2000 PAC Tour Central Transcontinental
Day 11, September 20
by Ken Bartholic, Cheryl McMurray, and Chuck Bramwell

Daily Map
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Lon's Description: The longest day of the tour is 160 miles into Ulysses, Kansas. When you get the mountains and trees out of the way you can finally see something. This part of the country has the most beautiful sunrises. The sun is an orange ball magnified to twice it regular size as it comes over the horizon. Flat dusty fields disperse the amber light into a soft glow. To end our day the Ulysses Chamber of Commerce is hosting a chuck wagon BBQ cookout for us down at the old town museum.

Today we rode from La Junta, Colorado to Ulysses, Kansas, a total of 163 windy miles. We were concerned about rain at the start, but fortunately that turned out not to be a problem.

The wind was strong and out of the north all day, and since our route went due east for 86 miles, then south for 35 miles, then east again for the final 40 miles, we had 126 miles of very strong crosswinds. This was the challenge of the day - the winds were strong enough that pacelines didn't work very well, and this became a very difficult day.

The terrain is very flat, with very few distinguishing features. The southbound 35 miles was a blast, and we made really good time on this stretch. Lunch was in the pleasant little town of Holly, and we convinced Mike & Nancy Myers to try out the kiddie slide in the adjacent city park (see photo).

At mile 127, we crossed the state line into Kansas, a significant event even though there was no sign to demark the state line. Needless to say, this was one of the most difficult days we've had so far.


Estimated Distance: 160 Miles
Actual Distance: 161.7 Miles
Cumulative Actual Distance: 1,368 Miles

This includes the following off course added miles:
San Diego - 2.0 Miles when Chuck and Bob Harting missed a turn

Winslow - 4.7 Miles when Chuck, Ken, and Les Drake went to the mural painting after the ride

Pagosa Springs - 3.1 Miles when Chuck missed Lunch

Alamosa - 11.2 Miles when Chuck missed the turn for Lunch

Estimated Feet of Climbing: 830 Feet
Actual Feet of Climbing: 1,160 Feet
Cumulative Feet of Climbing: 45,100 Feet
Elevation of Destination: 3,160 Feet
Average Speed on the Bike: 17.4 MPH
Maximum Speed on the Bike: 30.5 MPH
Chuck's Heart Rate Data:
Max Heart Rate was 196 BPM a few weeks ago before PAC Tour
Time above 150: 0:01
Time between 130-150: 4:20
Time below 130: 6:22
Dairy Queen Count: 1 Blythe, CA

2 Twister's Ice Cream in Williams, AZ

3 Dairy Queen in Cortez, Colorado was phenomenal

4 Dairy Queen in Monte Vista, Colorado
(PAC Tour Hot Fudge Banana Split:
Bananas, 3 Scoops Ice Cream, Hot Fudge on Side: Awesome!!)

Cheryl & Denise We were still cold at Rest Stop #1.

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The Myers We talked the Myers into going down this slide at Lunch in Holly, Kansas.

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Down the slide The Myers are mighty fun to be with!!

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The Definition of Flat It is so flat in this part of Kansas, you can see the curvature of the Earth!!

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The Shack The wind blows so hard around here, it's a miracle the roof is still on this shack!!

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Welcome to Kansas This is the Welcome to Colorado sign at the state border. The other side probably used to say "Welcome to Kansas" but the paint was blown off by the wind!! :)

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Highlights: The morning started with The Weather Channel on TV, as usual. Ken and I were glued to The Weather Channel every night and every morning. The Weather Channel announcers become our friends ... or, as in the case of this morning, they become our enemies. Temperature at start: 48 degrees but 32 degrees with the Wind Chill Factor.

Break out all of our clothes. For me that means: Undershirt, Jersey, Vest, Arm Warmers, and Windbreaker.

It's going to be freezing cold ... literally. And that 32 degrees doesn't include the additional chill factor of riding down the road on our bikes. It was cold through and through until way past the First Rest Stop.

After battling headwinds for the first 86 miles, it was a mighty welcome relief to turn right and pick up some tailwinds. On this stretch of road, we even were able to chase the shadows of the clouds at 21 MPH with a tailwind.

Ed simply said, "We never accomplish anything by ourselves -- it's always with the help of others." This is so true: we each have folks supporting us through our entire journey.

Ed has serious diabetes and is just riding fantastically across America. He is a true inspiration to all of us.

Unfortunately, the tailwind section didn't last very long and we were back at battling headwinds for the rest of the ride into Ulysses. We tried to work a paceline with the Myer's tandem which worked a little bit.

The folks in Ulysses, Kansas really rolled out the red carpet for us and after 160 miles of cold sidewinds and headwinds, we really needed it!! They had Gatorade in the machines in the lobby. They had buses waiting for us to take us to a Barbecue dinner. Phone calls at the phone booth were just 5 cents. It was impressive for sure.

After it was dark, I went for a walk outside the hotel ... the stars in the sky were crystal clear and the Big Dipper jumped right out at me.
Memorable Scenery: At mile 55, there was a Llama ranch!!??!!

4.2 miles of very ugly road on Route 50

Small yellow butterflies close to the ground after Lunch reminded me of the First Day riding into El Centro

At mile 152, there was an oil pump

Mechanical Problems: None to report
Biomechanical (Engine)
None to report
What Worked: Lots and lots of clothes at start

What Didn't Work: Brutally cold headwinds that howled at us
Quote of the Day:

"I'm shaking that bush, Boss!!"
Chuck and Ed from the movie, "Cool Hand Luke"
Since San Diego, we've been saying this back and forth to each other with a big grin on our faces.

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