The forecast morning snow doesn’t materialise, so after a quick motel breakfast of waffles and maple syrup I head back to highway 191 for a second attempt. Despite the bitterly cold weather it’s quite a nice ride with almost no traffic and some very nice scenery through Utah’s dinosaur country, with snow on the ground but a dry road with no water to trigger a recurrence of yesterday’s hicups.
By afternoon I’m into the Colorado river canyon and it’s one of the most dramatic roads I’ve ridden. So of course the bullet camera refuses to work. With clouds thickening, sunlight waning, and extremities losing the battle against the cold, I choose a motel in Eagle rather than the ascent of the rockies ahead. It’s going to be interesting to see how well the bike copes with a climb to 11000 feet when it already struggles at 8000. Might have to take the air filter out. I suspect the secondary carb isn’t kicking in soon enough either, but I don’t fancy working on the bike in temperatures near freezing. I’m neglecting the bike because of the cold, riding it hard before retreating to motel room warmth, ignoring warning signs and basic maintenance checks, hoping it won’t punish me for it further down the road. The cold takes over, all your thoughts become centred on bearing the discomfort and getting out of it. The whole day disappears without having thought of anything else.
I decide I need to keep up with things, so I wrap up warm, dig out the head torch, and perform a quick inspection. Good job, too. The chain is slack again, and there is noticeable damage to the teeth on the rear sprocket. The wheel will need adjusting before I set off tomorrow, but the chain looks like it’s not far off the end of its life.