Made it through the longest days riding so far. 77.22 miles in 8 hours, over 4 separate passes!
I'm pretty pleased with how it went especially considering it was on the back of my previous longest ride only yesterday, and a good day before that.
That's 214 miles in three days, over 9 passes, in hot and desolate Nevada.
I started the day full of fear.
My legs were tired from the previous day and I was planning on going farther again! Did I have enough water? Enough food? Was I up to it with aches and pains from the minute i set off? Would the weather kick my backside today? It was already 21C at 8 am when I set off and again cloudless. (28C by 11am!!)
I considered turning around on the climb out of Eureka in favour of another rest day.
I'm so glad I didn't. In the end it was a more comfortable days riding than yesterday.
I got three out of the four climbs done in good time. I focused on the relaxing downhills instead of the sweat drenching, dizzying climbs.
The beautiful scenery continued. I took plenty more pictures but there was no huge variation from the last 5 or so days riding. Still, it's always so interesting and striking that you have to stop and get off the bike every few miles just to look around and take it in.
When I hit 70 miles I was actually enjoying it and thought I could go even further (than 77). It helped that the last section was a long downhill of course!
The easy approach to Ely meant I checked into my motel looking fairly respectable!
Friday and Saturday my new home towns were located halfway up big climbs. I swear I have scared the lady at the check in. Red faced, holding on to the check in desk as if I'm on a fairground ride. Feeling like something out of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, with the walls closing in on me and everything spinning.
But not today, no, just mildly crippled, looking people in the eye and not looking on the verge of meltdown. Good end to the ride.
My next three days of riding go 63, 84 and 54 miles in that order. Because of the longer day I'm giving myself a day off to recover beforehand. I could have done the 63 tomorrow, and rested after that but the next town, Baker, seems really small, so I'm stopping in Ely instead.
Today was the first day my saddle gave me any serious discomfort. Any movement created a bit of pain. As a result, tonight I will be sleeping with the saddle stuck between my butt cheeks.
It's just easier than peeling myself off of it again.