Day 37 – Robot Wars

(58 miles)

Sure enough after yesterday’s ill-advised riding through the Field Of The Goat-heads, I awoke to find one of my tires slightly flat. Fortunately I quite easily located and patched the puncture and removed (and rebuked) the offending thorn. Matt then decided to get in on this puncture action. It would be cruel to make fun of his puncture repairing so of course I won’t dwell on it. I’ll just fast-forward 2 hours to the time we eventually set off… 😉

This is really not helping my No Caffeine policy!

The riding is fairly un-noteworthy (un-blogworthy?) these day as we spin mile after mile down the same flat, straight road past the same expanses of emptiness. But these Great Plains have a beauty of their own that is hard to capture on camera or indeed text. Its so quiet and still and…vast. You feel like a tiny fish slowly swimming through the Pacific ocean.

On the road though, things are anything but quiet during the harvest season. To picture what its like as a cyclist, imagine you are a mouse and you’ve stumbled into the Robot Wars arena. Dreadnaught, Grunt and Mortis thunder past you again and again but there’s no escape, no secluded corner or forgotten track. Will you be squashed, sliced, sucked up, blown over, ground up or just flame-grilled first? Fortunately for us, the ‘House Robots’ that pass us are, almost without exception, friendly and considerate. The mice live on!

With the aid of some solid tailwinds we breezed (sorry!) through our mileage, averaging 17 mph. As most of the roads we ride on are maintained by the local county, county lines/boundaries are always nervously anticipated. The quality of the road surface can vary massively from one county to the next and it has a huge impact on how fast you can go. So a big shout to Lane County in CO for one of the silkiest roads we’ve ridden on – 20mph all the way along it.

Matt discovers a second seat on his bike - the tent that is strapped to his rack.

By special request...

We rested in Scott City, paying $10 each for a shower and a roof over our heads at the Athleticlub gym/pool as another thunderstorm rolled into town.

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