20 June 2010

Pedal Paradise

Colorado National Monument
Day One
Colorado National Monument Loop
49 miles
13 June 2010

First TunnelThere. I've showered. I feel better.

Not that I felt bad. I was just tired, sticky and sweaty. The ride up and over picturesque Colorado National Monument wasn't bad at all. For people who left early. We left very early. I wanted to get back in time to clean up and go to church. On my bike!

The riders coming in now are completely coated with mud. We could see the storm building as we headed back to camp, and we were so glad we weren't up on top anymore. Lightning was putting on quite the show, and the clouds were black as coal and heavy as stone.

We bought "grab and go" breakfast at the community tent before our pre-dawn departure. All food here at the ride is a little pricey. But they do have a great selection. I asked for a burrito with no meat, and they cheerfully made it as requested.

Yucca in Full BloomThe Lizard wanted a yogurt but wasn't about to pay $4 for it. He had a bowl of Raisin Bran instead.

I did a pretty good job of stretching and fueling during today's ride. Today is just a warm-up. We won't have another "easy" ride all week.

I didn't begin feeling out of energy until the homestretch – mostly hot, dusty frontage road with a slight headwind. It dried me out a bit. I popped right back to life after a couple swallows of Hammer gel and some water.

There are fewer rest stops this year, and less food, although today was an anomaly. Vendors are not allowed in the National Monument. The third stop, outside the Monument, had a little of everything, including Enstrom's ice cream and FREE toffee. Yeah, free!!!

Hanging TreeRide the Rockies rest stops on the Monument each had one fruit and animal crackers. I was glad I had food of my own in my pack. What they had would not have been enough. I'm so glad I brought my own food. We almost left it behind because we didn't have room. Now I realize it might make the difference between me making it through this ride or not for the next six days.

I meant to take my finished crocheted sock up into the Monument so I could shoot a picture of it on the red rock, with riders in the background, especially since I forgot to bring a bear. But I forgot to put the sock in my pack. I guess yarn is just not on my brain right now!Rainbow on the Run


  1. Way to go on Day 1! It's funny about the food. I find that eating enough during a ride impacts the *next* day as much as anything. So, you're smart to bring plenty so that your legs feel great TODAY!

    Love the picts. That area is a fave of mine.

  2. good luck in your journey! Kisses!

  3. Beautiful country for a ride!!
    Getting an early start so you could get to church on time also let you beat the rain and mud. Virtue may be its own reward but it has other benefits as well.


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