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.
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: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/27/day-46-back-and-forth-over-the-divide/
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.
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: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/26/day-45-this-health-beverage-tastes-better-than-gatorade/
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.
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: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/25/day-44-using-a-pickup-instead-of-bikes-to-mesa-verde-bad-move/
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.
We climbed switchbacks out of Ouray, which was surrounded by lofty cliffs, ….
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/24/day-43-by-bike-and-train-over-san-juans/
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….
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/23/1984-bike-tour-day-42-fellow-travelers-in-stunning-landscapes/
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.
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: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/22/1984-bike-tour-day-41-up-and-over-at-monarch-pass/
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.
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: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/21/1984-bike-tour-day-40-running-the-arkansas-river-upstream/
ROYAL GORGE, COLO. – So there I am posing at the side of US 50 with a horned antelope skull balanced on my helmet. Is it wacky altitude weirdness or just giddiness about being on the road again?
Probably the latter. We left Pueblo early and steadily headed toward a line of blue mountains ahead of us. As the morning wore on the mountains grew and finally enveloped us as we progressed into the Rockies. …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/20/1984-bike-tour-day-39-entering-the-rockies-its-all-uphill-now/
PUEBLO, COLO. – We decided to lay around and do nothing for the day. We had covered so many miles the past couple of weeks, we were feeling just plain tired.
The news that a controversial liberal radio talk show DJ — Alan Berg — had been gunned down had upset our hosts. Anyway, we just didn't feel right overstaying …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/19/1984-bike-tour-day-38-just-hanging-out-in-pueblo/
PUEBLO, COLO. – It's after midnight, and Bruce and I have just finished making basic overhauls and installing new parts on our bicycles. We used the “bicycle workshop” in the shed behind the home of our newfound friend — a 14-year-old in a house full of biking enthusiasts.
We got a late start this morning from Ordway after our epic 124-mile ride the day before. Fortunately the air had cleared this morning and we continued on good, old Route 96. In all, we'd ride this road for 241 miles, all the way from Dighton, Kansas. ..
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/06/18/1984-bike-tour-day-37-well-housed-in-pueblo/