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Day 40: Durango

So, given the current weather conditions; the forecast is for more rain/showers for today and tomorrow, that I have resorted to Plan B, which is to cycle to Durango today, have a rest day tomorrow and then go to Mesa Verde, which effectively is the opposite of Plan A.

Also I was thinking that it would be appropriate to develop a system that could convey the severity of the weather conditions when they are not favourable. So I have devised the Idiot Scale of Precipitation (ISoP for short). Do not worry it is not logarithmic or anything mathematical like that, it is simply a subjective scale from 1 to 12 (if 12 is good enough for Beaufort, then it is good enough for me!), and it goes like this:

  1. Clouds but no precipitation;
  2. A few spots of precipitation (rain), but not enough to cause material wetting;
  3. A shower (rain), causes wetting, but sun soon dries out;
  4. A more prolonged period of rain, but does not result in cyclist becoming cold, and soon thereafter the sun causes drying;
  5. It rains, arrive at destination wet, but not cold and not wet through to the skin;
  6. Sleet/Snow shower that causes a temporary period of feeling cold;
  7. Hail storm/shower that causes pain on impact, but although painful it is short term and only results in a temporary period of feeling cold;
  8. Heavy rain, soaked through to the under garments, but it is warm rain, or you are riding hard so not cold.
  9. Prolonged period of Sleet or Hail that is painful on impact and cyclist becomes cold, but continues to cycle, may warm up again prior to reaching destination;
  10. Heavy rain, soaked through to the under garments and cyclist becomes cold but continues to cycle hard with a view to creating sufficient heat to warm up (ascending becomes more preferably to descending, as the former produces heat whilst the latter induces cold);
  11. Heavy hail sleet or snow, cyclist becomes cold, but again continues to cycle hard with a view to creating sufficient heat to warm up (ascending becomes more preferably to descending, as the former produces heat whilst the latter induces cold);
  12. Heavy prolonged rain/sleet/hail/snow such that cyclist becomes so cold he/she curtails ride in favour of hot shower and, perhaps, a hot toddy (Wiki). But will resume as soon as fairer weather prevails.

Today's highs and lows:
Low: Arrived at planned coffee stop to find that it was closed.
High: Mark showed me an alternative coffee spot; offered to host me in Durango (unfortunately I'd already pre-booked a motel) and given the weather conditions, offered to give me a lift to Durango: I graciously declined.
High: Felt strong on the bike and although there was persistent light rain I was making good progress on the 30 odd mile climb.
Low: Got a rear wheel punction.
High: Two folk stopped to see whether I was okay (one even made a u-turn and came back to check I was okay).
Low: The rear tyre is just about done with only about 2,000 miles on it.
High: Realised that it was good that I had the punction on the way into Durango rather than the way out as I should be able to get a decent replacement.
Low: Descent into Durango (Approx. 12 miles) was probably my worst ever descent: heavy rain, lots of spray, water in my eyes which caused me to stop on numerous occasions, and by the time I arrived at the motel I was both wet through to the under garments and exceptionally cold. Indeed I was on the verge of envoking ISoP 12, and perhaps would have if I had not already reached my destination!
High: Hot shower and warm bed before venturing into Durango.