Hope all you Flatlanders and Midwest gals and guys enjoyed Sunday’s steeple chase over Wolf Creek Pass. We broke camp about 6 am and this #RetireeBookie was on the road by 7, a full 45 before the rest of my entourage. We typically choose playing field spots as far away from other campers as possible, not because we’re misanthropes, but to avoid the zipper hour of 4 am, when riders anxious to get on the road by 5 break camp, especially on a long day like today.
Three deer crossed the street in front of me in Alamosa – good sign or an omen? Felt great hopping on the bike Peace Trains on the flats, but after the first rest stop, with a too long line for flapjacks, the wind picked up and those pelotons became a necessity. I pulled on a few – I’m the OG or old goat in the snakeskin jersey – which I regretted as the wind kept up. I saw a dead deer on the side of the road, and that’s how I was beginning to feel. The panoramas were stunning, in these mountain valleys on the way to Del Norte and Monte Vista. Check out the Valle Vista sign and the mountain beyond….
The climb started to take its toll as I started depending on that small ring on the cassette I bought after last year’s Ride. A few miles up, the Son passes me with his friend the designer acting like fools but he recallls his surprise later that I was halfway up the pass before he caught me. He also lets me know that he had the fastest Strava time for the day, tenth overall. I don’t get to ride with him outside of his chillaxin’ rides. They rolled past the Aid Station but I took advantage of those potato diggers from the San Luis Valley – I was a little baked but that potato got me over the top, just like they said it would. I took a pic of those cool cats, and wasn’t that a fun descent! Alamosa to Pagosa copacetic. Even the barber from Brooklyn in our crew made it in fine shape, the longest ride in his career.
Michael Thornton #RetireeBookie