OMG – the hardest bike ride of our lives! and I tink among the 50 riders (maybe 48 now) it was unanimous. We left Riverton at 5:45 this AM (Dave … you would have been so proud of us!). They were predicting a pick up in winds and possible rain/hail thunderstorms for the afternoon so we wanted to get as far as we could. The morning was beautiful, pink sunrise … as we rode out-of-town I finally found all of the trailer homes and modular homes…oh well …. we saw deer grazing in the fields and were cautioned to be careful of them in the road.
The first 30 miles were OK (I divided the trip into four 30-mile segments). We were told we would gently climb the first 60 miles and then go downhill the last 60. We agreed … no photos .. we wanted to keep moving …. but 20 miles out of Riverton, we went through the only major town we would be in all day (Population 462) so we stopped at a park to use their facilities.
So, SAG #1 @ 30 miles was a cheerful place. There was a large group there because some of us “slower” people were given the option to leave a 1/2 hour before the fast riders. It all seemed to net out at mile 30. So, onto the 2nd quarter of the ride. No sooner did we pull back onto the highway and we were riding into a headwind (this was a bit before 8:00 AM). And for the next 90 miles it only increased. We knew we would be climbing the second 30 miles but when you add the winds in … exhausting! We joined a couple of groups and pacelines but they broke up after a while when faster riders caught the lead. Bob, me and another fellow Jim made it intact to SAG stop #2. (we did have 4 antelope run with us for a few minutes …but remember … no photos!) We refilled our water bottles, got some food and headed out hopefully for some downhills. Oooops … more climbing (and headwinds) until mile 70 when we headed down – but you had to pedal on the downs too … WOW! The good news was most of the road surfaces were OK – think the temps were in the high 80’s and it was more overcast than not.
We were ready to stop for any reason when this building came into our sights at Mile 80. We were ready to make it our destination!
But we persevered and made it to the 3/4 point, mile 90 SAG stop. More food, more ice and water and off to finish (time 1:30). Well didn’t the winds pick up even more. It was not pretty, but we did it (I think 3 took a ride after 100 miles … but the rest are stubborn too). I think Bob posted on Facebook the other day that it is very interesting to be on vacation with 50 Type-A personalities.
So a nice supper tonight, lots of fresh steamed vegetables, salad, pasta with meatballs or chicken and about 10 different desserts (I had a sugar cookie … I think I saw Bob with double chocolate brownie with chocolate frosting and cookies). Spirits were high and everyone looking forward to a day off Friday. Not a lot to do here, some museums, minor league ball team, and the North Platte River. We will go walk the downtown and I need my nails fixed up soooo…