A beautiful start and shifting winds.
The day started out cool, but not cold, and no wind for the first time in days. Of course, before each day all the riders check their phones and get weather reports and speculate about the weather for the next day. This serves three purposes – first, it gives us something to talk about. Second, it gives us something to worry about. Finally, on a more practical note, it tells us how to dress for the next day of riding.
Today, everyone was worried about wind again. There were conflicting weather reports and one pointed to some high head winds the entire ride, just like the last two. The other was a bit more modest in terms of wind speed, but still predicted a head wind.
The ride profile was interesting, too. The distance was a (relatively) modest 55 miles. The first 27 or so miles were basically level with some rolling hills. The second half of the ride was downhill all the way. The whole ride turned out to be a mixed bag of fantastic riding and tough riding.
The morning was vibrant with color from the storms that passed that night.
We exited Marathon with spectacular conditions. No wind, cool temperatures, and a stunning sky.
These conditions remained the same all the way to the first SAG stop at the 28 mile mark. But then, once we started the back 28 miles and the downhill, the wind kicked up with sufficient force to basically counteract the advantage of the downhill riding.
Still, despite the wind, there were things to celebrate as we rode. Green vegetation and the first real spring flowers along the roadside – something non-desert like.
And, at the end of the day’s ride, a great lunch at “The Ranch House” in Sanderson with brisket burgers.
If you look carefully in the back on the left, our server is posing with one of our riders and she has her hand on her gun that she, and the other servers, pack. The gun is not a prop.