I didn't sleep too well last night- lots of dreams kept waking me up - probably because I was worried about today's ride. I got up about 6:15, checked my email and the weather forecast - not as good as it was yesterday with 10-20 sw winds in the afternoon and the chance of 'dry thunderstorms' with strong, gusty winds- then headed down to the 'continental' breakfast. It was not a good one, but they did have some apples so I grabbed two of those to add to my ride food for today. Breakfast was a couple of small pastries with a cup of coffee. Then I finished packing and headed out about 7:15.
My room was on the second floor, so I, carefully, bounced the bike down the stairs. Some water spilled from the top my right side water bladder, and I rode away with a little water dripping from that water bladder and about 7.5 liters on board.
Irrigated land west of Delta
It was still cool and there was only a little wind, so I pushed a bit and cruised at about 14 mph. Clouds covered the sun until around 9 AM. By 8:30 AM I was well past 'civilization' and riding in the desert. Things were going well until, about 17 miles out, I noticed that my right water bladder now had about a liter less water in than it had when I left the motel. I stopped, confirmed that it was leaking, and headed back to Delta. I couldn't take the chance of running out of water out there, so the was no real decision to be made. I had to turn back.
Leaving civilization ;-}
While riding back, I realized what had happened. I stopped and confirmed my hypothesis. When I came down the stairs with both water bladders full, the one on the right side was free to swing forward and, when it did, it ran into the canti brake with its sharp tipped cable sticking out. That cable punctured the bladder about half way down. Hmm, that meant I would still have about two liters in that bladder, instead of thye three and a half liters I started with. I thought about turning around again and going on, but I wasn't confident that I would have enough water.
Almost gone, but there are still power poles
When I got back to Delta about 10 AM, I headed for McDs and breakfast ;-}. I'd ridden about 34 miles and I was hungry. After breakfast, I looked for a place to stay. The Budget Motel caught my eye because it had wireless. I stopped, talked to the, very nice, lady running the place, and, in part because of her kindness, got a room for 1/3 what I paid last night. Utah continues to impress me with kindness.
All gone, just desert
After working on this report a while, I cleaned up and walked up the street to a grocery / general merchandise store where I got a 3 liter Shasta soda, two quarts of Gatorade, a chefs salad, some honey buns, some hose clamps, and some brads.
The soda bottle will be an additional water carrier for me. I have one short bungee cord that I brought with me and another, smaller, even shorter cord that I found along the road a few days ago. Together, they hold the 3 liter bottle quite neatly on the top of my rear rack.
The quarts of Gatorade will be mixed into my water supply tomorrow. This is really hot, dry, riding and, although I haven't experienced any heat related problems except needing to carry more than 20 pounds of water ;-}, the Gatorade is probably a good idea.
The chefs salad was all I wanted for lunch after my big second breakfast at McDs. The honey buns supplement my food supply for snacks while riding. I already had a few, but a touring cyclist doing long hard days can never have too many honey buns ;-}.
The hose clamps and brads were to use to try to splint my broken tent pole. After some experimenting, I figured out a way to use just two brads as splints inside the pole's tubing at the broken joint. It isn't perfect, but it is a big improvement over the tubing without the splints. If I need to camp again, my tent will work almost normally and, while not as strong as it was, will have a much better chance of handling bad weather.
I also patched, with electrical tape, the hole in my second water bladder. It is sitting in my bathroom with 3 liters of water in it and not showing any signs of leakage. I'll probably mount it again tomorrow and carry over ten liters of water. On this tour, in unusually hot weather, I've needed lots of water, far more water than I've needed on past tours. Although there will be some extra work - I just checked with Google Earth and there are a couple of significant climbs on the way to the border - running out of water would be much worse than carrying a few liter more than needed.
Tomorrow's ride may well the most difficult ride in the desert, mostly because I'm lower down now than I will be riding across most of Nevada. It is also a longer day, with about the same amount of climbing - several thousand feet, relative most of the days in Nevada. If nothing else, it should give me a benchmark for how much water I need to carry.
Looking out my window at 4:30 PM, I see a flag blowing in the wind. That flag says the wind is from the south at around 10 mph. I hope that the wind is less tomorrow. I also see a lot of smoke from the big fire south of here.