From apollo.hp.com!netnews Sat Jul 16 17:43:50 1994
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mike Vermeulen)
Subject: Ride Report: Across Colorado
Sender: email@example.com (Usenet News)
Date: Sat, 16 Jul 1994 21:07:39 GMT
Organization: MLL, Hewlett-Packard, Chelmsford, MA, USA
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A bicycle trip from Raton NM to Cheyenne WY including Ride the Rockies.
Mike Vermeulen, June 17-28 1994
For the past several years, my summers have included an annual bicycle
tour. In 1994, I decided to try taking part in the 9th annual ride named
Ride the Rockies. Ride the Rockies is a ride organized by the Denver Post.
I submitted my application for the ride in March 1994 and was fortunate
enough to have mine selected in the "lottery" held for the two thousand spaces
for official riders. My previous trips have been longer solo rides. This was
the first time I participated in such an organized ride.
The ride was scheduled to start in Trinidad, CO and end in Golden, CO.
I decided to extend the ride slightly to include a start in Raton, New Mexico
and a completion in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Along the way, I planned to visit
my brother in Boulder and visit friends in Fort Collins (my former home).
In the process, I would cross the state of Colorado from south to north.
Attached is the log of my trip. All miles are cumulative.
June 17, 1994, Raton NM
Miles: 0.6, Elevation 6700
First night out, motel room in Raton, NM. Today was largely a travel day.
Day started at 4:30am. Last minute packing and off to the Manchester NH
airport. Arrive with plenty of time to box the bicycle and read the newspaper
before catching the plane to Denver. Manchester is a much quieter airport
than Boston/Logan, and also more pleasant and cheaper for long term parking.
Bicycle box looks pretty scrunched at the Denver airport! Luckily, all
looks okay inside. There is a minor snafu at the rental car place. I had
asked for a hatchback car so that I could easily transport the bicycle.
Unfortunately it appears that the Paseo is too small to easily fit the
bicycle. Hertz is unable to switch cars due to my rental being a one-way
rental. Hertz folks help me finally maneuver the bicycle in the car;
In the process, I unfortunately got a grease smudge on the back of
the seat :-(.
Uneventful drive down to Raton. Roads in Colorado appear surprisingly
busy. Not clear if this is a local phenomenon or if Colorado is becoming
more populated and congested.
Raton, New Mexico. Clearly a town that has seen better days. There
appears to be one main street through town with all the downtown shops.
Feel very comfortable here; while walking down the street folks will smile
and greet you. Old movie theater playing "The Flintstones." A number of
restaurants, down by the intersection with US87. Otherwise, a quiet relaxing
evening, anticipating the first semi-cycling day ahead. All my stuff safely
fits on my bicycle, but it looks like I'll be fairly loaded until I can hand
things off at Ride the Rockies.
June 18, 1994, Trinidad CO
Miles: 21.8, Elevation 6120
Three candidate routes from Raton to Trinidad were considered. The
most straightforward route was on the shoulder of I-25. The second candidate
route is to first head east toward Clayton NM before turning way north again.
This route is ruled out due to the excess distance involved (I'm too lazy to
take all my gear fully loaded all the way east and then back west for an
approximately ninety mile ride). The third route is a set of thinly penciled
county roads up to Raton Mesa and then back again. I asked three different
locals about this route. General responses were that the county roads were
unmaintained, unpaved. One comment about them being "confusing" and "not
clear if they would be open yet." With this feedback, I decided to play it
safe and take I-25. Once I'm committed to I-25, I find out that bicycles are
prohibited from the NM side (oh well, not going to change my mind now).
Switched my Avocet-50 odometer to an elevation setting, put it in low
gear and slowly started grinding my way uphill. Very straightforward climb
and in shortly over an hour I am up at the top of the pass.
There is a wonderful view up top. I can see the Sangre de Cristo mountains
and also the Spanish peaks. Also, I can see a ways back into New Mexico.
Good preparation to see where I'll be headed next.
