Bob, the lovely host who put me up for the night in Riverside, has to leave early to get some work done before it gets unbearably hot and therefore, so do I. I am in the saddle - ready to work those kilometres - at 6:00am. There are quite some hills to climb and, unfortunately, it’s the headwind that decides to keep me company. It is actually so bad that I end up sitting by the side of the road for an hour to let it pass.
Once I make it to the top of the plateau, I get treated to some magnificent views. And to more of the unpredictable Colorado weather. The sky opens up with roaring thunders so I’m lucky to have just arrived at a small town where I get to wait for the storm to pass at a post office.
After an hour break, I have some 15 km left to go. With some hills down the road, I am changing those gears like the Mad Hatter changing his hats. They start behaving funky so I stop for readjustment. Having watched over and over how mechanics do it, I am able to tune them in just right. Until the cable breaks and I can no longer pedal: I am stuck in the so-called “granny gear” (which James likes a lot, wink wink!) so need to hitchhike my way to town.
I manage to get a ride to Walden, which is only 8 miles ahead, instantly (yeah, I hear Colorado is THE nice place to be). I am staying with James, the owner of a local café and a hostel, and he manages to fix me an appointment at a nearby bike shop for the next morning. This guy is SO amazing, that despite being on only 5 hours of sleep and up since 4:30am, I just want to go on cracking jokes with him until the early hours of the morning. Ultimately, I do end up being reasonable and go to bed just after midnight.