One of the things I love about bike tours is the speed at which I travel. It is fast enough that we can cover some distances, but slow enough that there is time to really see the changes. This leg felt, to me, like the beginning of the end of the tour and it was a leg that took us through a big change in landscape. It was also a leg that brought us to the first real city on this trip.
We had started the long ride down from the Rockies, and that continued. The results of lower elevation became much more clear on this leg. It was easy to feel the change in our lungs. It was also easy to see it in the land we traveled through.
It felt strange to see a city in the distance, and even more so to be re-integrated into more urban issues when we arrived there. There were a very large number of people who appear to be homeless in Pueblo.
Much of this trip I have ridden with others. That differs from last year when I rode primarily alone. Four of us have often ridden together and this leg was one of those days.
Most of of us use the Ride with GPS app to navigate our daily rides. I use mine for audio cues so it speaks to me from the back pocket of my jersey all day, more often when there are lots of turns. When we go for miles on a single road, the app is silent in my pocket. Others have the cues appear on their Garmin devices on their handlebars.
One of the most challenging navigation situations for us are the relatively rare times when we ride on bike paths. Often bike path turns are not as clear as on roads. Often bike paths run parallel to roads, which can confuse the app (presumably the GPS itself).
The route took us on a bike path near Pueblo and several of us wanted to have lunch in the city before riding the 7 or so miles out of town.
The group of us arriving together and searching for a lunch venue were immediately the subject of interest and engagement. It was easy to think that we were being made fun of. But the questions could have been real too. Perhaps a combination of both. The same seemed to be true of the staff at the restaurant we chose for lunch. We could see several empty tables outside, bur we were told it would be a 30-min wait.
Fortunately, it wasn't and within 5 min we were seated with much needed ice water on the way. The food seemed to be good, though my only vegan option was french fries and a small side salad. I have eaten a lot of french fries over the last few weeks.
We left downtown Pueblo to head to our hotel. We were supposed to take a bike path, but we got lost. We were lost for quite some time and in some places that did not seem well-suited to bicycles. Google finally got us there but we had all run out of water in our bottles and we were really hot! A simple hotel never looked so good!