet, ahead of us and no sign of the wind letting up it was time to throw in the towel.  We had a nice little picnic and gab fest as we waited for the van to return with empty bike racks.

Rather than seeing this as a "failure" at any level, I am seeing it as an accomplishment.  I rode 14 miles uphill with an altitude gain of over 1,000 ft. in a 25mph crosswind.  Most of it I did in the big chain ring because the middle one was just as much work with less payoff in distance.  I might not have been able to do the whole ride, but on a less windy day, I am pretty sure I could make it to the 27 mile mark.  I'll get a chance to find out on Friday when we go over Emory Pass (8,300ft).

So we are in Silver City, NM tonight and have a rest day tomorrow.  My first stop this afternoon was the bike shop where my bike was quickly diagnosed and treated - the problem was indeed a bent derailleur hanger - the rest of my climbs should be much easier.

Silver City is an old mining town with a thriving community of artisans.  I plan to spend some time tomorrow exploring.  After that I will give my bike a thorough cleaning - touring is a dirty business.

PS- cute guy at the bike shop (two, actually), Nancy's wife arrived to help her get home, wonderful bean soup for supper.


Janice in GA said...

Ah, bent derailleur hanger. We guessed right!

So sorry to hear about Nancy's accident in the previous post. Oh man, what a disappointment. :( Did you see how the accident happened?

ken said...

I thought the whole reason to ride from West to East was to always have tailwinds. You must be doing something wrong :) Way to hang in there!