Good downhill grade. I'm still riding pretty cautious, my top speed will
not top thirty on this descent. The miles down to Trinidad pass quickly.
Trinidad looks like another town that has seen the best of its glory
days (lots of history here including mining, Santa Fe Trail and lots of
cattle herding). Mining is still an industry here as is tourism. The
locals I meet are very friendly. Ride the Rockies is clearly a big event
and the town has done an excellent job at putting out the word. Half the
shops in town have an RTR banner. There are also many RTR Trinidad T shirts
for sale. Given that I have most of the day, I decide to do all the touristy
things: ride a trolley bus, visit two historic houses, wander through an art
gallery. Afterwards, I take some looks around as the main crowd of RTR fans
June 19, 1994, Walsenburg CO
Miles: 103.5, Elevation 6185
During yesterday afternoon the crowd arrived. The buses from Denver
arrived in mid-afternoon. Soon after that, the entire grounds were covered
with tents. Went to an afternoon cycling seminar, "Top ten tips for Ride
the Rockies." Good as general background as well as a chance to get the
Around 4:30 a.m. the gym starts to stir. By 5:00 the majority of
folks are up and getting packed. Wow, lots of early birds! Got my
stuff together; Dropped my bag in the baggage truck (three separate semi
trailers were commissioned to haul all the baggage for the trip). The extra
support vehicles are quite impressive overall (one large shower truck, a
multitude of smaller cars donated by Subaru and labeled with tags of "SAG,"
"REPAIR" and "STAFF"). Wait in line to get breakfast before heading off.
On the road at 5:45. Definitely takes longer to get started with
this crowd. A few miles out of town the route starts to climb. Shift
into lower gears, but I'm still fresh and able to make the hills pretty
easily. Several fairly big hills in the neighborhood of Cokedale. My
under water bottle rack falls off at the bottom of a hill. Oops, I
carefully got the pieces back in my pannier and save them away.
Terrain is rather flat with gentle rolling hills. This gets me to the
first rest stop at Segundo approximately 7am. After Segundo, the road
continues to climb very slowly. I'm in a moderate gear, but keeping a
reasonable pace. The second stop is at Stonewall, approximately thirty-two
miles from the start. Feeling good about the ride so far.
After Stonewall, the road has a reasonably steep hill. I start out
ok, but am soon starting to drag a bit. Whereas earlier in the ride I
had been passing lots of folks, now it appears that mostly other folks
are passing me. Monument lake is at mile thirty-two. From here it is
flat until I come to the last rest stop at North lake. 9:45 a.m., forty
miles out and feeling pretty good about the ride.
The first mile outside North Lake is fine, with a flat route. Then
the trouble begins. I start having a long fairly steep hill in the route.
Now I really start slowing in my hill climbing gears. Everyone is now
passing me. I continue slogging along and also occasionally stop for a
thirty-second feet on the ground rest stop. It is really taking a lot of
extra effort to do this climb. Feeling rather rough overall. With multiple
stops, I finally make it to the top of Cuchera Pass by 11am. The last half
mile before the pass we have a bit of rain, but it feels more refreshing than
Downhill! Though I pump my brakes occasionally to avoid speeding, the
descent is pretty fast. The next seventeen miles to La Veta takes much less
than an hour. Hooray! It is festival time in La Veta, the main street is
closed down . . . lots of individual vendors with their food are there.
From La Veta we have a slight downhill and a slight tailwind. The last step
to Walsenburg goes quickly.
It appears the entire town of Walsenburg is out. Lots of people on the
street waving and a few people even cheering. Feels like a special
day overall. Afterwards, decide to walk through town. It appears
that the town normally has about three thousand people. Main industries are
ranching (and unfortunately welfare). A lady in town tells me there probably
haven't been this many extra visitors in town in the past ten years! Lots
of music, all the shops are open, otherwise folks are out and around. Gather
my stuff to prepare for the evening.
