Monday, July 23, 2007

mid-Summer Riding

I've done some good rides since I got back from the Crested Butte Classic 100 on the 14th. The week was about huge afternoon/evening rains. A couple times it was farghin' biblical. I did the good ol' Bear Creek Loop with a friend on Wednesday and got home just as things got wet.

Then on Thursday it was nutty. It didn't start raining where I was until about 5 PM, but once it started the driving rain and electric light show was quite impressive. And it kept raining until well after I went to sleep.

I woke up early Friday morning and left before the sun was up to do my old standard Marshall Pass/Silver Creek Loop. I have never worked so hard to get to Marshall Pass in my life. The road was full-on oatmeal all the way from hwy 285 to the pass. No momentum, no easy rolling. I was pedaling hard, down two full gears from normal all the way up. A good day, but a hard day.

I worked all day at the bike shop Saturday, then made plans to ride Agate Creek with no shuttle with a friend. She came up ill Sunday morning, so I tried to hook up with a group who were going to St Elmo to ride up to the Alpine Tunnel then on the Continental Divide Trail to the Tincup Pass road, then back to St Elmo.

I went a bit early, and started near the Colorado Trail trailhead on Chalk Creek, rode up to St Elmo, then up to the Hancock townsite, up and over Williams Pass, then up the west approach to the Alpine Tunnel, then to the Tincup road on the Continental Divide Trail, then back down to my truck. Turns out that I never found that group, so it was a big solo high country ride. Very cleansing--I had the mountain tops to keep me company.

The beautiful approach to Williams Pass from the east. Bluebird day.

Breathtaking view West from the summit of Williams Pass

Close up of one of the Palisades--rock walls created without mortar in the 1800's by workers for the Denver & South Park Railroad, their line from Buena Vista to the Gunnison Valley just west of the collapsed Alpine Tunnel. Note the much larger one to the right in the distance

The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail I had just traveled viewed from north to south

Beautiful mid-summer day for a big, rugged high country ride. Plenty of gasping for breath at around 12,000 ft elevation for a couple hours. Julie Andrews country.

Summer is good.


JenyJo said...

yes! Summer is GOOD, and it sounds like YOU are good, too! Thanks for the inspiring write up of your huge week last week. Ed and I were wondering what the heck you were up to!

Hope you are well and we'll chat soon!


FixieDave said...

Man if it wasn't for my Job... I'd be so up living in your neck of the woods =)

Nice pics!

Jill Homer said...

Incredible pictures.