onsdag 9. juli 2014

Day 27: Goodbye Rockies

67.4 km

Pleased to see it was cloudy and way cooler than yesterday, I got going towards Pueblo. Pueblo is a kind of a milestone of the trip, since it is where the mountainous part of the trip ends and the wide open plains of the midwest starts. The route has been going southeast for a while now and in Pueblo it starts going straight east towards the coast. I had been looking forward to this part of the trip and the challenges it may provide and I knew this next part may be more of a mental game than a physical. The midwest is famous for the constant strong winds that usually are out of the south but it will feel like a headwind for both eastbounders and westbounders so I had counted on having a headwind all the way to Missouri, everything else would be a bonus. 

The day started immensely slow. I hadn't checked the elevation profile before I set out and counted on having a slight downhill all the way to Pueblo but it turned out to be the opposite. It was a slight uphill towards Wetmore which was so consistent I didn't notice the road was ascending, just the ridiculous average speed I had.

When I finally got to Wetmore I stopped by a post office to send some stuff I had packed the night before. I had planned on sending some of the warmer clothes home since the colder part of the trip was over. 

The riding from Wetmore to Pueblo went by in a good pace but the distance seemed endless due to the extrermely monotonous surroundings. When I finally rolled into town I asked a long haired, rugged guy for a sportsbar that might show the semi-final of the world cup, and he provided directions to a nice little bar located a couple of blocks down the road. The bar was that kind of place where the bartenders knew everybody who was seated by the bar by their first name, and I got talking with the pleasant bartender called Challys. She kindly tuned in to ESPN on request and served me a Quesadilla, a beer and a complimentary small bowl of green chilli that she highly recommended. After watching Germany beat the living s**t out of the Brazilian team, I headed out to a bike shop to get my rear tire checked out since it had been concerning me with a wobble for a while. The extremely, efficient and professional mechanics went over the bike roght away and told me it was time to change it. After having to make a tough call I decided on riding it through the midwest. The tire wasn't in such a bad shape and they did not have schwalbe marathon plus, a tire I have come to trust so much and I didn't want to risk a schwalbe marathon. Instead I requested they measure the chain stretch and after observing that it was 85% worn, I decided to get a new one.

Extremely satisfied with the service these guys provided, I decided to spend the night in town and pedaled a couple of km to the north side of town where all the cheap motels were located. I stocked up on some groceries and got a cheap and noisy motel room just by the interstate.

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