Since there has been a lag between this post and my last bike tour post (due to the Tour de France postings), I decided to do some consolidation.
Day 5 was a day off in Pagosa Springs. The morning included a short hike and in the early afternoon a couple of us did a short and easy spin to keep our legs loose. One big find on this day was a store that sells poop.
Those of you familiar with the infamous Turd Trophy know how fond I am of lacquered poop. As it turns out, I’m not the only one that knows the value of these shiny treasures.
The store front is located just outside of Pagosa Springs. I didn’t get a chance to go into the store to find out if I should consider a second business of turd ornament manufacturing. Maybe I’ll stop in next time.
Day 6 of the tour was from Pagosa Springs to Monte Vista, with Wolf Creek Pass featured as the big climb of the day. In the photo below, I’m climbing the pass and you can see the “Runaway Truck Ramp” behind me. For those unfamiliar with steep mountain passes, when a big truck misses a gear or loses its brakes there is an uphill ramp made of deep gravel. The semi truck is to drive into the gravel and uphill rather than careening to an accident somewhere downhill. I’ve see the deep tracks in those ramps and can’t imagine how scary it would be to be out of control and heading toward one of those ramps.
Since we did seem to have the tour-de-wind this year, Day 6 didn’t disappoint with more winds heading into Monte Vista. Our regular Sunday ride group worked well and it turned out to be fun.
It was a 72-mile day, 4:05 ride time (17.5 mph avg), 5:12 “out” time, 3,911 feet of climbing.
Day 7 was the final march to the finish line. We rode from just outside Center to Gunnison, Colorado. Due to lodging differences and an early start to begin driving home, there were only three of us riding together today. (Todd Singiser, me and Bruce Runnels in the photo below on one of our last stops.)
The final day for us was 94.4 miles, 5:20 ride time (17.7 mph avg), “out” time of 6:05 and 3271 feet of climbing.
In the next post I’ll do a summary chart for you and explain how this week of fun is a big boost to fitness.
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.