Saturday, August 20, 2011
crmbt '11 gunnison to buena vista
On Tap for Tuesday was climbing. From Gunnison to the summit of Cottonwood Pass we would gain almost 4500 feet in elevation. And about 3000 of those feet would be in the last 13 miles between the second and third aid stations.
This is a ride that I tried to do, two years ago in June on Bicycle Tour of Colorado. That year, by the time I reached Taylor Park Reservoir I was already drenched by a cold rain, leaving me with no desire to climb the unpaved side of this pass. And at the top the fog had moved in, reducing visibility to a few hundred feet. So, I didn't even get to enjoy a descent. That day was a bust.
Wanting to give myself every opportunity of a successful day this time, I was up by 5:30am , hoping to be on the road by 6:30am, even though the total mileage for the day was only 69 miles. A quick breakfast and on the bike, only to discover my front tire was flat! I took off the wheel and prepared to change the tube, but in the 40 degree Gunnison morning I could barely feel my fingers. I asked Scott, the bike mechanic if he would mind helping, and he changed the tube and found a tiny piece of wire from a retread tire that had caused the flat, one of about five in camp that morning. I tipped him, including a 6-pack of Fat Tire Blue Moon later, and I was on my way.