Day 81 & 82
The story is the same, brutally strong winds have brought me to astandstill. They started in earnest 3 days ago but I still managed about 55miles in a reasonable amount of time. Yesterday they were so strong it tookme almost 8 hours to get in 50 even with a surprise visit from Tucson Stan.
The problem with that kind of wind is the effort you have to make just to go5 mph. Even spinning on my small ring was a challenge. I often foundmyself pedaling leaning sideways into the wind only to have a truck pass meand almost topple me. The climb yesterday through the large dunes wasamazing but after that it was a mess.
I made El Centro shortly before dark, found a McDonald's and gorged myselffor the first time in the trip. I left in search of a place to camp,eventually finding shelter in a field behind a huge stack if hay bales.
Morning came and at first light I was optimistic about the winds. Theforecast was for them to lighten, but alas there would be no such luck. Ittook me two hours to go ten miles and I was spent. Finding some shade, areal commodity in these parts, I set up to eat a second breakfast, dorepairs, and take a nap.
I was still optimistic that I could get some miles in, so after a couple ofhours I set out for more punishment. Between the miserable condition of theroad, the strong headwind, and my never ending flat rear tire, I managedanother ten miles in two hours. Yes, i now officially have worn thru aSchwalbe Big Apple tire and must find a way to replace it in San Diego.
At this point I was spent, physically and emotionally. I ran into a cyclistjust starting out, all brightly dressed, clean bike, and no dirt. Wechatted for a bit and I wished him well. I then looked at myself and sawtge grit and grime if almost 3000 miles in me and my bike, and just smiled.
99 Miles to go with one 4000 foot mountain pass to get over. Hopefullytomorrow will be calmer.
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