Days 32 & 33 - More climbing in Wyoming then resting up!
Day 32 - Today started with a tough climb into the wind and this was where I started to put into practice some of the advice I had received about the various parts of the pedal cycle. Apparently, most new cyclists mainly focus on the push down part of the pedal cycle (mashing) and probably do not think so much about or use the pull back, pull up and 'kick the quarter' part at the top of the pedal cycle.
Today I really put this into practice on the climb and, suddenly, I was able to sustain my pedalling as different muscles were put into use. For the first time on the adventure, the climb did not seem quite so tiring and difficult and would have been so much easier had it not been for the headwind. A great lesson learnt - thanks Ann Coleman!
The journey today was only 47 miles from Laramie to Cheyenne and then the prospect of a day off to let the body rest and recover. I was one of the first cyclists into Cheyenne and that helped extend to day off into a day and a half off. One of the scenic features of this ride was the incredible rock formations that seemed to burst out of the ground and gave a different perspective to the scenery.
Day 33 - The day off in Cheyenne started by taking my bike to a bike shop to try to address a few issues that I was facing. It turned into quite an expensive visit as the sandy gravel I had encountered whilst leaving West Yellowstone (and whilst flying ungracefully over the handle bars) showed up a number of problems. Both shifting cables were starting to fray due to sand in or around the handle mechanisms and both the chain and gear cassette needed a thorough clean. $200 dollars later I had my bike back but it felt great to ride and the guys had done a terrific service and cleaned up the whole bike.
I had also planned to catch up with my blogging but as, no doubt you have realised, I was stuggling to find the enthusiasm and the emotion to write things down. I was only able to draft my blog about the hypothermia event and I was still tearful as I wrote and read it to my fellow adventures. I'm still shocked at how close I came to a major health event.
I also find it amazing that our emotions can place a stanglehold on things at times and rob us of things that usually are a norm or easy to do. It is only now, after 7 weeks on this adventure, that the words are starting to flow more easily. That has meant that for 4 weeks I have had to really strive to keep these blogs going. Apologies for those of you who have had to wait so patiently for things to start to turn around but, hopefully, they will start to appear more regularly!!!
As you can imagine the impact of the cycling is having quite an impact on my body. It looks like a new wardrobe maybe required as unless I remember to take my belt to the shower, my trousers have a tendancy to react to gravity! As a result I have to stuff a hand into a pocket to hold them up to avoid embarasssing situations!
Another plus has been that my backside seems to be acclimatized to my bike seat and no major sores yet! Therefore, it looks like I will be holding a garage sale on my return to England to help sell off all the numerous creams that people had bought me before the trip. At least I know that people only had my welfare in mind, well... at part of me anyway!