At 5.30am the answer would've been, "...er, hidin', thanks all the same...give me a knock at 11am...": some change from yesterday's crazy but ultimately benign conditions.
I'm pretty sure that I wasn't the only one but I really didn't fancy cycling 135 miles in what looked pretty Baltic weather, even if it did lead to a day-off.
After a ropey and rushed breakfast I rolled out half-asleep and realised that when the weather-geezer said 27F he wasn't joking...even buy my standards this was unpleasantly cold. My fault for thinking that we'd be warming-up nicely after an hour or so....
Our highest point en-route...
...is celebrated with a couple of knackered-looking signs and three knakered cyclists...take a bow Steve and Bob.
After this stop I was joined by Jim and we shared the work until lunch at 64 miles, which is when I changed my first puncture-flat on this trip. Well, I had been living a charmed life, hah-hah!
You can usually tell how people are feeling at lunch by how keen they are to press on...I was happy to potter and pffaf around.
Smoke signals say..."Coal-fired power station nearby...".
Apparently they've got 'Tommy' at La Scala tonight. Result!
Now *this* is what you call Freedom To Roam.
At least after lunch the temperature began to climb under flawless skies and U.K. Bob (from Blackburn but defected to Wiltshire) and I managed to catch Craig who is one of the speed-merchants...he obviously was taking it easy today.
The most enjoyable bit was being able to again share the work with him for 20 fast miles which brought us to the 90-mark...he blithely commented that that was the first time he had ever drafted anyone and now he saw what a help it was...I was having a coronary at the time and disappearing backwards!
Coincidence of the day (if not ride) was when he asked me where I was from...near Belfast...Northern half of Ireland...keeping it simple...and he says one of his best mates lives in Bangor! Yep, he visited not so long ago and had a blast, going all over. I was able to laugh and wheeze as he then floored it into the distance.
No opportunity over-looked, hah-hah!
Registered to one 'H. Bear'. Apparently.
C'mon Lee, you can do it...out powering a Hog. He is George Hincapie-esque. Respect.
The final 40 miles brought the sprawl of Albuquerque within sight...a tough day, but what a good feeling. Cheers!
Way happier with today's numbers more than yesterday's.