Day Thirty-Eight: The No Aero Road to Cordell

We woke at 0500 this morning in various parts of the church, to an excellent breakfast and a moving prayer by Judy, our host in Yukon. It would be about 88 miles to Cordell, a slow climb to elevation. Since Jane was feeling well, I rode with her for the entire day. I pulled, with her closely following my wheel.

The first half of the day went well. The weather was cool, as clouds blocked the sun's rays from baking us on the road. The wind was calm into lunch, so Jane and I were able to maintain about 18 MPH all the way in.

Lunch took longer than I would have liked. On days like today, I try to avoid excessive delays at lunch. Every minute of time not spent on the road becomes two minutes in the afternoon heat at reduced speed. I was sucked into doing a bicycle repair at lunch, delaying us.

The second half of the day was a test. Within a few miles of lunch, and with almost no water in the air, the temperatures climbed into the 90s as a 20+ MPH headwind tried to blow us back the way we came. A very narrow SR 152 and an excess of oversized vehicles traveling at 70 MPH did little to improve the ride. We filled our Camelbaks and bottles at lunch, but the brutal wind was sapping water from our bodies before we could replenish it and, before we knew it, we were dehydrated and almost out of water. With the van nowhere in sight, we stopped at a house for water. No one was home, so we just used the faucet on the side of the house.

Jane and I arrived to a well-colled church just before 2pm. I had two double cheeseburgers and a milkshake fronm Sonic before taking a rest.

We had a busy evening, with dinner, laundry, and an affordable housing curriculum. I cut the evening short by going to sleep at 2000, in anticipation of an 0430 wakeup. Riding hard into a hot headwind all day did strange things to my body. The plan for tomorrow is to leave early, and do anything possible to beat the heat.

This evening, I decided to opt out of the van drive back from California. A number of reasons led to this decision: wanting to spend more time in Santa Barbara, not wanting to spend more time in the van than necessary, and differences in philosophy between myself and the other members of the van ride home. (I want to high-tail it home; they want to go drinking and take a non-optimal route.)

I'm reconsidering putting the aero equipment on the bicycle. With these winds, the wheels would help, though trucks passing would give me grief.