I managed to leave Walden this morning, despite some more snow overnight. The cold made today’s ride really tough – it was well below 0°, and despite wearing just about everything i’m carrying I was freezing. The roads were frozen, so I had to be careful I didn’t crash – surprisingly slick road tyres and ice aren’t a good combo! I spent the first portion of today’s ride in North Park, and clearer skies let me see, for the first time, that it is a beautiful place with mountians rising in a ring around a basin in which vast herds of cattle graze.
Shorty after climbing out of North Park I crossed the boarder into Wyoming, and am now in state 7/10! I didn’t have long to appreceate the moment though. As I stopped to take a photo of the sign my shoes froze to the tarmac! This was just the start of my problems: As more cars used the road, the snow and ice formed a of slush that kicked up onto my bike. The slush froze to my bike forming icicles on my rear rack, frame, and legs. It also froze to the chain, and the gear and brake cables, this meant that I had to stop frequently and chip the ice off to stop my chain skipping. The frozen gear cables meant that I couldn’t change gear, which made a 4 mile climb up a steep grade really hard work.
After 50 miles I stopped at a cafe in the small town of Riverside (pop. 59) for breakfast. I was thirsty at this stage, as needless to say my water had been frozen for most of the morning. I croaked at the waitress that I’d like some water – she looked at me as if I was mentaly I’ll. Several hoarse attempts later and she got the gist. It felt good to warm up a bit before tackling the last 20 miles to Saratoga where I am now.
I have an easy day tomorrow, and just hope it warms up a bit.