Today’s 65 miles reminded me of riding in the Virginia Highlands, only with evergreens and a higher elevation. And more horses. And a dry heat. And the white hot sunshine with rare shade.
Okay so it wasn’t alike in all ways.
It was the nature of today’s rises that recalled tour days in Virginia Highlands territory. The climbing featured big rollers over 7,000 feet, but no major ascents. We continued to be spoiled by good views and the first part of our ride was particularly peaceful.
All along the way, the sun blazed straight down on our bicycling bodies. I drank lots to stay hydrated, but it was a challenge to keep pace with the sun and heat.
Felkerino and I used our eagle eyes to scout for rare patches of shade. When the sun shines straight down, they’re tough to come by.
I occasionally struggle with riding at higher elevations than what we’re used to out east. My mouth regularly feels dry. I have also had several mild headaches during our tour days.
My stomach is tired of digesting food so sometimes it sends me cranky messages while I try to keep making sure I have enough in the tank to keep riding strong.
Felkerino and I stay mindful about our efforts and if we are overheating or otherwise need to pause, we do. One of the many beautiful things about vacation is it takes away much of the pressures of get-there-itis. Our goal is to make it to our daily end point by sundown.
In contrast to yesterday, I think we talked to about four people. So a fairly solitary ride in that regard, but the terrain was often gentle enough that Felkerino and I enjoyed rich conversation with each other. Life on the bike. Good stuff.
Hey you really need to come out to South Dakota and ride the Black Hills both on and off-road. We have some premier road riding especially in the early fall as well as one of the best rails-to-trails venue in the Mickelson Trail.
The higher elevations will definitely require more water. Many complain of headaches when they arrive here in Colorful Colorado, but lots of water can definitely help ease much of the head pain.