Sunday morning we all woke up at 4:30, ate breakfast and proceeded to get ready for the day. I think we were out the door by 6:30 ready to ride!
The first bit out of Telluride was a little climb. OK about 2k of climbing. Felt pretty good. Especially since I was not pushing at all. I got to the first Aide Station and immediately saw that these guys knew how to throw one heck of a party! The aide stations on this ride are amazing! Vendors galore with any food you can imagine. I stuck with my own nutrition of Amrita Bars , Just Plain GU, Peach Tea GU Chomps and PBJ Bonk Bars for the whole ride. On occasion I would partake in a smoothie. YES! There where smoothie vendors!!!!!
Each day was amazing. And they were all pretty similar in one way and different in another.
Basically I’d wake up at 4:30 every morning. I’d make my tea and breakfast of cream of rice, protein powder and a packet of Justin’s Almond Nut Butter . I’d put on my kit for the day, slather myself with sunscreen, make sure all my nutrition was loaded into my pockets and that Jean had everything on her, slam down a Vanilla Core Power , and I’d be out the door by 6:15, ready to hit the road.
Then it was time to ride, and ride….and ride! The part that was different was that each day I got to meet new people. I rode with some wonderful people who let me join them whether it was for 1 hr or the whole day. Here’s some pics from different days with different folks!
My Sista Endurance Girl Kim
One of many aide stations…there’s Smoothie Man!
One of the more beautiful aide stations
Day 3 I think…first stop in the morning. That’s the Pancake Line behind me.
Wolf Creek Pass looms ahead!
The Boys at the top of Wolf Creek Pass
Villa Grove Inn- Awesome coffee!
On the major climbs I rode by myself. On the flats I usually found some folks to get in a paceline with. Every single person I met was gracious and kind. I don’t know if it is the fact that we are all out there riding and suffering as a mutual experience or if this type of event just attracts certain type of people. Either way, I feel very, very fortunate to have met everyone that I did. They each enriched my experience.
Even the group I was riding with in a paceline to the top of Poncha Pass, where the leader kinda goofed and sent us all into each other. Of course, I was the only one who ended up on the ground. BAM! Just like that! Luckily we were going uphill and so my fall just resulted in a large bruise on my right thigh/hip and no abrasions. I did learn a lesson from this. No more drafting with over-lapping wheels. It didn’t leave me with any time to respond. Lesson learned and filed away for future rides!
Top of Poncha Pass on Day 5!
From the top of Poncha Pass it was a mad descent into Salida. I was still a little shock-up and after a few minutes descending I was back in my groove.
When I got to our hotel I did my usual routine-drink some UCAN, unload the pockets, get cleaned up, layout everything for the following day, plug-in the Garmin, download my data to TrainingPeaks and go out to EAT lunch! I found I could only eat about half my lunch so it’d come back to the room with me to chow on for dinner. I’d go to sleep around 8pm, get up, and repeat!
Although I must admit in Salida we all went out to dinner at the River’s Edge and partook in the festivities. And…this is when I evaluated the situation for Days 6 and 7 as our next destination, Canon City, had a forest fire happening, which burned the bridge we were scheduled to ride over…..
(stay tuned for blog post Days 6 and 7)