June 20, 1994, Alamosa CO
Miles: 177.6, Elevation 7650
Community Dinner. A special event put on by the town of Walsenburg
for the cyclists and locals. Lots of extra music and also all you can
eat spaghetti. Lots of people out and around town. One local tells me
the last time there were this many people must have been before the mines
shut down. At the peak there were 17500 people in town.
The gym begins to stir at 4am. Several fairly loud alarm clocks go
off. I had gotten my shower the night before, so I can pretty quickly
pack my stuff and set it by the baggage truck. Also, get in line for
On the road by 5:30 a.m. Looks like a pretty clear nice morning.
Slow gentle grade starts a short while outside town. The wind also
starts to blow. I shift down several gears and slog my way out of
Walsenburg. A gentle hill out by Lathrop State Park. The wind speeds
up. It is definitely slow going uphill. Finally reach the intersection
with US 12 where we came down yesterday. Continue to slog uphill, even
periodically get off the bike for a thirty-second rest. Finally, reach
the first aid station at sixteen miles. Lots of folks out. Lots of folks
with disappointed faces due to the wind. An unsaid message is that if it
is this bad on this side of the pass, it must be even worse in the wide
open San Luis Valley on the other side of La Veta Pass.
After the first aid station, the grade picks up a bit. However, at
the same time, the wind starts to die down until it is completely still
again. Hooray! Slowly climb up out of the valley and up to North La Veta
Pass. There is a sign that says "Summit 8 miles." With luck, the sign
is fortunately off by a mile and the summit appears sooner than I expect.
Entire commotion at this aid station, with lots of folks stopping and the
road narrowed with orange cones. At the prior station, I was clearly ahead
of the crowd, but now am closer to the middle of the pack. Shortly after
9am when I'm up at the top. Not bad overall.
Descent. The first twelve miles of descent go quickly. The grade is
just right so that no additional pedaling is required, but also not steep
enough to require some extra braking. As we get to the bottom, the grade
becomes a little more gentle and some more additional cycling is required.
A gentle climb is required about fourteen miles from the top. Following
that another downhill for two miles and the next aid stations.
Aid stations. I make it a point to stop at these. I refill my water
bottle with additional Gatorade, and also eat a piece of fruit. The fruit
alternates from bananas to oranges at each aid station. They also have
portable toilets at each station. At least ten toilets at each, so all
in all, the ride must have rented fifty or more.
From here it becomes somewhat flatter. However, mercifully it is
still calm. No sign of the anticipated wind. From this station, we
continue past Fort Garland and make it to the last station at Blanca.
Here it is perfectly flat and also perfectly calm. My bottom is becoming
a bit sore, so I make certain to alternate the cycling a bit, standing and
also letting myself coast. In fairly short order, I find myself at Alamosa,
at approximately 12:30. Approximately seven hours, not the quickest, but
also reasonable given the extra pass and headwinds.
Adams State college. In contrast with prior two towns, this one is
at a college instead of a high school. Makes a good difference, with
many more showers, large restrooms and a large feel to it. Instead of
parking the indoor campers in the gym, we find ourselves in a large
I do some walking around town. While I'm certain I've never cycled
through here, I have a strange sense of deja vu as if I've cycled
through before. I suspect that it is a combination of having driven
through town and also having this town look a lot like some other towns
I am also familiar with.
Afternoon seminars. Each afternoon there is a seminar put on by
Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter. Both are former pro cyclists
(Olympic medals, Tour de France, etc) and are now doing a cycling
camp. They are very entertaining as speakers and pack the house
pretty full each afternoon. Today were some stories from the Tour de
France experience. Also, sad news today. A cyclist on today's ride
was killed. A fifteen year old was bicycling with a group and
somewhat unexpectedly swerved. He ended getting caught under a
dump truck in traffic. Surprising to have that sort of thing
June 21, 1994, Salida CO
Miles: 260.7, Elevation 7270
Breakfast starts early so I am on the road by 5:15am today. Definitely
feels like I'm ahead of the crowd. Nice cool morning, calm and still before
sunrise. The route today will cross the length of the San Luis Valley.
