22 June 2010

Paris-Roubais, Colorado-style

Curious TouristsDay Three
Delta to Ouray
70 miles
15 June 2010

Four thousand feet in elevation gain today, and most riders unfamiliar with this part of the state thought this was going to be an easy day. It wasn't too hard for me, just hot.

Ouray Tent CityWe're camped right below the highway, so passing motorists are getting quite the sight. I had a great time with my big long telephoto lens today taking pictures of gawking motorists who had never seen a tent city. I couldn't have shot some of the pictures I took today without that monster lens, but I think I've decided I don't need to carry such a big and heavy lens on a tour like this. My big lens will get a vacation during the MS-150. I guess that means my shoulders will be getting a break then, too! I'll burn fewer calories, though…

The "cobblestones" of Pea Green made for an internal blender. My stomach was in knots by the time we finally hit the highway outside of Montrose. The advantage, of course, was country road traffic is never as bad as highway traffic. The highway was… busy.

Climb, climb, climb. Then climb some more. We did have a couple of sweet payoff descents, but they were very short. The kind that make you grit your teeth because you know you have to climb it right back.

Ouray is a trip. The Lizard was one of the first riders here, and he helped unload the trucks. There were no porta-potties until I got here at close to 2 p.m.! 2,000 riders and assorted family members and friends, plus the normal accumulation of wide-eyed tourists, with four public restrooms to go around. By nightfall, there was no toilet paper to be found. Major whine!

Rest Stop RestI had to wait in line every time I needed water today, and I had to wait in a very long line for a shower. Hot day. Red-hot day. Guess it's better than the weather we had on the Grand Mesa though. I suppose. (Would drizzle really have been that bad? I have rain gear!)

Yesterday, I forgot to take my towel to the shower. Today, I forgot to bring the towel back to the tent. I got my towel back. We weren't as lucky with the shampoo. The Lizard accidentally left it, and we had to buy more.

Trek...ingThe shifting wasn't as bad as the guy from Wheat Ridge Cyclery made it sound, but he probably did that on purpose so I wouldn't be devastated riding my crippled bike. There's a definite difference. I have to remember to push the shifter harder and farther, and the delay is noticeable. But I might be able to limp through the rest of the season on my bike. I think it might be okay to ride for the MS-150.

Nevertheless, I get to demo a $4,000 bike tomorrow on the second most difficult day of the tour. We begin climbing immediately, no warm-up whatsoever. I'll be riding the female version of what Lance Armstrong rides. No way could I ever afford to spend that much on a bike. But I get to ride one, even though I can never buy one!

Someone I once knew (a compulsive gambler) used to always say, "Go big or stay home."

Tomorrow, I go big.


  1. You go big, girl!! I imagine that ride was very hot, and now you're about to enter some really big mountains. I love the Ouray area...

    Enjoy your bike today. That is a special one!

  2. So, the show goes on, great.

  3. your an amazing woman. In a way I envy you. It would be a good feeling to be able to bike like that. To be that strong. It is good that you were able to ride that bike.

    Oh, we have quite a lot of waterlilies. Mostly white and yellow. I love the white ones and the red.

  4. That's a huge tent city! I love your mosaic! lol Isn't that always the dilema, take the big lens, or not, if you don't you'll wish you had it but it does wear on the shoulders. ;)

  5. Demo-ing new gear is great, especially when it's all shiney and new.


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