I woke up in Cold Springs, and I must say, I was somewhat miffed. Only 109km yesterday? Come on! We can do better, Mule (this is what I'm calling my bike, by the way).
I had originally planned on striking out of Austin, NV, a 80km journey without any services to speak of on the way. Let's start with that.
I was fortunate enough to have a tailwind for a good part of the morning, and made Austin in good time, pulling in around 12 noon (I, again, didn't get the earliest start from Cold Springs - I pulled out of there around 8-8:15am).
I met 2 British cyclists heading in the opposite direction on the way into the small mountain town. They had started in Florida and were taking the wind right in the teeth this morning. Good luck to them! They might make an appearance in the comments section with their own blog - check it out!
Scarfing down a gas-station sandwich, I decided that the 80km to Austin was an insufficient use of my day. However, I was faced with a problem. The next town on my route was 114kms away. Through the desert. Without services along the way. Eureka! (That's the name of the city).
I definitely don't regret the decision. I'm here now. But goodness me was it tough. Mostly flat, and mostly fast, I made short work of the first 75kms. Then came the trouble, and by trouble, I mean wind.
Nevada, to me, is now the windy state. Headwinds, tailwinds, crosswinds. Passing wind and sucking wind. Wind every which way.
Some 40km from my goal, a vicious cross-wind developed. It was sharp, cold, and carried with it a cloud of dust. I leaned about 10 degrees into it for the remainder of my ride.
Despite the hardship, things (my bike, my legs, and my spirits) stayed in good shape for about 30kms. I attribute this to a strict hydration/snack/leg stretching regimen. Every 15kms, get off the bike, have a handful or two of peanuts/almonds etc., drink some water, then hop back on. Halfway between breaks, I was sure to gulp down water as well. This was a very effective strategy.
But it really only took my 100/114kms into my afternoon. Then it started to snow. When I first saw the little I'm-a-unique-little-snowflake-devils, I thought I was experiencing a mirage. But then I realized that I am currently above 7000 ft, at that snow might not be that weird after all.
The wind, the snow, and the 180kms already behind me today began to take their toll. I creeped and crawled into Eureka, NV, found the nearest grocery, gnashed down some Ramen and carrots, and here I am. 9:30 pm after a long day. Good night moon. Good night legs. Good night wind-burnt face. Good night Internet. Good night. I'm going to bed.