This valley is extremely flat. From shortly past Alamosa, I can already
see the notch that will be Poncha Pass, almost seventy miles away.
Zooming along, the extremely flat terrain allows me to make excellent
progress. I shift into a fairly high gear and allow my legs to pump away
at a quick pace. The miles go by pretty quickly. Without much effort I
am at the first aid station at fifteen miles. I pause only briefly before
hopping on the bicycle again. Some of the land around is cultivated, giant
sprinkler wheels are out in the field. However, most of the land is
covered with dry sagebrush and scrub. One can see across the valley to much
of the same landforms straight across. A few miles down the road, it
actually becomes misty for a while. Off on the right is the second aid
station at mile twenty-one. I arrive and they are still setting things up.
Wonderful progress, definitely feel like I'm ahead of the pack.
Head out from Hooper and get off zipping along the road. A few
folks are now also on the road, so I am occasionally passed by the
real speed demons. Zipping along feeling like I'm making real
progress. All the sudden, I head a loud hissing sound. My back tire!
Oops, looks like I've got a flat. I pull over to the side and start
changing the tire. A few of the bugs who are around the area also
land for a meal of the first human that may have stopped here for a
while. As I'm patching the tube, more of the hordes start to pass me.
Several folks offer to help, but I have everything I need. A Subaru
sag wagon also stops. In fairly short order I have things patched and
am back on the road.
In not too many miles I make it to Moffat for another aid station.
I continue on the flat terrain for more miles. The notched form of
Poncha Pass has gotten closer, although it is still a ways off. Shortly
before mile fifty the land starts to tilt up just slightly so I notice
that I need to get in a lower gear. The long flat has lasted almost
I join the main intersection with 285 and start to climb perhaps
fifty feet per mile. In fairly short order I am at Villa Grove. Now
the wide valley has pretty much closed up to a narrower form. The rise
also starts a bit. Luckily, we also have a tail wind. Poncha Pass looks
like one of the easier passes so far. By 11am I find myself at the top of
Descent! Again, a quick descent. I find myself occasionally pumping
my brakes on the first stretch until I find myself in Poncha Springs.
From here, the grade levels out a bit, but I still don't have to pedal
much. I arrive in Salida by noon.
Postcards, cycling seminars, writing my log, washing my shorts,
taking a shower, . . . all the ritual tasks of arriving at camp.
Given the third day out, I'm starting to become an old hand.
June 22, 1994, Leadville CO
Miles: 320.2, Elevation 10000
This morning a time to sleep in. Until all of 4:15am! Everything
is packed in short order. It looks like all is going very smoothly this
morning. The baggage truck is already open, there is no line at breakfast.
I can buy my morning paper and have a relaxing breakfast. On the bicycle
by 5:30 and on the road again.
The first mile or so descends gently toward town, but soon after
that it starts to climb. In some previous days I had kept my odometer
reading miles, but today decide to keep it on elevation to see how
today's three thousand feet of gain will go. After the first mile, start
to head out of town. The road is a bit beat up but otherwise ok. The
elevation gain is slow but steady. In relatively quick order I find
myself at the intersection with 285 and then shortly after that at the
first aid station.
Following this station there is a fairly long hill, with several
hundred feet of climb. I'm going slowly but feel like I'm making
excellent progress and am passing most folks. After this hill a
fairly nice descent into Nathrop. Unfortunately I watch my precious
elevation dwindle down. From Nathrop the climb begins again. Pass
the prison on the right and then come through the town of Buena Vista
at approximately 7:30am.
First few miles outside BV are pretty flat, then the grade steepens.
Not too long after that the wind starts to pick up, a rather consistent
headwind. It is taking some extra effort now to keep slogging along.
As I continue several miles through the wind, the sky becomes more ominous;
I stop to put on my rain jacket. The rain intensifies. I stop to put on
my rain chaps. I feel pretty dry and am able to continue slogging slowly.
My fenders come in handy in at least deflecting some of the extra water
that would otherwise come up from my tires. As the rain continues hard,
the wind starts to lessen some. Not too long before Granite, the rain
pretty much stops. I stop in at the convenience store and get several
snack items. Then, continue to the aid station shortly after that.
