Category: TransAmerica Tour 1984

Day 49 – Another day off; hanging out in Santa Fe

SANTA FE, N.M. –  I seem to keep repeating this in my journal — “this place reminds me of Annapolis.”
Of course Santa Fe doesn't really remind me of Annapolis, but there are aspects that are similar. Same with Taos, Ouray, Ste. Genevieve.

Santa Fe is steeped in the Hispanic culture, Annapolis isn't. Annapolis sits on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. Santa Fe sits at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.

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The similarities? Neither are the largest cities in their states, but they are the state capitals. Both have campuses of the liberal arts St. John's College. A large part of their economies are based on eating and drinking and partying downtown …

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/06/30/day-49-another-day-off-hanging-out-in-santa-fe/

1984 Bike Tour: Day 48 – Like being south of the border

SANTA FE, N.M. – Most of the day, I felt that I was no longer cycling through the US, but had slipped south of the border. The Hispanic culture here, mixed with the Native American, is very strong.

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For instance, after Penasco, we followed a road that reminded me of cycling in the Alleghenies because it rose and fell like a rollercoaster. We passed through some towns, such as Las Trampas, that had a mission older than most of the Colonial era buildings back home in historic Annapolis. …

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/06/29/1984-bike-tour-day-48-like-being-south-of-the-border/

Day 47 – The route might be flat, but it ain’t Kansas

TAOS, N.M. – We've covered almost 3,000 miles on our cross-country bike ride so far, and I don't remember any place as unique as this. I almost feel like I'm in a different country. Much of the area sits on a plateau, so its flat like Kansas. But it's arid, so there's only dry brush around. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/06/28/day-47-the-route-might-be-flat-but-it-aint-kansas/

Day 46 – Back and forth over the “Divide”


ASPEN GLADE, COLO. – This is rough terrain, and we crossed back over the Continental Divide and bicycled in and out of New Mexico today. We're still making progress to the Pacific, though it doesn't seem so.

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We said our goodbyes to Gunter and Elsa (they said they didn't want to hold us back, although I doubt this because they set a torrid pace), and pedaled south on Route 84 to Chromo. Nothing much going on here except a second breakfast. After leaving the mountains, we're in some high plains here. A landmark, Chromo Mountain, we watched approach for more than 10 miles. We passed it on our right, and continued over the New Mexico border…

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/06/27/day-46-back-and-forth-over-the-divide/

Day 45 – This “energy drink” tastes better than Gatorade

PAGOSA SPRINGS, COLO. -We hooked up with a German couple on the road today who taught us about a new health drink, although we have yet to try it while cycling.

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We packed up early at the hostel in Durango and took off. Anymore, I always feel better being back on the road, no matter how much I needed a rest day. Today we're following a new map behind the clear window in my handlebar bag. We're long-finished with the traditional Bikecentennial maps — that route veered north somewhere after Pueblo. We're on the Great Parks South Bicycle Route Extension map. …

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/06/26/day-45-this-health-beverage-tastes-better-than-gatorade/

Day 44 – Using a pickup instead of bikes to Mesa Verde; bad move

DURANGO, COLO. – Note to self: If you're touring by bicycle, stay on the bicycle.

We've just returned from a strange and troubling adventure involving our reliance on a pickup truck we borrowed for the day. We're all safe and sound, but it could have turned out much worse.

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Bruce and I had planned to take today off and take a $25 guided tour to the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings, about an hour's drive away. The hosteler said we could do it cheaper if we rented a car, and what's more, a German hostel guest, Christiane, could go with us and make it back by her 4:30 bus ride out of town. …

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/06/25/day-44-using-a-pickup-instead-of-bikes-to-mesa-verde-bad-move/

Day 43 – By bike and train over San Juans

DURANGO, COLO. – I can't imagine a better day bicycling, even though it did include several hours on a narrow gauge railroad.

The climb up Red Mountain Pass is a monster. It's a 13-mile ride from Ouray and rises from 7,706-foot elevation to 11,018 feet. It took us 3 and a half hours, partly because of the climb and partly because of the scenery – which we were all too happy to admire as we caught our breath.

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We climbed switchbacks out of Ouray, which was surrounded by lofty cliffs, ….

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/06/24/day-43-by-bike-and-train-over-san-juans/

1984 Bike Tour: Day 42 – Fellow travelers in stunning landscapes

OURAY, COLO. – You never know what fellow travelers you'll find when you break camp in the morning.

After leaving the Elk Creek campground we rode along the Blue Mesa reservoir shore and crossed a bridge to Sapinero, which is more of a cafe and filling station than a town. We stopped for another breakfast there. When we were getting ready to spin off, we met a group of college-aged folks who were walking from West to East to protest nuclear weapons. They asked us to “join their circle” as they held hands and looked for inspiration for the day ahead. I was inspired by being on my bike, instead of on foot….

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/06/23/1984-bike-tour-day-42-fellow-travelers-in-stunning-landscapes/

1984 Bike Tour: Day 41 – Up and over at Monarch Pass

ELK CREEK, COLO. – This is one of those days that I'd been looking forward to ever since we started planning the trip. We crossed the Continental Divide under our own power at the 11,312-foot Monarch Pass. I knew all along we could do it; I just didn't know how hard it would be.

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Now, sitting at the hot and dry Elk Creek National Park Service Campground, I realize that we must have been in better shape than I realized. Bruce says it was easier than the hills in Virginia and Kentucky ….

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/06/22/1984-bike-tour-day-41-up-and-over-at-monarch-pass/

1984 Bike Tour: Day 40 – Running the Arkansas River, upstream


MAYSVILLE, COLO. – The climbing begins in earnest today, but we start with a long, cold, downhill after crossing the Silver Bridge, touted as the world's highest suspension bridge. The winding road takes us back down to the elevation of the Arkansas River.

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Along US 50, huge red outcroppings of rock towered over the road. The river rushed alongside. We could hear it as we pedaled upstream on the gentle grade. Down here we could look up the valleys sometimes and see snow-capped peaks …

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/06/21/1984-bike-tour-day-40-running-the-arkansas-river-upstream/