Day 51: Dighton to Tribune
Yesterday, we woke up at dawn. I lubricated my chain and my crankset since I heard some clicking sounds yesterday while riding. After packing, we went to the same convenience store to get breakfast then started riding. The ride was about evenly split up between three towns, Scott City, Leoti, and Tribune, each about 24 miles apart.
(Riding with sun)
The ride to Scott City was the best because the weather was cooler. I rode ahead of Joe since he’s slower with the trailer. Once I got to Scott City, I went to Casey’s General Store and bought a slushy to cool me off then I waited for Joe. He arrived about 20 minutes later.
After our break at Scott City we rode on. We passed by a construction crew paving the opposite side of the road. I had to ride by the steam. The smell, along with the heat, was terrible. While riding on the side of the road, I was trying to stop for a picture. As I was pulling off I slipped on the gravel and fell. The mirror got bent and my wrists hurt a bit. Luckily, nothing major was damaged on me or my bike. I should go back to bicycle school.
(Second fall of the trip)
About a mile out after my fall I heard a truck honking from behind. I made sure I’m on the far right of the road so this 18 wheeler can pass me. There have been many trucks on this road so I thought he would pass me without any issues. He barely missed me. I was pushed off the road by the wind. He could have used the other lane to pass. What an idiot!
I got to Leoti a little before noon. While waiting for Joe at a roadside restaurant, another cyclist from the opposite direction stopped by. His name is Eric and he’s going from Colorado Springs to Key West, Florida. He had a lot of things on his bike, including panniers on both the front and the back of his bike. He told me he’s also carrying a drone. I’m thinking to myself, when will he fly it? Anyway, he gave me the phone number of his friend in Colorado Springs in case I was looking for a Warmshower host.
(Eric, going to Key West)
I planned on taking a detour to Colorado Springs since I heard it’s a nice city. Eric told me the road to Colorado Springs from here is quite barren, with 150 to 200 miles of nothing west of Kit Carson. Joe and I may ride to Pueblo then go north to Colorado Springs.
After getting a cheeseburger and a large iced tea, I got on the road again. I rode ahead of Joe as usual. I didn’t ride far until I began to experience cramps on the right side of my stomach. I stopped by several times to recover. It got better over time. The worst part of this last third of the ride is actually the wind and the heat. There was a 15 mph wind from the southwest and the heat had reached to nearly 100 degrees. My speed was slow and I wished we had stayed in Leoti for the day.
I spotted a rest area with a pavilion about 4 miles away from Tribune. I decided to take a break, eat some snacks, and drink some water that I had in my reserve bottles. I waved down Joe when I spotted him. We complained about the wind and heat, but at least we were close to our destination.
(Resting after a hard ride)
I went on ahead and arrived at a convenience store gas station in Tribune. When I was eating an ice cream bar I got a call from Joe. He has gotten a flat tire on the trailer but he can’t fix it because the new tire he put on won’t inflate. His pump is broken. So I rode back about 3 miles to help him inflate the tire using my pump. Once that’s done, we rode back to the convenience store to get some soda to cool us off.
In the town of Tribune, I found the sheriff’s office in the courthouse and asked the clerk if we can camp out at the city park. After signing the log, Joe and I went to the park. Then we decided to get dinner at Karen’s Kitchen, a local restaurant. Joe paid for my fish sandwich and onion rings because I helped him with his flat tire. Back at the park, I took a shower at the shower house and I washed my dirty clothes. Joe brought a rope so I was able to dry my clothes on the clothesline.
(Staying under a pavilion in a city park again)
The time zone had changed to mountain so now I’m two hours behind eastern time zone. I ended up going to bed at 9 PM. Around 10:30 PM, the wind was so strong that it woke me up. I was awake for 30 minutes trying to get back to sleep, but the wind kept on howling. Somehow I slept for 6 more hours.
This morning, my tent kept on flying out of the pavilion while I tried to pack up my sleeping bag. The wind will be strong today and I’m not really sure if we can make it to Eads, Colorado. I ate a SEC biscuit with a cup of coffee at the convenience store and now I’m ready to ride.