After the aid station, the rain has pretty much stopped. Now there
is just a slow steady headwind. I'm feeling pretty good and make
slow consistent progress. Along the road, folks from Leadville have
placed some signs. They are typically multi-part signs where you read
the first part on one sign and then the following pieces in subsequent
signs. Some point out items such as the "National Scenic Byway"
designation. The most amusing on is in two parts: "Leadville is now
higher"/"New Elevation 10420 feet." I continue to watch my altimeter
rise. I cross the Arkansas river. Slowly continue uphill until
Stringtown. Then a left into the complex at Leadville.
I arrive just past noon. I am due to stay with a friend, Paul at
his cabin south of Leadville. I have arranged to meet with Paul at 4pm,
so still have some time. I therefore get a shower, grab some lunch, finish
reading the paper, and hang out in the gym for a while. I then pack my
bicycle and head toward the meeting spot at the courthouse. In leaving
notes, Paul I also not that Paul also has other friends staying with him for
the night. One of them, Tom has also left notes so we know each others
whereabouts. The other friends, Mark and Dorsey will drive up and meet us
at the cabin. I wander around town, buy postcards and look at the shops.
Shortly before four, Tom and I meet. At 4pm Paul arrives. The three of
us attend the Finney/Carpenter seminar. We head up to the cabin. We meet
with Mark and Dorsey and settle for the evening.
June 23, 1994, Frisco CO
Miles: 353.2, Elevation 9090
Luxury today. Sleep on a foam pad at Paul's place. Also, sleep in
until 5:30am. Get up, eat breakfast and head down to Leadville for
the start. Mark, Dorsey, Tom and myself drive to Leadville. We will
start at approximately 8:45am. Mark isn't officially registered but
will ride as a "bandit" for the last two days of the ride. Dorsey will
drive their car along the route.
Right at the start there is a fair sized hill. I pretty quickly
get up this and am soon heading down Main Street, Leadville. The
street doglegs right and picks up a bit of elevation overall. Shortly
past Leadville is a quick descent of approximately 150 feet. From
this point the valley slowly winds uphill. The climb is very gradual
for the first seven miles or so. There are lots of folks out. In
contrast to prior days, I am passing lots more folks. I think I must
be much closer to the middle of the pack than previous days. At mile
eight or so, the road picks up some grade. I am able to shift into a hill
climbing gear and pretty quickly make my way up to Fremont Pass. I am up
at the top by 10:30am. All in all, a quick and straightforward pass.
In the final stretch of the pass, I cycle past a rider who is
sponsored by the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association (CHBA). This
organization has sponsored five "at risk" youths, given them bicycles
and cycling clothes. The idea is that an event such as this one is
supposed to help turn them around. Every day the Denver Post has
additional stories about them. As I cycle slightly behind one CHBA
rider, the channel four news team is following the rider up Fremont Pass,
asking questions as they puff their way up the hill.
After a brief rest break, I start down the hill. There is a short
descent, but then a pretty long level stretch before the road really
goes downhill for good. I hit the downhill and start the descent.
The descent is fairly quick, but not as fast as I remembered it.
At the bottom of the hill, I turn right onto the bicycle path. We
follow this path all the way down to Frisco. The town of Frisco has
put out a lot of signs along the way including some that are counting
down the miles. At Frisco the bike path ends and we are funneled
onto Main Street. I ride down Main and make my way to the High
School. Here it is time for a short lunch, a reading of the newspaper
and a checking out of the events around town. My parents have a condominium
in town where I will stay for the evening. I grab my bag and head off to
the condominium. In cycling back, I have all panniers on, so the bicycle
handles a bit heavier as it is fully loaded.
June 24, 1994, Boulder CO
Miles: 448.5, Elevation 5680
Lots of items to celebrate in Frisco. Main Street is closed off
and they have a number of vendors out with food. I walk through town
and the food shops. I come back to the high school to attend the last
Finney/Carpenter seminar. The seminar includes a few stories and
remaining tips. Meet with Dorsey, Tom and Mark and head back to Main
street for dinner.
