On day four of the tour we deserved an easy day after day three.
Before I launch into describing day four, I have to tell you that there are many options for lodging during the Bicycle Tour of Colorado. There is the outdoor camping option for hard cores. This means the tour company lugs your bags (limited size, number and weight) and you set up your tent at the end of each day’s ride.
There is an option where someone else sets up a tent for you. If you don’t want to risk sleeping in rain or wind, there is an indoor camping option. That means the tour home base each night is at a big facility (usually a school) and you get to sleep with about 400 of your closest friends on a gymnasium floor.
There is a tour-based hotel option. That means a tour company reserves rooms for you, moves your baggage from location to location and you get to sleep in a real bed each night.
Finally, there is the VIP option. This means someone you know transports your stuff from hotel to hotel and is usually within 10 miles of you on any given day. This person takes your warm clothing before a climb and gives it back to you at the top of the climb. They have cold drinks, including Coke, whenever you please. There is food in the cooler, a dog that greets you at each stop and critically important – a French press in the car for good, really good, coffee each morning.
Three of us selected the VIP option.
We had the luxury of Del (my husband) and support dog (Meeka) taking care of us. This is a huge benefit.
(Todd, Bruce, me, Del, Meeka)
During the tour week, we tried to optimize our benefits by selecting days to ride fast, and some to ride easy. Today was an easy day for three of us. Three other people that we often rode with during the tour had their heads down, riding fast, foaming at the mouth and they completely missed the “Welcome to Colorado” sign. They argued there was no sign. Hmmmmmm….
We enjoyed the ride at a toodle (easy) pace. At the end of the day, several of us went to dinner to celebrate my birthday. The dinner fun was a nice addition to the tour.
No, I get by with a little help from my friends Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends
Joe Cocker – “With a Little Help from My Friends
We stayed at the Fireside Inn Cabins in Pagosa Springs. This was our favorite lodging for the entire trip. The cabins are set next to the San Juan River and offer quality, comfortable lodging for humans, dogs and livestock.
Today’s stats: Ride time 2:50, Out time 4:00, 51.33 miles, 2241 ft ascending, 17.1 mph
Looking forward to a day off tomorrow; but we did ride some.
Continuing the story on the week-long bike tour, as I mentioned yesterday. Today’s route was officially from Creed to Alamosa. We rode from our cabin about eight miles outside of Creed to Alamosa. It was a chilly and stiff start. Our bodies had residual pains from the long, hard day yesterday.
The morning lyrics that popped into my head…
And that's Uncle Joe, he's a movin' kind of slow At the junction, Petticoat Junction
With a slow start, the day ended up being flying fast. The weather gods were mostly good mannered, giving us tailwinds for at least half of the day. There were only three of us riding together today, as the group got split up by our accommodations outside of Creed. The stats for the day (at the end of the column) were sweet.
One of the best parts of doing bike tours is you get to see sights that you don’t see on your normal riding routes. In fact, you see things you’ve never seen before. Below are a couple of shots of horse-drawn hay cutting operations. It was really fun to see it.
Stats for the day (all from my 705 Edge Garmin, as some have asked what system I used):
Ride time 3:26, “Out” time 4:05, 72.1 miles, 602 ft. of ascending, 21.0 mph average speed
When we reached the official stopping point for the day, we noticed the 21mph average – woo-hooooo – we were haulin’ the mail today!