13 January 2011

Near Loma Negra

I left the balnearios at Tapalqué early in the morning and had a café con leche and 3 media lunas at the panaderia in town. I felt good on the road and 51 south was good riding with the wind behind me. I concentrated on my form and found that by keeping my back very straight I could alleviate some of the pressure on my right shoulder. I also switched up my hand positions on the handlebars often and I now believe it was prolonged riding on the brake hoods that caused the shoulder pain. I rolled my shoulders while riding and this also helped to loosen them up. I felt good and would do big mileage.

I was riding easily and made Azul before lunch and decided to head west on an auto pista that would reconnect me to 51 near Olavarria. Heading west with 2 lanes of heavy truck traffic and the wind now in my face, I realized it was a mistake not to have stopped in Azul. I gutted out the 35km and had lunch at a petrol station in Hinojo, just before the intersection with 51.

Back on the road it was getting late and I had the decision to ride west another 15km to Olavarria, or to head south on 51 and hope to find a supermarket and a place to camp. I was running low on pesos too and had not seen an ATM in any off the small towns I had been in. I choose to head south and with the wind behind me again I was riding fast and easy.

Too tired to chase me

I found a petrol station and had a dinner of beef and salad and a 1.5 liter bottle of aqua con gas. I bought another bottle of water for the night and got back on the road looking for a place to pitch my tent. I passed a little path that went down off the roadside, protected on either side by large bushes and circled back to it. The path ran back to a fenced in pasture and did not seem to have been used recently by any vehicles. I pulled my bike down behind the bushes and put up my tent.

In the south the sky was dark and after the sun set the wind changed direction. I was ready to fall asleep and figured the dark clouds would blow in my direction and got out of the tent and pulled on the rain fly and put the protective seat cover over my Brooks saddle. It was not long after the wind began to really blow and the tent shook, and then the rain pounded down and the tent was lit up by lightning. It was a violent storm that lasted through the night and the wind howled and battered the tent and the rain fly whipped in the wind. But I was dry inside and cozy and the tent did not come down.


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