01 September 2009


19 June 2003
Day 6
Day of Rest
No Miles :(

I had planned to bike to Crested Butte and back today, but my knee was uncomfortably sore and stiff after yesterday's SPECTACULAR accomplishment. I tried to book a whitewater trip way back in March, the day I found out I was one of 2,000 Ride the Rockies lottery winners, but everything booked up while I kept getting busy signals. So I started out the day feeling kind of down. (linked photo is autumn near Crested Butte)

A walk through downtown Gunnison was just what the doctor would have ordered. Or, well, maybe he would have put me in bed for three days and told me to stay off the bike for the rest of the year. He would have had to tie me down!

Downtown merchants decorated bikes, and one gallery featured a bike art show. Bluegrass music wafted through the streets as tots of riding parents danced. Upon my return to the campsite, Old Chicago had a softball pitching contest underway. I quickly got in line, and thereafter was delighted my own softball team had not witnessed my pitiful attempt to knock a milk bottle off a box. I smacked the box but good with a solid grounder...

While enjoying the shade of a baby tree on the school's front lawn and perusing the pages of an uplifting book about heroic deeds by everyday people, I was interrupted by an announcement of an upcoming river float at a discounted price. I think most of the people in camp were there because they were too worn out from Wednesday's ride to be anything more than lawn potatoes. I was the only taker. The river guides, hungry for one more trip, cruised the streets of the little town, yelling sometimes crass advertisements in an attempt to fill initially three rafts, then two, and finally, they agreed to take me down the river if they could find just ONE more passenger. I was beginning to think maybe this outfit was a little on the bogus side...

When we finally found one person who agreed to sacrifice the rest of the lazy afternoon and a mere $15, off we went to Psychedelic Falls for a brief but relaxing float down about five miles of the Gunnison. I got to hear all kinds of fishing tales and details of all the best rafting spots back east. I saw a deer and two great blue herons. I got rained on, but I had my raincoat and my fleece. I took no photos; yesterday's ride had caught up with me. I had no desire to pull my camera out of the dry bag.

At the cycling seminar, I learned one of the guys I'd shot at the Curecanti National Recreation Area overlook Wednesday is a 1984 Olympic cycling silver medalist. (!!!) Nelson Vails offered to take a picture of me if I would take a couple of shots of him. The seminar also featured former Tour de France racer and first US Giro d'Italia stage winner Ron Kiefel, whose peloton slide show was a gigantic hit. I was totally star struck.

Friday's Ride

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