Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Big Fix Day Eleven: Over the Continental Divide

Today we rode 128 miles from Montrose to Salida, Colorado, crossing the Continental Divide at 11,312 feet and officially entering the Atlantic portion of the United States. But that's jumping ahead. Here are a few things that happened along the way:
  • First, we started the day joined by several local riders (on gearly bikes) including Tom Barrett, who provided our meal in Montrose last night. We promptly rode into a stiff (20-30 mph) headwind that dogged our progress for the next two hours or so.
  • Ducking out of the wind, we stopped for pie at Pleasant Valley, again treated by local riders. The pie was delicious.
  • As we rode toward Gunnison, CO, hometown of Big Fix rider Ricky G, we saw some 1,200 riders on the other side of the road doing a leg of the Bicycle Tour of Colorado. Many of them gave us a "Big Fix!" shoutout as we rode by.
  • Lunch in Gunnison was provided by local riders (Thanks!), many of whom joined us for the second part of our ride from Gunnison to Monarch Pass (the Continental Divide). While we were in Gunnison, we also visited Ricky's bike shop, Tuneup Bike and Ski Shop. Great shop!
  • Leaving Gunnison, the paceline was zipping along Hwy 50 when a large hubcap became detached from a motor home coming the opposite direction. Like a manic UFO, the hubcap careened toward the peloton at a high rate of speed, eventually striking one rider's bike. Miraculously, noone was injured, and the damage was limited to a bent chainring and a ruined front tire. The same Somebody who has kept the Big Fix free of major mishaps was on the job again today.
  • With that event out of the way, we proceeded on the long, 30-mile run-in to the start of the climb to Monarch Pass at Sargents. The group quickly spread out, but at the end almost all of the BF riders made it up the long, long climb to the top. We checked out the gift shop, sipped hot chocolate, and then continued across the Divide and down the other side to Salida.
Tomorrow: A fairly short (about 90 miles) flat day to Pueblo, Colorado.
Enjoy the photos!


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