Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Day 54 Breckenridge to Hot Sulphur Springs

We are now going to be heading north through the Rockies crossing the Continental Divide many times. Today's ride started with a delightful descent to Frisco on a dedicated cycle path. We then followed the Blue and Colorado rivers before finishing the day cycli.g the Byers canyon up to Hot Sulphur Springs. We arrived to find our campsite by the Colorado river completely under water so we've ended up camping in the front garden of a local bed and breakfast. We also have mosquitos, great big things.
The scenery today was amazing, probably the best day so far, and it's good to be a couple of thousand feet lower.

Miles Today  76

Monday, 27 June 2011

Day 53 Rest day in Breckenridge

Today is going to be a lazy day. I had the bike serviced a few days ago but think perhaps it was me that needed the service!  So far today I have been to the Post Office, lounged around at Starbucks and bought some stuff at the Patagonia shop to replace the cheap Walmart stuff that I will now use for bike cleaning.

On going stomach issues but some of the group have been affected by the Altitude. Greg has had to drop down to Denver for a couple of days, Luckily he had a family visit that made this possible. Some of the others have gone cycling! Are they Mad?.  As I write AJA by Steely Dan is playing. One of my favourite Dan tracks.

This is very much a tourist town with far too much retail therapy temptation. Also very expensive compared to the America that we've passed through. Need to move on soon.

I shall probably spend the rest of the afternoon in the Health Spa where there is a hot tub, sauna, steam room and some excetcise equipment that I will NOT be using.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Day 52 Fairplay to Breckenridge

Today was a short day to give us a day and a half layover in Breckenridge but first we had to get over the Hoosier Pass, the highest point of our trip at 11,542'. We were also joined by Frank, a big advocate of the Transam route and the author of our exceedingly good Q sheets, who drove up from Denver and treated us all to breakfast. Wally, another ACA leader known by some of the group from previous tours also cycled with us.
Once we had all made it to the top we took the group photograph and then enjoyed a magnificent 11 mile descent  into Breckenridge.
Breckenridge is of course a world famous ski resort , where I skied some 15 years ago on my only previous visit to the USA.

Miles Today 23
Total         2563

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Day 51 Royal Gorge to Fairplay 2500 Miles Up !

There are very few easy days on tbis ride and today was going to be no exception. We are ascending from 6000' up to 9933' over a distance of 66 miles and most of it will be uphill. For a change the elements have been kind to us, moderate temperature, blue skies, and best of all a tailwind for most of the steeper first half of the ascent. Once we had hauled ourselves up onto the plateau at 9000' the riding was exhilerating with panoramic vistas all round. Sweeping plains, hanging valleys and snow capped peaks . I am on the set of 'High Plains Drifter'. Clint must have rode in tbese parts.

Of course the fun couldn't last and the wind kicked in to try and spoil our fun. But today we were the masters and we kicked it's ass. (see picture of Greg and Don below ) At 9.8 miles we lost Ellen tthe unstoppable hill climbing machine so she's either laying in a ditch somewhere or having a hot  bubble bath at the hotel.

After a day without any services  we were deliriously happy to find a newly opened cafe at the 50 mile point not mentioned in our q sheets. After spendiing far too much time eating and drinking when we should have been riding we finally hit the road and within a few hundred yards Greg and Don decided they could ride no more and hitched a lift. Of course I cannot do such things so I was left to slug out the last 20 miles. The increasingly strong headwind meant that I finally arrived in Fairplay at the rather unrespectable time of 7 35 PM.

It was a tough day.

Miles Today  70
Total           2539

Friday, 24 June 2011

Royal Gorge

Not the Grand Canyon but nevertheless quite impressive at about 1000 ft deep.

Day 50 Rest day in Royal Gorge

It's strange suddenly being in a Tourist Area after riding over 2000 miles through small town America. I dont feel that we quite fit in but yes we did the tourist thing and went rafting down the Arkansaw river through level 2/3 rapids.

Sufficiently scary for most of us as the snow melt is still causing high water. Only Jason, possibly the all round fittest guy in the group managed to fall out of the boat. I think hr just wanted the photograph :)

Afternoon temperature was close to 100F today so that made for not doing very much other than sitting on the verandah drinking beer. Had a change of mind later on and visited the tourist attraction that is Royal Gorge.

And my bike is now sporting new 1.25" Pasela Panaracer Tourguard tyres so in theory I should be faster.