July 27, 2004
Cody, WY to Sheridan, WY
Today, we rode the Big Horns. And I can assure you, they are indeed big. First, we had a 60 mile warm-up. This was supposed to be the easy part since it was generally downhill. However, unfavorable winds negated the downhill advantage
along the way, strong odors of petroleum and sufur from some oil wells
then we had 30 mile climb of over 5,500 feet.
this is where the climbing started
and this is the view from the lunch stop, about 2/3’s of the way up
Here’s the view about 800 feet above the lunch stop
still climbing, we encountered free ranging cattle. Note the cattle grates we often have to negotiate
finally at the top
me at the top! It was a bit chilly, too
On the way down, we saw two moose. This is two more than I saw in Alaska
Profile and statistics (absolute altitude is correct).
This was a pretty tough day, even by PAC Tour standards. As previously mentioned, the first 60 miles were a lot harder than expected due to the unfavorable winds. The first 18 miles of climb to the lunch stop was a time trial. Mark Leuckx from Belgium broke his 2001 record of 1 hr 27 minutes, improving it to 1:12. Way to go Mark! Incidentally, Mark finished with the first group in the 2003 PBP with a time of 42 hours! I came in with a time of 1:56 – a bit of a disappointment. While only around 8-10% grade, my 39x27 just wasn’t low enough for today’s climb. I think the high altitude was a big factor as well -- I felt much better after we descended to 4,000 feet. The descent was really, really fun. Lots of twists and turns that seemed to go on forever.