Day 20 Over the Mountain

9/27/19

Today I bonked for the first time in my riding career.

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We have a very long ride of 90 miles with about 4500 feet of climbing, some with 8-10 % grades.

Aftwr a Shelter breakfast of Cheerio and coffee we head out at day break. No tail wind today but at least it is not raining. The first 40 miles pass uneventfully

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and then we turn south into the mountains. Our goal is the McDonald Telescope at 7300 feet.

Down between peaks

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we ride and the landscape gradually turns green and cows appear in the fields. We have to be careful riding to avoid the tarantulas crossing the road.

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About 55 miles in we begin seriously climbing and I become concerned that I did not bring enough water and that I have not eaten enough for the climb… a bowl of Cheerios and two bananas all day. There are no towns along this 90 mile stretch.

I stop to check my supplies, 2 bottles of water and an orange. I think I have made a rare error of judgement.

Up I begin rationing the water. Half way to the top I eat the orange. Higher and higher I climb and begin to get a little short of breath above 6000 feet but I refuse to stop or walk.

At 500 feet from the top where the rest van is with water I have exhausted my “ supplies” and actually feel a little faint when I stop. By riding again I shoot my blood pressure up and feel better.

And suddenly I can see the telescopes

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and know I an near the top. With true grit I pedal out the last 2 miles to the van and arrive exhausted and very dry. I stop to rest and drink 3 liters of Tang.

As I round the telescopes I start down only to realize I will need to pedal some due to winds coming up the mountain side.

My nights stay in Fort Davis is still 20 miles away.

As I finally pull into town I realize my thinking is off a bit and come to know that I am bonking…my blood glucose  levels are quite low. I pull into a grocery store on the outside of town and buy a quart of milk which I quickly down. 20 minutes later I feel better and ride to the church where the others cheer me in but also say I have a flat… for how long I haven’t the vaguest idea… bonking clouds the mind.

Another rider is kind enough to help me with the flat and then I eat and eat and eat.

3 hours later I feel better…

No more…once bonking is enough for me… lesson learned.

Bunch of bananas isolated on white background

PS that was my first flat in 6000 miles.

2 thoughts on “Day 20 Over the Mountain

  1. “Higher and higher I climb and begin to get a little short of breath above 6000 feet but I refuse to stop or walk.” That sounds SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO you!

    Like

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