Heading into Philipsburg today we reached 5000 ft of elevation. We should remain above this level for the next several weeks until we reach southern Colorado. With most of us unaccustomed to the altitude, we felt as if we were working hard for our miles. We had plenty of beautiful scenery to take our minds off of the hard work. With the altitude comes snow-covered mountain tops.
The Rotary Club of Philipsburg fed us a fantastic meal of meatloaf, potatoes, salad, and fresh broccoli. It is hard to believe, but we were talking about the fact that after 900 miles on the road, none of us think that we have lost any weight due to the generosity of our sponsors. It is humbling to see our sponsors work so hard to host us. They are amazed at how many miles we have ridden, and we are amazed that they show such generosity to strangers. It is no small task to satisfy the appetites of 23 cyclists and six crew members who work equally as hard. We realize that the sponsors work so hard because of the teams that they have met in the past and we work hard to ensure that we leave a good impression for the teams to come after us.
We have a relatively short day ahead of us tomorrow as we head to Butte. For most of us, 53 miles would have been the longest ride of our lives a few weeks ago. It now seems almost inconsequential. However, we know that we have 100, and 125 coming up right after that. Again, that would have seemed intimidating a few weeks ago, but now we know that as a team, we are up for it. We are getting better at riding in pace lines and drafting off of each other. We also know that camaraderie and team spirit help us to get through rides that we would not want to do on our own. It seems strange that we have only been together for about 18 days. It already seems like we have been through so much together, and the ride is still young. We will continue to develop as a team, and we look forward to the challenges ahead.