Sunday, August 4, the 2012 version of the CRMBT kicks off with a 65 mile ride from Pagosa Springs to Creede. The tour will head northeast on US 160, gaining 800 feet over the first 15 miles. Then the real climbing starts. We'll gain 3000 feet over the next 9 miles, and cross the Continental Divide at Wolf Creek Pass, 10,850 feet. Somewhere near the half-way point of the climb there is a scenic overlook on the left offering spectacular views of the valley below. It will be worth stopping for a picture or two.
Another 5 miles or so and we'll be at the summit. Twenty-five miles into the ride, and it's almost all downhill from here. Nineteen miles including a nice descent and a gradual slope take you all the way to South Fork, the low spot on this half of the day, and where we turn onto CO 149 and head northwest towards Creede.
All that will be left is 20 miles rising slightly, gaining 600 feet before rolling into the mining town of Creede. With only 65 miles riders should be able to get in reasonably early. After a good meal it will be a good night to turn in early and get ready for the big day we ahead of us tomorrow.