October 31, 2021 § 2 Comments
If you read all of these posts regarding my first participation in The Denver Posts Ride the Rockies event, I laid down some groundwork for this last piece early on by noting that I could have/should have expected what was about to go down, but I didn’t, and it went down. When we last left off I was telling you how I needed to finish the Friday ride with enough time to break down and pack my bike, clean-up, and get to the bus before the 5pm departure. Paul (my new friend) and I were walking over that way at about 4 when we said our goodbyes to each other, and he re-iterated the offer that if I wanted to ride with them next year in the comfort of a motor home, I would be more than welcome. Something, I can assure you, I am seriously considering.« Read the rest of this entry »
October 25, 2021 § 1 Comment
People kept saying the words “The Million Dollar Highway” all day the day before. When I re-read the route description, those words were front and center alerting us that this day would be unlike any other. Except of course we would be on our bikes going uphill and down. I could have googled it and at least gone into this day informed, but I was as ignorant as a rock. All I knew was we had three passes to get past before we would reach Durango. If you type that into google you will be directed to the Wiki page for 550, and there is one sentence in particular that accurately names which part owns this moniker. “Though the entire stretch has been called the Million Dollar Highway, it is really the twelve miles (19 km) south of Ouray through the Uncompahgre Gorge to the summit of Red Mountain Pass which gains the highway its name. “. If todays ride was just this 12 miles it would be a ride complete. Those 12 miles were some of the most scenic miles I have ever witnessed on a bike in these United States, and I have witnessed a fair number of miles in these United States. More than a lot, not as much as some.« Read the rest of this entry »
October 23, 2021 § 2 Comments
I will try and take it easy on my audience in this one. It was a short day, so let’s see if we can make it a short post.
Rise and shine was early because that is just what your body does to you when you lay down around 9PM. You just can’t stand lying there any longer, and as soon as first light pokes it’s head over the horizon, I am ready to get up and get a move on. On this day, there was no need to break camp as we were spending a second night in the lovely little hamlet of Ridgway. The route for the day was in two parts, as discussed a little bit in the previous post. The first part was a loop ride to the North that included some bike path, followed by some ample 550 shoulder riding, and the a long 12 mile ascent on a dirt road, and eventually back to Ridgway. The second optional part was to climb back up pass, and then take another dirt road, and climb some more up to the ranch that had been used as a set location in the 1969 film True Grit.« Read the rest of this entry »
October 23, 2021 § 3 Comments
As you have undoubtedly learned, I don’t sit right down after an event like this and get to writing. I let it sit in my head for a while and develop. These days, with all the good programing on all the streaming channels it’s amazing I squeeze any time to droll on about my adventures. Day 4 of this adventure occurred June the 16th, and here it is October 19th, and I am just now starting this. We shall have to see when I publish it, and just how long I dilly dallied my way through it.
When I left you yesterday, we had finished the longest distance day of this years event. It was yet another day over 100 degrees, and there had been other challenges which are well documented in that post. My compatriots spent the night in Telluride, in the comfort of their hotels, and were 30 miles away. On the shuttle that would be at least 45 minutes, and if I could have talked to them, then I might have given them the benefit of waiting, but I was coffee’d up, I had broken my fast on my granola, I was packed, and my bags had been dropped off, and I was ready to ride, so while I could have waited, and maybe I should have waited, I did not, and off I rode, back towards the Norwood Descent. See, now that we were up upon the plateau, it is called the Norwood Descent.« Read the rest of this entry »
September 30, 2021 § 1 Comment
Ride the Rockies is an organized ride facilitated by the Denver Post in 1986. I am not sure when I first heard about it, but while I was house rich and cash poor, some of my cycling friends embarked on more than one RTR adventure, and I stayed behind and pined. Images were sent, and I wished I had the resources to attend. Of course, me being a cheap bastard, I would have camped, while my friends dined and slept in the luxury of the hotel option, but at that time, my vacation time that wasn’t family oriented was dedicated to backpacking, and the luxury of a week of bike riding just wasn’t in the cards.« Read the rest of this entry »
November 13, 2020 § 2 Comments
Ali and I spent a week, only one week, on the AT in Massachusetts for Cripe’s Sake, and though we accomplished our goals, we did not get through the entire encounter at no personal cost. I think Ali fared a LOT better than I did overall, the dude ate bone broth for dinner, and really I did very well on the trail, however, there was no real way my feet were going much further. If I had to put it politely, I complete fucked my feet over. Don’t worry, I am NOT posting any pictures of my feet (that is mainly because I didn’t take any, which implies that if I had, you would be viewing at least one right now), but take my word for it, they paid a price for this journey. When we got back to Ali’s car, I switched from my boots to my sandals, BUT I DID NOT REMOVE MY SOCKS. So, I put that great reveal off until I was comfortably sitting in the safety of my house in Ocean NJ.« Read the rest of this entry »
November 12, 2020 § Leave a comment
When we left off our last discussion, we were three, and happy and warm in Mark Noebels Shelter. For Ali and myself, we had just over a day remaining on the trail, and for Paul, he would accompany us to the summit, and there would branch off onto a side trail for a change of scenery. Mailman was with us as well, and had his own plans for the day. The only downer to start the day, is the rain did finally arrive before the sun came up, and there was a steady, moderate amount still falling from the sky. Today, at least the morning, would require proper rain gear, but, considering we weren’t under any real time constraints, there was no rush to get going. Even Mailman had his reservations about venturing out.« Read the rest of this entry »
October 29, 2020 § Leave a comment
Ali used his normal a.k.a. as his trail name, The Persian Prince, and I saw no need for yet another alias in my life, so I simply used my cycling nickname, Big Bird, or just Bird. It’s the culture of thru hiking to have an alias. One it gives you a little bit of anonymity, but in another it actually better identifies you. You tell your family you are going to “off the grid” (though that really isn’t the truth anymore), for a long period of time. You tell them where you are going in, where you expect to come out, and more importantly when you expect to come out, and if you are diligent, you sign all the registers along the way, so that should you not come out when you are expected to, then authorities can scan those registers and try and find the last place you checked in.« Read the rest of this entry »
January 19, 2020 § 2 Comments
You may recall from my previous post, that there was a plan and except for a little damage to Andy’s wife’s Infinity and a little bit of rain, everything was so far going to plan. We all arrived safely, ate huge breakfasts at The Elkhorn in Bendersville, and we pared everything down to all the food, beer and booze we needed to enjoy all ourselves for the weekend. We set out from our parked vehicles, and we headed South on the AT, which at the start was nothing more than getting out of the parking lot, and walking along the road until the trail turned right and started climbing past some local hunting cabins. The grade was a pretty easy grade, and there really wasn’t anything in this day that was expecting to be any real challenge.« Read the rest of this entry »
April 15, 2018 § Leave a comment
By this point in the vacation I am starting to sleep better. It isn’t what I would like, but I did manage solid hours before the alarm awakened me on time at 4:30. I had saved some bananas from yesterdays breakfast, so I was good to go on the food front. I believe I even laid everything out the night before so I was ready as Eddie to go. Dressed and out the door, I was well within the time window necessary to catch the ride at 6.