Stage 92 when birds have difficulty in flying that’s a significant wind..Patagonia lives up to its repetition of having fierce winds.. and then some. Those of us who chose to take on the cold driving winds know and will always remember the challenge of pushing against this invisible force.
It has been interesting to hear the impressions of those who recently joined us. Mainly they see a group lacking cohesiveness. As one of the participates said early on, “you will see everything.” I mentioned in a recent blog that this has been the characteristics of a TV reality show.
If someone is thinking of doing this in the future by aware that you will stay in some real dumps and you will do your business anywhere and everywhere camping. Otherwise you may be in for a real surprise. I really didn’t know what to expect and this was not a major concern. I was more concerned as to whether I could ride, race, and maintain the same bicycle for 11,000 km. It isn’t done yet but I think it is well within the realm of possibility. So this isn’t the trip for you if you are not comfortable with difficult riding conditions and sleeping in some surroundings with chickens, dogs, excrement, and loud people who don’t take the riding challenge that seriously.
Joost and Alfred had a sizable lead on me when along came one of the new riders from Australia, Ben Bradley. I should add that Ben is a strong fresh cyclist The two of us fought the wind taking turns drafting and leading. Truly a difficult task in an unrelenting gale wind which was either a cross or a dead on headwind. To have attempted cycling through this Patagonian wind would certainly have been an enormous task if not impossible. Several cyclists reported being blown over or off the road. Fortunately there were only a handful of motorists.
So the wind continues to blow where we are camped in a smal village. The tent will flap and rattle all night as though we were off on some lofty mountain expedition.
Actually there were no towns or even homes along the entire 230 km.
More timing again tomorrow. It will end soon!
That was my response to Rob’s inquiry about my favorable results today. Kind of a surprise for me as well. It has been quite a long time. I understand that we have 9 more racing days. Believe me when I say that I am looking forward to no more timing. Period. If you were to ask how many pictures I took today. The answer of course would be zero. I didn’t get off until I was at the finish 118 km down the road.
The recent days of rain and unpaved roads really played havoc with my drive train and shifting both front and back. So during yesterday’s rest day I replaced the cassette, the rear derailleur, and front cable and housing. I would have replaced the chain if I had had a another one but I settled for a through cleaning in a plastic container.
Not only did I enjoy riding my bike because it pedaled like a new bike, but I am sure I was able to pedal faster as a result as well.
Tomorrow we cross back through customs into Argentina. No timing! Photos will be taken unless it isn’t photogenic.