Hi I'm Nat :)

My friends say I'm crazy and quirky.

I think I'm positive, energetic and proactive. Kinda deep in my processing of the world although I now just live life for fun and interest, not taking it too seriously. My friends rock my world and I love meeting new people. 

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  • Nat Rainbow

Day 31 - 38 I will miss this so much!!!! Only 297 miles to go!!!

Updated: Jul 25, 2019

Day 31, 46 miles, Platoro Cabin

Nice to meet Sid and Chris the night before at the cyclist hostel.👍🏻 I have met and befriended so many awesome people through this experience. 🤩😍

Well it was the day of Indiana Pass, I was a tad apprehensive knowing how rubbish I’ve been with the altitude, but decided to approach it as positive as possible. I’m well aware I’m entering the last quarter of my ride and that this wonderful experience will be coming to an end and I want to make the most of each day and the experiences I have left.

I feel asleep literally here......hand in phone writing this!!!

The pass went slow but well, I was mentally prepared for it, the 24 miles after to Platoro, well now that’s different story!!! I thought it was going to be a downhill all the way, I couldn’t of been more wrong, I stayed at high altitudes all day, going down then up all afternoon/evening!!! There’s was a lot of storms, thunder, lightening, rain and hail and even with waterproofs I was soaked through most the day. I just kept moving in an attempt to keep warm enough, but even so after a hot shower, some warm food, rum and hot tea thanks to Chris I still went to bed in my puffa jacket as even though I was in a warm cabin and comfy bed I could not get warm at all.

That evening we arrived at Platora in the dark, it was magical, a lit up village in the mountains. The café/cabin hire was closed, I was on such a mission to get a bed and warm shower I literally hunted round until I found someone and thankfully they helped us!! Gotta love people. 😀

Day 32, 45 miles, Wild camp before Brazos Ridge

Fell asleep again trying to write this blog, I’m so tired!!!

So after getting so wet in Indiana pass my body temperature didn’t return to normal until after a hot breaky and several coffees with sugar. Look what I spied at breaky....

Weirdly then my body seemed to freak out and I was stuck on the toilet next!!! This is the first day I have really considered if my body needed a day off, it’s obviously going through a lot, but I always planned to ride if I could even if only a short day. So I head off to Horca, thinking that would be an easy downhill!! NOPE!!! Wash board and I’m not joking this was, I actually thought it was going to rattle Firefly to bits!!

The awesome achievement today reaching the last state of New Mexico, I couldn’t believe how good this felt!!

Not such an achievement was going splat in the mud 🤣🤣

Riding till sunset, I had the company of Chris which meant my first stick fire and a cup of tea before bed! 😁👍🏻

Beautiful moonlit camp 🌚

Day 33, 43 miles, camping near Hopewell Lake

What a day, I’m sooooooooooo tired and that was so hard going, I’d hoped for 60 plus miles but I know I’ve done my best. I’ve had to dig really deep and do a lot of mental encouragement to keep me in a positive mind frame. Days like today I realise how much discipline I have to stay on the bike and keep pedalling when my mind can come up with so many reasons why I should stop and sleep!

I rode solo today and then bumped back into Chris near the end of the ride. I was thinking a lot today about riding solo and in company and the difference it makes, both have there benefits and negatives for sure. It is really nice to see people at the end of the ride and share a camp spot and talk about the events of the day. Chris has also found the last 3 days really tough going, that kinda makes me feel better as I had been feeling quite weak and feeble compared to the racers, but then these racers are the real deal and I’m just someone who decided to ride the Divide back in November when I didn’t own a bike and was unsure if I was recovered enough from the RA to pedal. Lol it makes me giggle that I’m so bonkers to take on such an epic challenge without even knowing if I like bike riding, it’s a good job I ended up loving it!!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣

Day 34, 56 miles, Air b n b at Abiquiu

This was an easy ride today, I loved coming down out of altitude. Today I was super low on food and so happy to find the little shed store open, they were tracking my arrival. 😍

It was also great to get to El Rito and eat a proper meal!

I hit Abiquiui early and ideally would of continued but my back wheel had an issue. I had been inflating it daily but today it went down 3 times!!! I’d been warned by the last bike shop that taking off the back wheel may trigger my gear issue. For this reason I didn’t want to put a goo tube in on the fly and so gate crashed on the sofa at an air b n b that Chris had found.

In bits again! But success and no gear issues triggered, phew!!

Unbelievable there was a hot tub and so I took advantage, knowing that it would do my swollen knees the world of good.

