Day 135 – Missoula to Helena

Today was another hard day in the saddle, and the first 90 miles or so were not that enjoyable. The road headed gradually uphill for the majority and the wind wasn’t exactly making it easy. Once again the heat was pretty draining. I have come to the conclusion that 40 degrees is more or less the cut off point for when my body stops functioning efficiently. Having ridden through India and South East Asia, I am a lot better ‘acclimatised’ to riding in such high temperatures. Excluding one day in Burma (Day 53 I think), since the first week in India, I have noticed that I don’t need to drink as much and my speed isn’t really affected by the heat… Until it hits 40 degrees. At which point, my heart rate rockets up, my legs slow down and I start drinking water by the litre.

On top of this, my body in general was feeling the effects of 15 days riding. My feet and hands hurt a lot more than normal and somehow I had developed a blister on my thumb and on one of my toes; both of which were very irritating. I think my hands and feet have definitely toughened up over the last couple of weeks but every now and then it seems to catch up with me.

After 90 miles the day improved a bit. I stopped for a drink and spoke to my parents for the first time in a couple of weeks which was nice. I also met a very nice English woman (apologies I didn’t ask your name) and afterwards I felt refreshed and a fair bit more enthusiastic about the remaining miles.

I don’t have much of a choice other than to take a shorter day tomorrow (I’m not really willing to sleep in a tent at the moment) so hopefully that will give me a bit of recovery.

The end of today held a climb that reached 1900m elevation at it’s highest. I spent week in the Alps last summer and it was snowing at that height. Ok, that was slightly unusual but it was over 30 degrees at the top today which I still can’t get my head around…

America has proved harder than expected so far so I apologise for moaning as much as I have… I’m hoping Canada will be slightly kinder but I guess I’ll find out soon, although that is still 6 days riding away.

Distance: 126.6 miles / 203.7km
Riding Time: 8:54:56
Av. Speed: 14.2mph / 22.8km

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3 comments

  1. Couple things here, you meet a very nice English lady and you failed to to ask her name, what on earth were you discussing, cycling round the world or something. Now what’s this you began to feel better after 90 miles, Tom that hardly fills people like me with confidence regarding our own abilities, after 90 miles most of us would be on our knees, never mind the temperatures and terrain, but it’s good to know you began to feel better. I am not sure what you are doing with these winds, but I am convinced, before you leave for Europe that wind will turn in your favour, I am sure of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re showing true grit now Tom which is awesome to read about. Are you planning a rest day soon or just cracking on until the east coast??? Hang in there, we’re all rooting for you and you’re getting closer with every revolution. Take care of the hands and feet though! Don’t let those blisters get any worse. Legend!

    Like

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