4:00 a.m. the alarm goes off. I pack my remaining stuff to head back
to the high school. Baggage truck is already loading. Have breakfast at
5am and then head off. The first part of the ride is cold. The thermometer
at the bank says 41F. It is probably even colder in some pockets. My bare
knees are actually slightly warmer than my hands which get cold if I travel
too fast. I get slightly sidetracked on a bicycle path by Dillon Reservoir.
The first part past the reservoir is fairly level, a slight climb by Dillon
and a bit more by Keystone.
Reach Keystone at 6:15am. Stop at the aid station. Shortly past the
aid station the road starts a continuous 6% climb for nine miles. I shift
into a low gear and start up. My altimeter is reading the feet as I climb.
Several folks pass me up as I continue a slow steady pace. Reach A-Basin
with a minimum of stops. Already at 10,800 feet so climbing is going well.
Somewhat after A-Basin the road gets above timberline and has several
switchbacks. I reach the summit of Loveland Pass at approximately 8:30,
a steady 4mph for the past nine miles.
It is still pretty cold at the summit. A bit of celebration given
that this is the last major hill. Start the descent. Overall descent
is pretty steady down to the intersection with I-70. At this point we
go on the interstate for five miles. The road has a ten-foot shoulder
and feels pretty comfortable. Get off I-70 at Bakerville. From here
the frontage road has a slight increase before starting another major
descent. I pump my brakes occasionally but also let it go some. In
fairly short order I reach Silver Plume. Here back on I-70 for a two
mile sharp descent to Georgetown. In this section the shoulder is a
bit more narrow and the descent a bit steeper. Off the interstate for
the section past Georgetown Lake. Seems like it is always windy here.
After level at the lake, continue a more gradual descent to Idaho
Springs. Reach the next aid station at ~9:30am. It feels a good
thirty degrees warmer here than up on the pass. Also down to 7500
feet. After Idaho Springs, take the frontage road on the right hand
side. In several spots a bicycle path has been constructed. Some of
the volunteers are busy sweeping extra gravel from the path. Past the
hunter check station.
Floyd Hill. We rejoin I-70 here and do a moderately steep two mile
climb on the shoulder of the interstate. It is suddenly fairly hot
and the car exhaust makes it a bit unpleasant. At the top we exit
I-70, cross over the interstate and take a secondary road past Soda
Springs. Here the road descends fairly rapidly only to level and then
climb again back up to Chief Hosa.
Voicemail. Check my work voicemail and take care of some minor work
emergencies. Mostly by forwarding the messages as appropriate. Get
back on I-70 at Chief Hosa and off at the next exit.
Last descent. From here the road goes sharply downward toward the
plains. Feels like the home stretch now as I head toward Golden. At
Morrison we get off onto Colorado 93. They have blocked off one lane with
cones so we are able to travel faster than the cars remaining in the
other lane. Right turn into the Colorado School of Mines campus.
Lots of cyclist there as I arrive at 1pm.
Finish line. Stretched across the road is a large banner indicating
"Finish." There is a large crowd waiting for particular riders and they
clap as they arrive. Feels good to have completed this ride so far. I
get off my bicycle, park it in storage, grab lunch and a paper. I find
my stuff. Given that it is 1pm, I decide to hang around for a while and
wait for the closing ceremonies.
The closing ceremonies contain a number of thank yous (e.g., the
100+ volunteers, sponsors such as Zima/Post/Teledyne Waterpick . . . ).
Also have a raffle for bicycles.
At 3:45pm I load up my stuff in panniers and head out from Golden. There
is a brief descent through the center of town before a climb out on 93.
93 itself has a narrow shoulder and lots of traffic. It is fairly warm
and sunny on the plains. There are several hills up and down, and I
can definitely notice that I'm fully loaded. Reach Boulder at ~5:15.
