Monday, August 17, 2015

Short Tour is better than no tour......Day 3

A little apprehension on how my body would bounce back from yesterday's tough ride. I slept like the dead and after a big breakfast of bacon, eggs, potatoes, and pancakes, down the road I go!!

Another beautiful morning riding through North Park. I am heading back east towards the mountains.

This is the western side of the Never Summer Range that I showed you from the top of Trail ridge a few days ago. Seems like a long ride away at this point.
I prepared for my ride this morning by making a couple of sandwiches and putting them in my frame pack to be convenient as I ride. I like to use those little round flat breads to make peanut butter sandwiches with because they don't squish and get all weird. I was not going to make the same mistake as yesterday. I felt good and strong this morning so bounce back was happening!!!
Colorado Highway 14 was today's (and tomorrow!) ride and it was a fine road. No bump-bump. It was a gradual uphill heading back to the mountains and eventually Cameron Pass at the top of Poudre Canyon. Very little traffic and I sure just enjoyed cruising along, setting my own pace, and enjoying the countryside.
In between CO 14 and CO 125 lies the Arapahoe Nature Preserve, a huge area of acres set aside for habitat. Deer, Moose. Antelope, Prairie Chickens to name a few.

Sneaking up on those mountains!
The first target stopping point is Gould. There is a restaurant and General store but I find it all closed up. That's OK, I eat up one of my sandwiches and finish up a gatorade that I started the day with.

One of the few places open in Gould, you can share your Tee-Pee with this nice horse!!

When my boys were Boy Scouts we had our winter Klondike campout near Gould here at the Community center. Those were some COLD nights out and this picture is for them!!
By the time you are in Gould you have left North Park behind and back in mountain terrain. The ride has been a steady but gentle incline, but now it is time to buck up and get the climbing legs going!

Here we go!!

I met a nice couple on their bike Friday's out for a day ride. They lived in Gould and worked in the hay business and were enjoying their first day off in a month. They said they liked riding up to the top of the pass for their fun rides.
This side of Cameron is scenic.

And then.....the top!!
When I took my break up here I took the time to sit and eat a lunch of peanut butter sandwich, apple, and trail mix. Just outside of Gould, the Colorado Division of Wildlife has a visitor center set up for moose viewing and I was able to refill my water bottles there so no chance of running out of drink today.
There is about two miles of flat on the top as you go by Joe Wright Reservoir.

Then the most beautiful sign that every tour cyclist dreams about!!!
 No way!! 15 miles!! What a joy!!
And then this....brand new asphalt!!!
Did I just enter cycling heaven???

The Poudre River and Poudre Canyon is a pretty special place. The river has National wild river status and the canyon has not been developed and ruined by the highway department or the Corps of Engineers. The Forest Service has done an outstanding job designating small camp areas and day use picnic areas all along the river. It is a beautiful place.

Came upon these guys climbing and stopped to watch for a bit

I think this fellow forgot to come back after going fishing!!

 I stopped at another little camp store and they had Chocolate milk!! mmmmmmm....what a treat. It started to rain for the usual afternoon shower so I geared up the rain gear. I tossed these rain pants in my bag at the last minute on Sunday and I am glad I did!! I usually don't mind if my legs and shorts get wet because it is usually warm. But this is the mountains and rain is cold. Sure enough, my bike computer tells me it is down to 56 deg and I am happy and dry with my rain pants!!!!
I end the day finding a great campsite right next to the Poudre river. Quiet and the sound of the river to serenade me to sleep.
I was so pleased about my ride today. There was the challenge of some miles to get back to the mountains and the climb up Cameron Pass but also the fun and excitement of the miles coming down Poudre canyon. This was a day that makes being a touring cyclist all great for me. A beautiful ride, my body responding to the challenge, that feeling of satisfaction that one can escape and get away from the ho-hum everyday life. I executed the task of keeping my body fueled and hydrated.
I slept well. At peace.


  1. Those last sentences.....I know how you feel, I couldn't say it better. Satisfaction, you have to work for it......and there is the reward. Exciting landscape. That Cameron Summit is 10 times higher than the highest "mountain" in Holland.

  2. Looks like you earned your rest Jim and got some good altitude training in, long descent on new asphalt - cycling heaven indeed!