Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Day 3 Tour 2013

Time on the Bike-6hrs 18min

Shut Down......
This was a tough day. Some days are like that when taking on a bike tour.

Started the day early again but it had a different feel to it. That last hour against the head wind had taken its toll on me more than I thought. My legs were slugs this morning.

Heading out of Buena Vista to the west on Cottonwood pass road was a medium steady incline for the first 5 miles just to get out of the open ranch land and back into the mountains. It played the total mental head game on me. You start to question everything. You take inventory of every little ache and pain your body is sending your brain. Every little squeek and click from the bike plays on your thoughts of "what's wrong, what's gonna break"....

I think Mount Princeton is an impressive and intimidating looking mountain. The visual centerpiece of the Collegeiant Range.

I was really pounding the water because I was having some leg cramp issue, so that meant a bunch of stops. I got to grinding on up. This was the steepest road as a total package that I have ever been on. Richard, think Heartbreak Hill, followed by a half mile of incline followed by Heartbreak hill. About the fourth time that happened I was reduced to "hike-a-bike" status. I can ride Trail Ridge and never have to hike-a-bike.
Your mind really works you over when hike-a-bike is your world. All sorts of solutions to the non-fun that is occurring go through your head.
I drank up almost all my water (two big quart bottles) and I have been out here almost five hours. I was still five miles and four switchbacks from the top. Decision time. I decided to turn back and head back to Buena.
Disappointed? Yes! In myself? Yes! Regrets? None at all.
 Cottonwood Pass had kicked my butt. I was talking to a couple that were riding their road bikes up and were just about cooked themselves where I had stopped but were going to still try for the top. It was a huge coast back down but I was still butt and leg weary to just get back to town.
Since I have ridden the road south out of Buena Vista on a previous tour I decided to just end this trip at this point and start planning for the next trip.
This trip had some issues before I started. Some self-imposed guilt about going with some busy time at work and many un-finished projects at home. To take time off on a selfish bike trip just did not feel right. Pile on that I was not having any fun.......the road will still be there and the bike is not going away. There will be a better time.
So....still a good few days of riding; time on the bike. Time in my head to continue the quest to be a better person.
I was glad to have had the opportunity to be out here!
Thanks for reading!


  1. Jim, I know where you're at! I had the same feeling a couple times going up Shelf Road out of Canon City. I had to get off and hike a bike too, and I got sooo tired and discouraged I almost gave up. When you are by yourself, there is no one else to listen to except yourself, and when you're feeling the pain, it makes it tough to go on. There WILL be other opportunities and other rides. Find someone to go with and share their enthusiasm. It's good for both of you, and it makes the time go faster. I still want to do the Michelson Trail, and I want to do it before I'm 90. the Katy, it'll take me a while to get committed to it, but once I did, (Katy) all the other riders kept me going every day. Not sure I'd want to do that one myself either. You had a nice bike ride, a good time, and knowing when to stop is the thing that makes for wonderful memories. And they're the best kind!You could have forced yourself to go on just to prove somethhing, and then still failed and had really horrible memories aferwards. How you handled it is much better.


  2. Thanks for your words and for reading Richard. You are right about riding with someone or a group. You all share the hard parts together. My next ride I think I'll be sharing with Kyle. He is interested in doing some overnight bikepacking

  3. Jim your tour sounds like it has been eventful- tough, beautiful, and inspiring. Hope you are able to enjoy "the moment" and keep that demon off your shoulder- thats what I call that voice you mentioned. that seems to show up particularly on hills you are grinding up reminding you of aches and pains and wondering "why don't you stop?" Hate that #$^%& guy ;-)

    I think you are on to something with the staying in hotels thing, I believe the Velo Orange guys call that "credit card touring" and I hope to try one soon.


  4. Seems like you made the right decision. Heat exhaustion is nothing to play with. Add to that the mental aspect pf not having your head totally in the ride and I think you did the wise thing.

    Hope you can adjust and get back out there when its a bit cooler!


  5. I'm sorry, man. I'll bet that when you made the decision to turn around you were cussing me and wondering why I hadn't commented lately and given you words of inspiration or somehow magically appeared in a vision or something. It is a service I like to render to my regular readers and I would have done it this time too except that I didn't even know you were on tour. I am not sure why, either, except that I have been going at full speed in every direction except straight ahead for the last several days and unaware of the endeavors of my friends. For that I apologize.

    I am fascinated by the thread of your tour-story and listen, dude, I'm old and could write a whole nightmarish journal of hope and loss except while you were out there pedaling your ass off I was thrashing around here in South Florida, my personal geographic nemesis, re-living yet more horrendous father-son drama and listen, Coach, if it were up to me, I would rather have been with you, a pair of over the hill cyclists trying to get over the hill.

    You are one bad-ass lumber salesman and one of my heroes and keep it up: we need more like you and if it is up to me (which it usually is) me and you will one day smash that ride side by side and if not, you will do it for me and tell 'em the TPC said it was easy, it was nothin' and even an old man could do it.

    Or words to that effect.