Sunday, August 19, 2012

crmbt-gunnison to montrose

Tuesday 8-7-12

With the longest mileage and highest elevation day of the week over, this looked like a relatively easy day. The only thing that could have made this really difficult was a headwind, and we lucked out on that account. There didn't seem to be any urgency to get on the road today, 65 miles and two climbs with the highest elevation of the day in the area of 8500 feet.
With Gunnison at 7700 feet, and trending slightly downward for the first 25+ miles, the morning's ride got off to a fast start. Paul, Steve, Matt and I rode pretty hard all the way to the first aid station at mile 24. We picked up Nile along the way, and other than a photo stop at the Blue Mesa we didn't dally. The hardest I breathed all day was trying to keep our pace up when I was at the front and we were climbing a small roller.
 As we left the aid station and started to climb, we spread out a bit. From the little elevation we'd lost so far we had about 1000 feet over 10 miles, with a double summit to hit our high point for the day. That was rewarded with a nice descent through a beautiful little canyon, losing about 1700 feet over the next 10 miles.

 The final aid station of the day was at mile 45. That left the only categorized and named summit of the day, Cerro Summit, five miles away, with maybe another 1000 feet of climbing to 7800 feet. It was not nearly as scenic as the climbs we had already done, or those still to come, but it was a nice morning and it was still good to get to the top.
It was all downhill from there, literally. The last 15 miles from Cerro Summit to Montrose take you from 7800 feet to 5800 feet. What a nice way to finish a ride! We rolled into Montrose by noon and after cleaning up, a bunch of us walked to the the end of the block to El Jimador, a great little Mexican place I had eaten at the last time I was here. Good food, good conversation, and even a little Olympic soccer on TV.
Theo took care of us after that. He and the boys set up the canopy so we could sit in the shade and drink something cold, and visit with riders from all over. That evening he drove several of us downtown to a Himalayan place called Guru's. I enjoyed an assortment of wonderful things, ate too much, and loved it. It was a great group of people with which to visit. A phone call to Theo and  the truck returned to bring us back to camp. It cooled off nicely, but never really got cold. A nice end to a nice day in Montrose, and a nice ride to boot!

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