I can sum up today with three words: straight, flat, wind! Straight refers to the road which stretched endlessly to the horizon. And when I eventually reached the horizon it stretched on again to the next horizon. And on to the next. As far as I can work out from looking at Ride with GPS the first straight was 38 miles long before it curved gently on to another shorter straight which was ‘only’ 26 miles long. The terrain was generally flat with only a few fluctuations. This meant that I could see for at leat 10 miles in every direction.
Today we were also riding into a headwind. I have an app (Windsock) that steals my Strava data and does some clever stuff with the weather data to produce a graphic and some analysis that told me that I had ridden in to a 5-10 mph headwind for 77% of today’s ride. That may not seem particularly windy but be assured on those straights it certainly increased the workload, especially as I was still recovering from yesterday’s 110-mile stage.
Today we recruited a session player into The Fabs. Greg is from Oklahoma and will be with us for a couple of weeks. He is reasonably familiar with this territory – we’ll be in Oklahoma tomorrow – and has slotted in nicely. I say ‘slotted in’ because riding a pace line where we share out the work is the most efficient way to counter a headwind. With a road racing background, Greg is clearly a strong rider and well-used to through-and-off’s. So, it’s nice to be a quartet once more.
|Crossroads Cycling’s Pop-up Diner Pecan Pies - yummy|
Well, that’s all helped to pass the time, a major goal for today. Combatting the mental stress of riding with relatively little stimulation was the toughest part of the ride. Arriving at Dalhart, which has the feel of a frontier town about it, gave me a huge lift so Pete and I adjourned to the nearest Dairy Queen to ‘celebrate’ with a vanilla milkshake. Unfortunately, the guy on the counter was operating solo and appeared to work at only one speed – reverse so we had to wait for our protein infusion a tad longer than we would have wished. Once we had recharged ourselves we headed over to check in at our hotel. Rumours of steak for dinner are almost certainly true. And guess what? We’ve got more straight roads tomorrow. Will we break the 38-mile record? I hope not …