Follow a stretch of bicycle path before getting lost. Reach my brother
Bert's place and park my bicycle.
June 25, 1994, Fort Collins CO
Miles: 502.0, Elevation 5000
Leave Boulder at about 8am. Fairly quick cycle out of town on the
Diagonal Highway. Pass Longmont on Hover road. For some reason my
Achilles tendons have decided to act up. I can feel both, and decide
to take it easy, periodically coasting. Overall the now loaded bicycle
acts very stable like a truck in continuing down the road.
Try to take a sidewalk/bicycle path past Longmont. Definitely
in poorer condition than staying on the road. Up past Hover Road it
becomes more of a country road. Do a bypass of Berthoud and make it
to Loveland by 11am. Decide to mellow out by a gas station drinking some
Gatorade and relaxing. See an ex-HP person drop through. Talk with him
a bit about his new work at Colorado Memory Systems, CMS. I drop past
Burger King for lunch. There are no more aid stations, so I find my
stops along the way. Leave Loveland and arrive in Fort Collins.
In Fort Collins, I drop through the home of my ex-wife Mary and give
her cats some company (Mary is out on vacation). In the evening I bicycle
in to town to a Brewer's Festival taking place. I have dinner with several
friends from the local bicycle advocacy group, C4 (Choice City Cycling
Coalition). In the evening I stay with Paul at his home in Fort Collins.
June 26, 1994, Fort Collins CO
Miles: 502.0, Elevation 5000
Rest day today in Fort Collins. Take time to visit the mall, check
up on work email, and do a walk through of a duplex I still own in Fort
Collins. In the evening I stay over at Mary's place.
June 27, 1994, Cheyenne WY
Miles: 573.0, Elevation 6050
Sleep with the cats. Winston decides to sleep on top of me for
much of the night. Spark wants out at 5am when I wake up. I leave a
note for Mary and then depart for the day.
Leave Fort Collins at 5:30am. Still nice and cool with not too
much traffic. Dash up Shields Street on the east end of town. Make
my way to Lindemeier lake. See several joggers along the way. Make
the way up to intersection with Colorado 1 before the wind starts up a bit.
The wind is mostly a cross wind but there is a slight forward
component as well. Works well when the road shifts east as I
coast forward. Stop in a cafe in Wellington shortly before 7am. Have a
good breakfast. Wellington is at 5200 feet and after that point the
road starts to climb gently. I follow the frontage road on the east
side. Not too far out of Wellington see a sign for "State Line 20." The
wind and slight gain continue to be a problem. I stop several times
for thirty second timeouts. Owl Canyon at mile 281. Buckeye exit at 288,
with a sign pointing off to the power plant.
At mile 288 I am back on the interstate. Some trucks can pass
closely and flap my shirt. Continue up right-hand side. I've got two
water bottles and am going through water fairly quickly. Not much at
mile 293 for Carr. At mile 296, I stop briefly at the natural fort.
Finally just past mile 299 is the Wyoming sign.
Wyoming! Stop to take pictures of the sign. From here the road
continues upwards for three miles to 6200 feet. The wind speed has
really picked up. Luckily it is still mostly a cross wind. Top the
ridge at mile three and also turn slightly from the wind. I can really fly
on the side of the interstate. Get off the road at exit seven and have
breakfast at McDonalds. It is shortly past 10am.
Navigate back in and through town. Stop at visitor information
center. Lights are timed just wrong so I can't get through more than two
at a time. Head up toward north 8th street and the airport.
They have a Taurus and a Grand Am. Neither looks very suitable for
the bicycle but one looks slightly better in the back seat. Drop back
to buy a newspaper and then load the car in the seat. Pack things up
for the journey's done.
Car ride back to Fort Collins. Dinner and a restful evening.
June 28, 1994, Chelmsford MA
Back home again. Left Fort Collins around eight. Drove slowly
past Loveland and Longmont. Had a bit of a hassle at the airport with
returning the car. Got to the airport at eleven for a 12:35 flight.
Vacation over. Time to start planning next year's adventure.