Today was a mostly uneventful day, but it marked another big milestone, arrival in Pueblo, the halfway point of the route. I woke up to a soft drizzle on the outside of the tent. It was very pleasant until I realized I needed to pack up in the rain. I contorted within the small tent trying to get everything into it’s bag. Eventually I did then emerged into the rain to pack up the tent itself. With everything stored I refilled bottles and got on the road. I met Craig’s wife who was gearing up for a day of supporting her husband from the support car. I left right around 6 to beat traffic. As I left the rain let up and I started on an awesome little downhill into Cañon City.
It even had a shoulder unlike most the Colorado roads. I rolled in to Cañon City and just as quickly left it, heading south. I rode along narrow country roads that would have been miserable with more traffic but were fantastic in the early morning. I got my first views of the kind of scenery I’d typically associate with Colorado.
I made it to the town of Florence which was cute, but I had an upset stomach and had trouble finding something, anything open at 7 on Sunday morning. I found a little cafe and got some tea and a cinnamon roll and used their bathroom. Everything was awesome, particularly the bathroom. I got back to riding and turned south on 67 for a long straight but of riding. It was rolling hills for most this time with an overcast sky that kept things cool, though rain did seem likely (it never actually happened).
I’d heard of this somewhere but couldn’t place it. I later remembered that it was from this video, describing the supermax facility housed in the complex. I kept going and saw Craig in the distance. I pushed a bit harder through the hills and caught up with him and said hello. I got to utilize his wife in the support car to help block traffic and encourage me along the way, it was super nice. My stomach was acting up again around this time and I was really hurting. I pushed on to the next town, but it was slow painful going. After an hour and a half or so, during which time Craig passed me, I reached the town of Wetmore. I didn’t even acknowledge Craig and his wife as I went to the first person I saw and asked if they knew where a bathroom was. They were heading into a baptist church and said I could use the one in the church. I thanked him profusely and felt much better afterwards. Everyone was super friendly and the pastor asked if I wanted to hang out for the service but I politely declined and got back to riding. I headed East on 96 and immediately got a great steep (9%) descent down into a nice valley. I maintained my speed for a good while and made solid progress. I saw Craig up ahead in the distance again. I passed a super cute goat pen with a bunch of rambunctious baby goats
A large lake, Lake Pueblo came into view indicating I was nearing my stopping point for the day. Around this time I noticed a bunch of huge grasshopper/crickets littering the road. They were big and meaty and crunched when you ran over them, which was impossible to avoid because of how many there were. They thinned out as I climbed up into Pueblo.
I was trying to figure out where to go in town when I realized I had my first flat in over a thousand miles (since getting my Schwalbe Marathon Pluses). Another huge metal staple had punctured the tire. I swapped the tube and rotated the tires: my rear wears much faster due to the weight on it.
As I was sitting around fixing the tire Craig and his wife rolled in. I congratulated then on another leg of the ride completed. They wished me well then got moving to complete their ride.
A few minutes later one of the coolest encounters of the trips happened. A couple and their daughter rolled up! The daughter was riding in a trailer pulled by the guy, Brian. Meghan and him told me they were westbound and headed for Cañon City today. They also said that the weather up until this point had been 90+ degree days, bleh. We had such a fun talk and they’re so cool, follow on Instagram.
They headed out and I finished fixing my flat. I rolled through town, admiring the nice biking infrastructure and pleasant neighborhoods. I followed the route into downtown and stopped at a coffee shop to plan my next move. I got a steak burrito, chai tea, kombucha, rooibos, and a bunch of other tasty drinks. I decided to just stay in town for the day and stock up for the next 1000 miles to Illinois 😳 I got a crappy motel and then rode around town for a bit looking for a bike pump. I met a really cool dude on a badass fat tire Surly. We rode for a bit along a path then just chatted about riding, and Moab Utah, and lots of other things. I gave him the link to this blog so if you’re reading this hello!
I headed to my hotel and rested for an hour, and started drying out my soaking gear. I headed to the only open sporting goods store in town, Big 5 25 minutes away, to try and get a bigger battery. They had one and I’m using it now, seems to work fine.
I loaded up on groceries at an organic food grocery for the coming empty stretches through Colorado then headed back home. Unfortunately the laundry machine at the motel is out of operation, so I’ll be wearing stinky clothes tomorrow. Oh well.
I headed to a bar and restaurant for dinner, where I am now writing this up. It’s a nice place to hang out, with loud music and the Olympics on tv. I’m gonna head back to my room soon and get some sleep. Night!
- Breakfast bar
- Complete cookie
- Cinnamon roll
- Steak burrito
- Pumpkin chai tea
- Rooibos iced tea
- Chocolate shake