My morning started badly. I’m a coffee-holic, and before I wake up, I want to smell the coffee. Immediately. Sometimes I lie in bed and imagine an IV drip – main-lining coffee. Gathering Grounds was serving, but they have so many options (full-fat, half-fat, no-fat, soy milk, almond milk, no milk… you know what I’m talking about) that every order takes 10-minutes to complete. And the line was long.
So I walked away thinking that I’d walk to town. But on my way I saw a kindred spirit – a rider was sitting in the on the sidewalk, leaning against the wall of Summit County High School. He was sitting next to an external electrical outlet, AND he was brewing his very own coffee. Adding insult to injury, I did not have my camera with me. The day started badly.
Because of the torrential downpour Tuesday night, the riders’ option of taking “The Dirty Thirty” (the dirt road between Gunnison and Crested Butte) was off the table. With all the rain, the road would have been a quagmire.
Instead, today’s ride from Gunnison to the Butte was a piece-of-cake – just 27-miles of pavement and only 14-hundred feet of elevation gain. It was a rest day of sorts, and the team sorely needed it.
This Wednesday our team is in-recovery with issues – here and there. After four days in the saddle, pretty much everyone has monkey butt.
Gunnison was well-prepared to receive us. It was party time with three bands ready to play along Main Street. Games were set up for the kids and everyone was relaxed and in a good mood. Party now because tomorrow you may die.
We were happy to see rolls and rolls of toilet paper. The previous host communities have not been adequately prepared. Westcliffe, take note. You will need more toilet paper than you think!
Today was a good day for the riders to spin their way to Crested Butte. “Spinning” involves cycling in a low gear. The going is slow, but you are not grunting, and your muscles aren’t working too hard.
If it hadn’t been for the headwind, everything would have been perfect. You have to wonder. Why do cyclists always ride into a headwind? Have they offended Zephyrus?Is there anything cyclists could do to make amends?
No one is looking forward to tomorrow. Day five will require the riders to cycle 102-miles and climb nearly 6,000 feet over Cottonwood Pass on their way to Salida.
Riders need to be concerned about altitude sickness, riding on 12 miles of packed dirt above Taylor Reservoir, and snow – which – at that altitude… can fall year-round.
As for the steep, paved descent east of the summit, hot-dog riders need to keep their speed under control. I wonder if any of our team members are “hot-doggers”? Time will tell.
Listen for accident reports tomorrow.
As for today, Team Silver Cliff/Westcliffe gathered together on Main Street, Crested Butte, where they celebrated some great rides and no injuries to this point.