I never finish a ride like this and think, "wow, that was easier than I thought it was going to be." On a digital screen it looks easy, 105 mi and 7k of climbing, should be done in about 6 hours. No fucking way. Is it the altitude, the unforgiving terrain, the hours spent pedaling with only small amounts of saliva to drink and mouthy bugs to eat.
As I age, I get smarter, sometimes. Knowing that Sunday would be a big day, we tapered on Saturday. 3 hours and 4K of climbing all above 10K ft. That's a recovery day up here in Deadville.
As the sunlight dripped through my curtains on Sunday, I debated getting out of bed. Could I squeak in another 20 minutes of sleep? Maybe take a quick dump and then return to my slumber. It's all about those recovery Z's. Dogs out and exercised, cereal consumed and THC drip attached, it was time to roll. The clock struck 8:30am, an alpine start for us these daze.
Gotta thank Jah Kief for continuing to hit up these fucking dumb rides with me. I honestly, don't know anyone else that enjoys this style of bicycling. I know a lot of people that like to talk about this style of riding, but that's it. Talk is cheap. I prefer to pay full price. Riding in the high country isn't as cute and fluffy as touring around the front range, not as redundant, hot, or crowded either.
Most of these obsessive high alpine loops have unlimited Lifestrawing options. Not this one. Heading south towards BV the terrain dries out quickly and soon one can be hallucinating in the Sahara of Colorado. It's so dry and hot that at first you think it's due to the acid that you ate, but then you realize you didn't eat any acid and it's your human body dehydrating, on it's way to becoming jerky. Over Weston Pass, S on 285, W on 311 to 376, refuel in BV, N on 371, N on 24, N on CR 10 to home. As we rip down the 376, in 4 inches of moon dust, kitty litter I hear voices in the trees.
"Sandwiches, water, sandwiches water, stop and eat!" A group of 10 on ATV's wanted to feed us. Trail Fairies! With our fuel tanks topped off, we continue on adventurous roads, new to us, and brace ourselves for a total gouch grind into a headwind for the next 40 miles.
3 hours later, I can see the City on the Hill in the distance, my hands hurt and my feet burn with hotspots. 3 miles away from home I find a small stream and wade into it. I need to cool down my feet. As soon as my feet hit the dirt, I realize they felt better smashing the pedals than walking.
A day like this deserves a few recovery beers.