Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Day 52: My First Flat!

Tabernash, CO to Walden, CO
Daily Mileage: 68.7
Total Mileage: 3,081.4
Day 52 avg speed: 13.7 MPH
Day 52 elevation gain: 2,997 ft
Bill, my amazing host and former chef, cooked up eggs and beans from the crock pot with caramalized onions and turnips from his garden complete with coffee from the French press.
Bill is taking him and his bike to Europe to travel all around France, Spain and Italy. We got to talk a lot about touring tactics and he even gave me a few history lessons. He loves history.
Once I was packed up, Bill told me where I could stop to load up on groceries about 10 miles away and he would drive and meet me there so we could bike to Willow Pass together.
I checked off the usual grocery list of Gatorade, Cliff bars and Mios, but this time I added Nutella!!!! No more unsatisfied chocolate cravings.
We rode off north toward highway 125. Of course, it was beautiful.
However there were a lot of dead pine trees which was a little disconcerting. I asked Bill about it and he said it was a beetle infestation many years ago. It's pretty astonishing small little bugs can destroy acres upon acres of trees. Fortunately any tree under a 4" diameter survived and is continuing to grow today.
Dead Trees
Fun fact: I was listening to a podcast by Radiolab titled, "From Tree to Shining Tree" that spoke about trees and their relationship to one another. Essentially there is a fungi on the roots under ground that are like tubes. The trees give these fungi sugar and the fungi give the tree minerals from the soil. When a tree gets infected by, let's say bugs, it can send messages to the surrounding trees to let them know about the bugs and those surrounding trees can give off a bad taste to the bugs to wart them off. 
Furthermore, when a tree starts to die, it will send its nutrients and whatnot to any newer, baby trees to help them grow and survive. So... Makes sense why the younger trees survived. Check out Radiolab podcast, it's great.
Anyway, as we continued on Bill noticed his tire getting flat. Actually, he had changed the tube before he left, but the problem persisted. So we pulled over and he changed it again. This time, the tube held.
I rode with Bill to this fascinating rock formation just before he turned around to go back home. Check it out below. It looks like someone built it there as a wall. So cool!
We didn't make it to the pass together, but it was only a few miles further and Bill had to get back. I shook Bill's hand three times before departing; a sign, I think, of an established friendship in less than 24 hours.
Bill Anderson, Former Chef and 5 Star Warm Showers Host
I was excited to be over this pass and on a downhill to my spot at Walden North Park. Just 1/8 of a mile to go.
No that is not a friend calling me over to check out a nearby buffalo, that was my tire going flat in half a second.
52 days, it had to happen sometime.
I timed myself and made a quick change in 15 minutes. Only problem, my pump was broken and I couldn't get the tire above something like 15 PSI. Not good, I want to be at 50 minimum.
Lucky me... As it seems to be, here comes Terry flying down the pass.
He called if I needed anything and I shouted, "Got a pumped?!"
He did and he pulled over to help. Terry is incredible. He rode the Transam 40 years ago when it started in 1976 and now, "I wanted to see if I could do it again," at age 78!
He was full of joy and laughter and happy to help me. He also told me he just met a father son duo a few hours ago... I knew it was Marion and David that I met with Mike back a few weeks. Thanks Terry!
With that all said and done, I cruised over the pass and flew down the remaining 30 miles to Walden.
Shout out to my flag football team, Wolves of Willow!
There was an incredible sight of the surrounding mountains and rain storms just over the pass. I got stuck in a small one with very small bits of hail, it was cold but I made it through and dried off in no time. An easy feat when riding over 17 MPH.
I entered Walden to find Marion exiting the cleaners. He told me where to find David in the park and so off I went.
Now we're at this beautiful park under a gazebo with only a beautiful sunset surrounding us. It's always great to be camping with buddies. Supposed to get down to the low 40s tonight. I will be snuggled up (with my sleeping bag, not the Marion's)!
Nutella out!

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