January 2, 2012

DAY 46

I took my time getting ready because it was to be a short day of cycling, only about 40 miles to Riobamba. I cleaned my chain and also the rest of the bicycle and then was on the road around 11am.

I'll keep this short...... steep uphil! long! I got angry at the stupid mountain!

15 miles non-stop uphill, I got exhausted, I was hurting and despite drinking at least half a gallon of water and 2 large gatorades I still felt weak and dizzy.

Next time I may consider this:

After 15 miles and many breaks, I was very tired. I was climbing in elevation and starting to feel more of the effects of exertion in a low oxygen environment. I was forced to start pushing or pass out if I kept pushing myself so hard.

As I was pushing the bicycle a pickup truck stopped and asked if I wanted a ride. At first I was declining the offer because I was really looking forward to the downhill, as tough as this uphill is there had to be an awesome downhill where I could break my current top speed. Then he told me it was about 10 more miles of uphill, at my current walking pace of 2.5 mph, it would be way past dark before I got to Riobaamba. I happily accepted the offer with the intention of being dropped off at the top so I could cycle the downhill.

When we reached the top we were engaged in conversation and I thought that conversation was more important than a downhill run for me. The man had spent some time in Michigan and his daughter has been to Eugene, Oregon as an exchange student! Eugene is where I've been for the past 9 years, what a coincidence. They spoke fluent English and it is always nice to find people to chat with who speak English.

He dropped me off a few miles from town as he had to turn toward a different direction to go visit a place where they make beautiful handmade rugs.

I checked into the first hotel and used their wi-fi to check messages. I noticed there was a message froom Furio telling me they were in Riobamba, the message was only 5 minutes old and I responded saying I was here too but he was already offline. I assume he was using an internet cafe because he was not online the rest of the evening. I took a walk into the main part of town and around the area of the bus terminal thinking I might run into them but no such luck. I could see the mountains are getting taller around here with glaciated tops but I did not have my camera with me to get a photo. The man who picked me up had pointed to a mountain and said it was about 6,000 meters tall, which is about 20,000 feet. I walked about 3 miles in total and went back to relax the rest of the evening.


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