Monday, 18 June 2012

Pueblo, CO

Distant Rockies
Today's weather was forecast to be a repeat of yesterday's except more so – winds at 23 km/h from the WSW and a top temperature of 41C. My 80 km ride into Pueblo ran into the teeth of the wind and again I opted for an early start. Almost immediately after leaving Ordway, the hazy line of the Rocky Mountains became visible in the distance. I averaged 17.3 km/h, the wind being less troublesome than yesterday. Maybe it was weaker, maybe I was less focussed on it or was pushing harder. Certainly, I was excited at approaching a landmark of my trip. Pueblo (pop. 106,000) is the largest city on the TransAm Trail and is its symbolic midpoint. Not only is it roughly halfway along the Trail, it is the place of transition between the plains and the mountains. I am reaching it on the fortieth day of my ride and my forty-second in the United States. I have cycled 3,443 km.

Refreshment stop at Boone
Pueblo is at the end of my sixth map section, which I began at Alexander on the day I left Larned. All its 470 km were on Route 96. I got through it quickly as a result of cycling double stages on two days. Alexander was at 624 m above sea level; Pueblo is at 1,432 m elevation. I have gained over 800 m in altitude in the last four days. After a rest day here, I will begin climbing into the Rocky Mountains.

When I arrived in Pueblo, I pulled up at the Great Divide bicycle shop, which is at the first downtown intersection. Thomas and Abi were standing outside with their bikes, ready to go. I met them at Sebree, KY and again in Farmington, MO. I just missed them in Golden City, KS and had expected to miss them in Pueblo. After we had chatted for a few minutes, they cycled off, heading for Oregon.

Andy, Alan, Miles
I then went to check in at the Guesthouse Inn, where Alan found me. Together with Andy and Miles, we went for lunch at the adjacent Japanese restaurant. The three Brits arrived here yesterday and will be moving on tomorrow.

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