Time on the Bike-6hrs 18min
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!