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Thursday 9 June 2011

Day 31 - Train Racing

Todays mileage: 54
Total mielage: 1,514
End point: Scottsbluff, NE

After eating dinner last night my stomach once again started to have issues; this being the third major time. The mixture of random roadside foods combined with the fast throughput having devastating effects. At this point I decided to retrieve the first aid kit, i'd spent over £85 in superdrug and i'd decided to widen my pharmaceutical diet from the standard ibuprofen and paracetemol. A very small green and purple pill was swallowed, I hadn't taken such a pill in over 8 years since I had to survive a 10 hour coach trip in west africa from ougadougou to niamey. I'm intrgued how they can make these pills so small and potent in comparison with pain killers.

Departing my cosy trailer with a wet jacket that I had failed to dry properly, the sky continued to look ominous and set off towards Lingle. The road ran parallel to a train track as I well knew, as my trailer was parked only a handful of metres away from the line and the trains let of an enormous horn whenever they are approaching a crossing. Cycling along I got slowly overtaken by a train. I was doing a slow 10mph into a brutal headwind and the train can't have been doing much more, as it took over 20 minutes for it to overtake me. Once it finally achieved this it started braking and then I was doing the overtaking.

During this whole saga, which I must say involve more overtaking than is often seen in a modern formula 1 race, I considered alternative methods of transport. Surely if I was to manage to carry out a moving boarding of the train this was worth at least 15 miles of cycling; a trade of bravery for physical effort. I was actually pretty confident that I could do a 'mcguyver leap' onto the moving the train, the issue ofcourse would have been my bike which rarely wants to go where you want it to go most of the time. My alternative to the train would have been some rigged up pedalo as the river was the otherside of the tracks. This would be a fine engineering spectacle but I feared despite the river flowing in my direction I could easily be blowing upstream - I therefore continued pedalling.

Entering Lingle I was delighted to see a large british flag flying. According to the neighbour the next door neighbours wife was british, although the appearance of the new zealand flag remained unexplained. Her son excited by my presence promptly got out his bike and whizzed around, followed by his little sister! He thought I should be racing someone or thing, but I promptly pointed out that would only result in me losing. Leaving the cute family behind it took cover in the gas station for 15 minutes of rain.

Leaving Linkle I headed to Torrington, had a mcdonalds happy meal just so I could could get apple dippers with caramel, they are possibly the best thing mcdonalds sell but have disappeared off the $1 menu. Departing Torrington I was approaching the state line, state number 5. As if by magic the dark clouds disappeared as I crossed the state line, although the wind was still brutally in my face.

I was welcomed by a whole assortment of roadworks. Most of which were ok because I just cycled through the construction area, and at one point I managed to do some UK cycling, the traffic was controlled to go only in the right and lane and I pedalled through the construction area in the left hand lane. Oh and by the way random nebraskan law of the day - its illegal for a mother to give a daughter a perm without a state licence ;)

The last 25 miles were an absolute trek into the wind. Now Nebraska is known for being flat and so far its relatively, BUT there was during my ride a big hill on the right of me, Scotts Bluff national monument which rises 330m above the plains. This is the same kind of height at the Tors on dartmoor - and we don't accuse devonshire of being flat! It looks like a pretty cool hill and I think one day I might want to climb it!

Before I forget I want to tell one little story from my stay at the end of Idaho. As the ground gets flatter and I get more tire I will wheel more of these stories out. Janice the lady running that campground had told me the secret to very cheap laundry. She had had a very strange camper stay with her who instead of doing laundry the normal way, would put all his clothes on into the shower and then springle detergent over himself.. madness but I like it. I'm sure that could bring you out in rashes.

Anyway I am in the candlewood inn scottsbluff in a motel, the motel has very strange victorian furniture and I feel could be in a dickens novel. I'll take a photo for the next post. I'm getting my wheel fixed tomorrow so not sure whther I'll ride far given that the wheel won't arrive till lunchtime.

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