Mileage:  148 miles

Elevation Change:  8714 feet

Weather:  cloudy and cool 

Morale:  exhausted! But happy

Incidents:  High speed flat on the interstate

Daily Summary:

Epic.  Long.  Fabulous.  What a day!  We were on the road by 6:30 this morning.  The first 30 miles were on I-80.  Interstates are never fun, but sometimes they are the only way to get from here to there in the west.   We were screaming down the backside of one of the three big rollers you see on the elevation profile above when my phone rang.  I have it set up so Peter has a distinctive ring, and it was him.  So I answered.  We were at close to 40 mph and I was right on Raymond’s wheel.  I yelled at him to tell him I was answering the phone.  Just then we crossed a sea of debris on the side of the road,  which I hit dead on since I am not quite so fluid steering one handed.  Bam went the rear tire.  Now I’m yelling at Raymond that I have a flat so he doesn’t ride off into the sunset, telling Peter that this really isn’t a good time to talk and if there aren’t any fax ink cartridges on the shelf then he’ll have to buy one, all while trying to bring it in for a soft landing on the rumble strips with one tire and one hand.  Yikes!  All is well that ends well, but that was enough excitement for one morning!  There went our string of days with no flats...


The scenery today was absolutely fabulous.  Wonderful Utah rock formations the entire way—from above, from below, from our level.  And there was a lot of climbing.  A lot!  It was relentless.  Just when you thought you were at the top, you would come around a bend and up it would go again.  Climbing is Raymond’s strength, and he was amazing today.  I was pretty wiped out by the end.   When I’m exhausted I lose all power on the ups, and that was the case for the last few hours today. 


At one point we had an elk bolt across the road 100 yards in front of us.  The real highlight of the day was the amazing descent from mile 130—140.  There was an oversized load that we passed right at the top that the cars couldn’t get around, so we had the entire ten mile stretch to ourselves with no other traffic on our side of the road.  The view was breathtaking.  Raymond even took a bit of video of it, but I’m too tired to figure out tonight how to post it.  More on that later (maybe). 


We pulled into the hotel at 5pm, did some quick bike maintenance, took a shower, and went right to dinner.  We each ate a huge side of BBQ ribs.  That’s one thing about cycling all day—you can, no you must, eat as much as you can stand!  Tomorrow is our rest day—only 50 miles.  (Everything is relative!)  We get to sleep in until 9 intend to take it VERY easy. 


Below are a few pix of Ray at our SAG stops, then Lil not looking very happy coming over the top of a climb.  You can see how far ahead Raymond gets—that dot on the road below is Lil.  Next is our friend the elk, and our other friend the oversized load.  Finally, some shots of the great scenery today.  Early to bed!