Saturday, Sept 19th
The next morning it was 39 degrees with a feels like temperature of 36. I’m not sure I could tell the difference. I forgot my full finger gloves, so my fingers didn’t move very well. I could not get my tent poles to collapse correctly, so I took them inside the school. I was so cold, I really didn’t care if I was a public menace with poles flying all over and sticking out. I could hear my dad say, “You can poke your eye out.”
I packed up my tent and luggage in the usual way most bikers do. I jumped on top squeezing and pulling the zipper along each and every tooth. The metal clasp broke. Never fear, I used my luggage lock to keep pulling it closed. I realized somehow, I had lost my little plastic clutch, shampoo, hair conditioner, soap, and toothpaste. I wasn’t about to unzip that bag and look for it.
We battled headwinds for most of the day. Finally, I saw a turn in the road. As a bicyclist, when you fight headwinds and then you see you are about to turn out of it, it’s a very exciting, joyful, kick your heels in the air kind of moment. Unfortunately, we kept going straight.
Thankfully, it was a pit stop, aid station. Lunch.
I met a guy who had the exact same bicycle that I did. He said he paid nine hundred dollars for it. He found it on Craig’s list. He said, “No one ever pays the full price for these things.” Gulp. Then he said he thought they went for…(Fill in price here…) That was three hundred dollars less than I paid. Double gulp.
He took blah, blah component on his bike and put it on his wife’s bicycle. Then he took blah, blah and attached to another bike. I really don’t know components. I should probably pay attention, but it was all over my head. I hated to sound like a doofus, so I just nodded a lot.
After we had turned out of the headwinds, the rest of the ride was a lot better.
PTP had a rule about no ear buds, so I bought a speaker. Many riders commented on how much they liked my music choices.
One woman/girl/child/punk turned and said, “Wow, I really like passing you.”
How’d you like a nice Hawaiian Punch?
I did all the Ed stops and waited around afterwards to see who the winner was. I stopped at the Info booth to see if anyone turned in my lost shampoo/soap plastic satchel. She said no. I drug my bag, and I do mean drug it across the parking lot and over to the school. The thing is so heavy, I couldn’t lift it all that way. I was afraid I’d rub a hole in the bottom and I did. Sand burrs rubbed a hole. I know how to sew, so I’m not worried. After the previous freezing night, I figured I’d sleep inside the school.
I set up in the gymnasium and plugged my iPod and speaker in. I went through my bag three times and now, I can’t find my phone. I swear, 50% of bike rides are spent bicycling, the other 50% is spent looking for stuff. I retraced my steps and walked back to the luggage truck and looked around. I hiked the entire route, including crawling under a metal handrail. I crossed the scrub garden in the exact spot I had been about an hour before. I went back to the info booth. They had it.
I went to take a shower and found my plastic traveling shampoo case. Yes! I can brush my teeth again.
The shower was ice-cold. I made the executive decision not to condition my hair.
I took my phone to the Viero tent for recharging. I waited around for the prize drawing. The winner won a Colorado State flag flown over the state capital on the day of their choice. As a Nebraskan, you can image my excitement. They also announced the winner would get money donated to the charity of their choosing. Okay, I can live with that. I didn’t win.
4 hours and 50 minutes of time on the bike
It took me 2 hours and 8 minutes to fall asleep & I got 5 hours and 36 minutes of sleep.