So I’m sitting in the hot tub, watching real fireflies, sparkling around my Firefly, an image ingrained in my mind, a special TD memory for sure. 🤩 Then I here, ‘is that Nat Rainbow’ It’s only Ally who’s touring and headed off with the Grand Depart, we met that first day and a couple of times since. She’d been on a mission to catch me up, not hard at my pace!!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣. I love the friendships that are forged along the way. 🥰 So an evening of catching up and giggles. 🤣

Day 35, 55 miles, wild camp 22 miles before Cuba

This was desert day, I didn’t sleep well as I get an excited, nervous anticipation, on what I expect to be challenging days. Having a realistic approach and being prepared for a lot of hike a bike and heat meant that I had an awesome day even though I lost my new suncream, thankfully I’d put a lot on in the morning!

It was nice to experience some Trail Magic today and find a water resupply on route, with Tour Divide 2019 written on it. 🥰

I rode into the dark this night, only stopping as my headtorch battery died but I think this was good as forced me to stop and camp and I was exhausted! 😴😴

Day 36, 62 miles, bivvied outside a church 35 miles on route to grants

Wow, I woke tired, yesterday had been a hot and tiring day for sure. I pack up and head out, singing to cows to get them to moooooove off the road, when who should I bump into camping but Ally, we where like 1/4 of a mile apart without realising!

So off to Cuba and straight to Subway and bump back into Ally after she’d taken me over on route, I swear I want to get my knees stronger so I’m not a 🐌🚴🏼‍♀️!!!

It’s always nice to eat something more proper then high calorie junk I eat on the bike! I can’t wait to do a fruit and veg detox after I finish!

Some more Trail Magic and a guy we‘d been chatting to buys us cookies!

As it’s so hot we spend the time relaxing at rebel’s roost and I do laundry after 9 days, no wonder I stink! 🤭 what’s worse though is I like this bikepacking a lot and have no issue ponging lol!

About 6pm I head off, it’s still crazy hot but I need to get some miles in and they are easy road miles, bonus!

Party on Firefly with glow sticks! 🥳

Day 37, 85 miles, Motel in Grants

I should be asleep as it’s 11.50pm and I plan on getting up to ride at 4am to avoid some of the crazy heat, but I‘ve been drinking so much fluids after today that I woke and now I’m excited again and can’t sleep!! It’s hopefully Pie Town and toaster house tomorrow, this is a massively awesome, I kinda can’t believe this time has come!!!

So today I woke at 4am, we slept in the church yard, Ally’s awesome idea as she thought would be safer then a roadside camp.

So 4 ish hours sleep and we are off, Allys flys off at a good pace, I ride on at my slower pace. I had worked out I had 96 roadmiles to go and at this point I didn’t know how I’d achieve this. Under my more normal circumstances that would be good now but in this heat that’s a whole different ball game!! So to my normal riding of 5 miles at a time, this works a treat and the day cracks on and the miles keep clocking up until I get to a turn and it says Grants 16 miles!!!!!! At this point I still think I have 30 miles to go, I love that my tiredness meant i’d made a mistake as this was such a great surprise and made the day so much easier!!!

On arrival to Grants lots of fluids, pizza and shopping for 4 days days as limited resupply now and I’m unsure how long the section will take. The terrain, weather and my knees all mean that ride time can change a lot and I want to be worst case prepared!! This also means a mass clear out of bikepackijg bags in an effort to get weight down and make more room for water. Water is so precious now!!!!

The miles are whizzing down quickly now, it’s strange to think this ends!!!

Day 38, 71 miles to Pie Town and Toaster House

So an early start 5am ish, should of been earlier but it’s getting harder to get up, especially when in a comfy bed!!

The day started ropey with a dodgy tummy, my body was saying I don’t want to ride and I said please can we and thankfully we rocked out 71 miles and hit the goal! Pie Town, whoop, whoop I’ve been looking forward to this the whole trip. 🤩🥧

I found a red lantern at toaster house!

Today it was insanely hot at points and cover was taken when possible, I found Ally in a tube at one point!

Thankfully alot of the day it was overcast and made the riding pleasurable. 👍🏻👍🏻

Today I had the most special message from Erin my number 1 dot watcher and supporter, she wants to ride the TD with her dad next year and told me if I can do it that she will, so it’s looking like you will be Erin. 😀👍🏻

This absolutely melted me and made me so happy and made me pedal harder I’m sure! 😍🤩🌈👍🏻🚴🏼‍♀️🐌💚

Thank you for all your encouragement, both you and Adia are often in my thoughts. 🥰

I now have only 297 miles left and have really mixed feelings, I want to get to the end and hit that goal, I know that will feel epic but I’m also aware this has been a precious experience and I’m going to miss it all soooooooooooo much!!!!!!

Pleasing 😍