Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It's Never Too Late in the Season for a Big Ride (that's what she said)

A friend proposed we circumnavigate Seneca Lake a couple of weeks ago. Ooooh, so tempting, but a pretty long ride in the cold. Presto!  The weather improved substantially and it turned into a decent 50 degree day. 

A 15-20 mph headwind made going south a struggle, but when we turned around, WOW.  20 mph barely pedaling back north was sweeeeet!  The whole trip came in at just about 75 miles.
It's always nice to have people nudge you towards things you would normally not consider.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

60 MPH wind gusts- amazingly took few trees out

I took a quick jaunt of 26 miles, thinking there would be a lot of downed trees, but it was not bad.  The streets had been cleared, but I found this poor willow downed on a bike path.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Some ammunition for "people against cycling infrastructure"

It gives me pleasure to see that the tiny speck of the world I live in is slowly changing to meet me better than half way.

Portland, Amsterdam, Copenhagen are our roll (yes, I did do that) models for what bicycling culture should look like. But even when they talk about money and cycling, things get muddied, worldwide. So I thought I would point to this article to give people at least one factual point for arguing the cause of supporting cycling infrastructure. 

"A study commissioned by Copenhagen’s mayor showed that driving cars offers up a $0.20 net loss for each mile driven, due to congestion, health, accidents and environmental impacts. This is in contrast to the bicycle which offers a $0.35 net benefit to the economy per mile ridden."

I ran into an article about the cost of a paved parking space, per car, but can't find that reference, so if someone comes across that, please post a comment with the reference.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August 20, Tuesday

Jamie got up at the absurd hour of 3am to see me off. I took a shuttle to Denver to fly to Portland and meet Dwight and Rachel. It was quite uneventful, but it was sweet to be back with both of them.

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19, Monday

On our last day together, we rented full suspension bikes and hired a guide/ instructor to show us some strategies for riding mountain bikes on trails. This was pretty cool, as he took us on a "Pump" track, used to teach/practice maneuver on rolling terrain. Breckenridge also has a tiny terrain park. Both of these practice areas were being used by very young children, who were out-performing me, but Jamie did super well. I think her skiing helps; she is fearless.
I took my bike to Alpine Sports to ship. (Not impressed- the bike made it home without damage, but that appeared to be pure luck. The packaging had shifted and was minimal and the store called me to find out if I had paid for the shipping. On the plus side, they agreed to also ship a box of stuff for me and did not charge me enough to cover a second box they needed.) Fireside Inn found me a box to take on the plane for the stuff I would need in Portland. Have I said what a fabulous place that hostel is? 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

August 18, Sunday

 The next day was our last day with John, Roger, Susan and Kevin. We all rode to the top of Boreas pass together and said our goodbyes.  Susan and Kevin will circle around to end up in Denver, where they will fly home. John and Roger will keep going to Mexico.

Jamie and I rode back down to Breckenridge, but Jamie took the tough way through the woods, while I wimped out and took the road. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

August 17, Saturday

The next day we all demoed bikes from the bike Expo. Jamie and John bought tickets at the ski resort for the ski lift, and rode down the trails over and over again. I borrowed a go fast bike and rode up to the top of Hoosier pass.  I got my haircut again, to even out the hack job the barber in Buffalo did.  Cool antique barber chairs.

Friday, August 16, 2013

August 16, Friday

I met Susan Kevin after a quick trip to the grocery store and we had coffee and muffins. Then I went to a clinic for advice on my road rash: shower 3 to 4 times a day, scrub once a day, coat with Vaseline to keep it from drying org cracking and to reduce the risk of infection.
We cruised by Bike Breck Week Expo looking at bikes and collecting freebies until John, Roger and Jamie showed up. Dinner and catching up on each other's news took the remainder of the evening. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

August 15, Thursday

A leisurely departure from the RV park at 8:30 took us by the digital bank temperature display. 47°. Since this didn't seem frigid, I wonder if all my estimates are skewed high. That would put yesterday's night temperature closer to freezing.
We ate breakfast at the Lost Moose. Jamie took a secret run to get a Smirnov Ice she could present to John at the top of Ute pass. We headed back down Rt 9 to the Colorado River to get back on route.
Although we had projected a gradual climb to Ute pass, it was in fact a moderate and long climb to bring us to 9,500 feet. The first climb was topped by a weird standing stone bordered by fencing to keep livestock out and a modern broken plastic statue of a donkey pulling a cart. No marker your description. The second climb passed through miles of privately held mining activity. There was also the largest damn I have been at the foot of. John thought this was Denver's reservoir but it was nearly empty. A huge pipeline ran off into the distance, as far as you could see, over hills and through woods.
At the top we met a couple scoping out the route for the 60 mile option of the Peaks to Summit ride.
Jamie and Roger presented John with the Ice drink in an over-the-top ceremony and then we headed down for a long descent (mostly) into Silverthorn and Dillon reservoir. I attempted to clean the goo out of my road rash, since it is not drying and I put some triple antibiotic on the leg and arm.
The steep climb to the top of Dillon reservoir came as a surprise, though it should not have, since I have come down it 2x. We stopped at Heaton campground, but I decided to press on, since alas, the road rash has not dried out and I didn't think I would sleep well. The path to Breckenridge seemed new to me because this was my first time going that direction. The Fireside Inn Hostel was easy to find and delightful. The owners may have been a little squeamish about my road rash, but I will shower and cover it for the night with plastic wrap and that should help them and me.
Susan and Kevin were also there, so I didn't see them until quite late. I ate at Eric's and had two iced teas and Irish coffees, but either the coffee wasn't decaf or the tea waylaid me; I was awake past 3 AM.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August 14, Wednesday

Brrrrr. It was bloody cold this morning. The temperature last last night probably dropped to about 40° and was maybe 50° by 6:30 this morning. We were still dressed in our down jackets as we headed out and continued to be dressed warmly until shortly before we reached the creek the directions have told us we would have to ford.
There we discovered a beaver had built a dam; the creek was now about 30 feet wide and 2 1/2 feet deep. We all hiked up our shorts, put water shoes on and waded at 8:30 in the morning. Jamie, John and I made two trips (three crossings), but Roger held his bike horizontally, fully loaded and crossed in one shot. Even though the water was icy cold, we were all quite warm, in just shorts and jerseys by the time the fordings were complete.
Up and down and up the ridge about Radium, Colorado and down to the Colorado River we went. I did a little sideways traverse when my bike's wheels were tired of rolling and I ended up with some raw steak looking road rash. Naughty, naughty bike! It also likes to go towards pointy, bumpy rocks, even though I am yelling at it to go around them.
Climbing again out of Radium, up and over a watershed divide and down into Kremmling, where out reward was the same fabulous Mexican restaurant both Jamie and I enjoyed separately in 2010 on the TransAm.
The views today were amazing, including the railroad and whitewater rafters along the Colorado River, aspen and small creeks. In Kremmling, after a big lunch, our motivation to finish the remaining 18 miles was substantially diminished, though the margaritas may have played a part.
The same campground, Red Mountain RV park, as 2010, still fabulous and welcoming to cyclists, became our new endpoint in Kremmling. We deposited a six-week collection of feathers collected from our tents into John's tent, to feed his concerns that his bag and coat were exploding. He was amused.