23 June 2010

Star Struck

Sweet Ride of MineTwilight Red Mountain Pass TunnelDay Four
Ouray to Durango
75 miles
16 June 2010

The sun has already set, so I don't know if I can write everything on my mind. Suffice it to say I was in the saddle for 12.5 hours today. That includes breaks. The demo bike doesn't have my cyclocomputer, so I don't know my actual saddle time, my mph average, my fastest speed or my total mileage. I have to use the mileage The Lizard's cyclocomputer provides. He finished the ride in just over five hours.

How Many Riders Felt at One Point or Another on WednesdayHeadwinds the entire day. "Deep dish" wheels on the demo bike tempted the wind to carry me and the demo away. I was swept three feet across the road on one frightening switchback during a 28-mph or so descent. Just about the scariest moment on a bike I can ever remember. As best I can estimate, two hours of ride time trying to motivate and cheer myself into finishing. Two hours of pedaling spent crying and wanting to go home, hating cycling, cursing the wind, wishing I were done, spinning and spinning and spinning even though every muscle in my body wanted to quit.

Molas Pass SkylineThis was no measure whatsoever compared to the Grand Mesa. Riding the Million Dollar Highway by far exceeds the most difficult ride I'd ever done, Lizard Head Pass on Day One of my first Ride the Rockies.

I could seriously fall in love with this bike if it weren't so expensive. I didn't like running without a cyclocomputer. The demo truck was ready to close by the time I pulled into Durango, so they're letting me ride this jewel again tomorrow.

Coal Bank PassShifting is SO smooth.

But my sit bone is sore. I don't have anything left. I've scraped the bottom of the barrel. My tank is completely empty, and there is no satisfying fuel. I'm so tired. Everything on my body hurts. I don't know if I can do three more days. I don't want to do three more days. Three more hard days. Three more very difficult hard days. I don't want to ride anymore. I want to go home.

True Rest StopI spent so much time today wondering why in the world I do this.

This was not fun. This was a suffer fest. Pure and simple.

Believe it or not, the most difficult part of the entire day for me was the two-mile grunt up to Fort Lewis College in rush hour traffic after all the volunteers had called it a day. No one to guide us through the course. No one to get us safely across the furious intersections and through impatient traffic.

On the bright side, I was not last. I did not sag. And I met Alison Dunlap. In person.Me, Marge and Alison on Molas Pass above Silverton


  1. We have a word for that here in Finland, "SISU". You are worth of that word :).

  2. I am really having a time wrapping my head around what this must have been like.

    I feel like such a pansy.

    Not that I don't like pansies...pretty little flowers that they are...

  3. You were awesome and put in an incredible ride over some tough turf! You dug deep, persevered and finished the big triple climb. You were not tempted to catch a SAG. Instead, a week after the fact, you're not wondering if you tried hard enough. You're saying, "I did it!"

    Well done!

  4. And I cry over an hour on the treadmill. You are amazing! I am awestruck!

  5. Hi, Snowcatcher;
    This morning I've been reading about your amazing ride. (As I sit here, on my lazy ass, in front of a computer.)

    Three cheers for you! As an ex road biker babe I groaned out loud at your steep climb in the previous post.

    And, I know exactly how you feel on the bootie subject. People always assume we give up when our legs can no longer peddle but it was generally a sore butt and/or sore neck that did me in.

    That said, you can do this. I know you can! What fab bragging rights you will have once you're done.

  6. I think it's just so amazing that you are doing this. Just think about how accomplished you'll feel at the end!

  7. I can't begin to imagine how you must have felt. I am a couch potato most of the time.

    Here is to you struggling on!


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