This really was a day that should have never begun. I had gone to bed with a sore stomach and vomiting the night before and woke up feeling worse than before. But we had a plan and the weather was cool (only 28 degrees) and we had a tail wind. Scott wanted to make it and I was hoping I would feel better throughout the day. Boy was I wrong. At least I have a new trick to add to my list, vomiting while riding – nice.
Here’s some tips for riding through the desert:
1- Populated is best: Do not listen to locals when they tell you one way is prettier than another more populated way. Utah is pretty everywhere, you may as well be close to water and shops if you are riding through the desert.
2- Do not listen to locals or other touring cyclists: Locals don’t know what it is like to ride somewhere on their bikes and other touring cyclists like desolated roads and no towns, we like cities and supermarkets.
3- Check for mice: When setting up in a field to camp wait until dusk, this is when if there are plagues of mice they will show themselves, which they did where we pitched our tent only too late to notice.
4- Do not ride sick: I shouldn’t have pushed myself, but we made it, only after vomiting while riding the whole day. By the time I realised how sick I was it was too late and there was nothing nearby and we just had to push on. Thank goodness my mum called me just when I couldn’t handle it anymore and made me feel a bit better. Thanks mum.
5-Start early: The earlier the better, by 11am it is hotter than hell and no matter what the temperature the sun is vicious.
6- Cover your skin: I am pale, I mean reflective white pale. Even if you’re not, wear clothes that cover as much skin as possible. It may make you a little hotter, but it saves you from getting heat stroke and having to put on sun block every hour.
7- Hitchhike: Folks are nice out here, they all have trucks and if they offer you a lift and you only have 20km left to go and have been vomiting all day, take it and try to restrain yourself from hugging them, crying and telling them that you love them. Then try to repay their act of kindness by not vomiting in their car. Deep breaths help.
8- Have a laugh: I was too tired for a full-blown break down; I just whimpered quietly and insisted on napping in strange places like a military cemetery (the only shade for miles). Scott had a doozie though, only his second. At least it was short lived as when I was trying to comfort him I vomited, and then mice started to run everywhere. Sometimes all you can do is laugh.