While I was having a leisurely breakfast, riding gondolas, and sitting with a good book Thursday morning, several riders had been out for a short ride. It was only about 15 miles to the top of Lizard Head Pass, the big climb on Friday's route. Some had made it all the way there, some had turned around short of the summit, but they all came back with this cautionary tale: road construction in preparation for the upcoming USA Pro Challenge was causing intermittent one-lane road backups, and even a short section where the CDOT had installed a traffic light. If riders could make it through the construction area before they started at 7:00am it would save them some time, and possibly aggravation.
Even though I had gotten to bed "late", I still planned on trying to be on the road by 6:30am. I was wide awake at 5:00am. The banana and pastry that I'd grabbed from the supermarket on Thursday were a quick breakfast, and Theo had coffee going, so I was fed, packed, and prepared for the day earlier than planned. At 6:00am I turned on my headlight and blinking taillight and headed out of Telluride on a cool, pleasant morning. I only saw a few cars and no other riders before I was past Mountain Village. Eventually I passed Lisa and her friend, and for a while we leapfrogged each other as I stopped for pictures.