Today was supposed to be the second hardest day of the tour with 5515 ft of climbing in 54 miles. We would be going from Basin to Burgess Junction by way of Shell Canyon which is really beautiful. Unfortunately there was a fire nearby which made the initial part of the canyon very smoky. We left early in order to beat the heat, but it was already fairly warm when we started. The first 30 miles were fairly flat and I took it easy knowing the climb that was at the end.
Sweet nectarines my go to fruit on this tour
The volunteers on this trip were awesome. Besides having a cowboy coffee every morning , I would eat nectarine slices at every rest stop. They provided a glucose boost that I know my body immediately utilized. By doing this I avoided the problems I had when I did Ride the Rockies the previous month. This tour is much easier than Ride the Rockies so I did not need my mid ride meal which I did during RTR. I did miss my fajitas though.
Into the smoke we go
As we got closer to the canyon you could see and smell the smoke. I do not have asthma, but when the air quality is really bad I get wheezy. I know that and bring an inhaler with me on these trips. Unfortunately , I did not think ahead and left it in my luggage in the SAG. Lucky for me, our awesome SAG found me and I was able to use my inhaler and the wheezing went away.
My inhaler rescued me
As I was riding up the canyon I got passed by two gentlemen. I pushed and managed to catch them. I was chatting with them and found out that one of them was 68 and the other was 70. The pitch of the climb got steeper and the 70 year just rode away from us. Completely amazing. I was the youngest at 52 getting my butt kicked. I hope I am as strong when I get to be their age.
Towards the top of the climb the air quality dramatically improved and it was a great ride into Burgess Junction. Since this was the last night of the tour the volunteers were recognized and some people wrote limericks. I am always fascinated how people can come up with these. It was really cool.
Tour de Wyoming keto diet day 5
So how did I fare on this climb ? Ride took around 5 hours. I ate a keto bar and fruit slices at every rest stop. I also used an electrolyte tab in two water bottles. Felt pretty strong except for my wheezing episode which resolved once I had my inhaler. As soon as I got back I checked my ketones( 2.6) and glucose(89). You can see from my ketones that my body did not think this was a very difficult day. Part of it is that it never was that hot and I do so much better in cooler weather. Of course we climbed up into the cooler weather, but it was much nicer than the 100 degrees in Greybull. I set up my tent and lit my stove and had 2 bouillon cubes. Went inside and had a couple beers and a hamburger with the bun. Not hungry or needing to eat with any urgency.
As soon as my teammates were all cleaned up we did a side trip to an Indian Medicine Wheel. Initially used by 10 tribes, now 80 tribes come from all over to use this. When we got back more beer and chili. The Tour de Wyoming dinner that night was burgers and brats, so I ate more. Yes, I am a pig. My teammates all played poker and I had a fascinating conversation with some Brits comparing our medical systems. Also got to watch the Tour de France on TV which was awesome. Tomorrow will be an easy day with mostly downhill. Stay tuned for day 6.
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