Each trip on the bike is a rolling 70 mph classroom about coping and maximizing enjoyment. Everyone travels differently and the only way to know how you travel is to travel alone. I encourage everyone who tours to travel alone because when you discover your style you can then express that to riding companions and it is from that point that compromises can be made and happy group riding will occur. Apparently I don’t like to stop when I’m riding by myself. I don’t like to take pictures, I don’t want to go see that neat thing over there. I want to ride, my experience is the ride, my memory is the ride. Also, I hate getting out of all my gear only to have to struggle back into it over and over and over again. I did try to stop and take pictures on my way up to Durango….with my helmet still on because I didn’t want to bother taking it off for 5 minutes just to put it back on. I got ok pictures but my framing certainly would have been better had I taken my helmet off. I don’t mind stopping for lunch or to see the Big Thing/Museum/Natural Beauty that is going to take a while to see and if I’m traveling with Mr. Man I enjoy getting off the bike to take pictures every once in a while. We can talk about the ride and talk about what we are doing next and talk about his crazy late braking he does going into a curve. Seriously don’t follow this mans brake points unless you also have the crazy.
I’ve also learned that I like to get up early and get on the road but I don’t always leave as early as Mr Man does when he’s alone. I like and need a nice long breakfast and I take longer to get dressed and packed and loaded than he does even when I’m packed minimally. I don’t think its a girl/guy thing because I’m fast and I can get ready faster than at least one of the men we travel with on a regular basis. I just think it’s a me thing. I prefer to move a tad slower. But I can move if I need to, tomorrow I probably will be on the road earlier than usual because I do want to be able to linger on the ride and try to stop more and take some pictures so if I leave early, I won’t feel so pressed I hope.
I’ve learned that I’m not lonely traveling alone. I was a little worried about that but it hasn’t been a real issue. I do have people that talk to me through out the day and strangely I really enjoy the social interaction I have with waitstaff so I’ve tried to find actual restaurants to eat at and not just fast food. Also, shopkeepers give me a lot of social interaction. Once I’m in my room I’m fine. I have netflix and I have my book and I can listen to my public radio via the internet. I’m fine, I like my solitude. I’m glad I chose today to wander around Durango and shop and see and eat. I got a lot of social interaction from the woman at the wholesale jewelry place who gave me some hints about Ouray to the gay man who stopped to ask me about my bike and ask for hints on where to go in Austin. It was enough interaction that I was ready to retreat back to my room to blog and then to order Chinese take out. I’m eager to see friends and family again and would enjoy doing this trip again with company. I enjoy the companionship you get during a trip as you soak your bones in a hot tub and laugh at each other. I really love that. But I love this too. I love pleasing no one but myself.
I’ve also learned that I was so very wrong about Highway 84. I thought it was boring hot road. It proved me so very wrong the moment we turned north out of Santa Fe to head to Durango. There were many hill I crested to whisper “Oh My God” as I involuntarily rolled off the throttle because it was that beautiful, the road was that exciting.
I’ve also learned how to charge my video camera so I should be able to take some video of my ride to Ouray tomorrow. In the meantime, here are the pictures I did get at my one stop yesterday.
Also, I’m not sure what my internet connectivity will be like in Ouray so I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to blog. I’ll see if I can find an internet cafe or something. I’ll be in Ouray for two days, three nights so I’m hoping I can find something. If not, I’ll post again from Pueblo on my way home.
Quick Edit: I’ve been tacking my miles daily so I wanted to note that yesterdays ride was 227 miles.