17 June 2012

Turn off the wind!

Day One
North Rim, Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Gunnison to Hotchkiss
71 miles
10 June 2012

off we go

Wind. Headwind. Story of the day.

About 20 miles into the ride, a rider ahead of me went down. I didn't see her go down, but a swarm of cyclists stopped to help her. Later in the day I heard she swung out unexpectedly, and a cyclist passing her side-swiped her. The Lizard thinks he saw the rider who hit her in the shower. The guy has huge road rash on his leg. But he's still riding! We don't know about the girl.

When the accident happened, a state patrol car was just about even with me. He made a U-turn right in front of me. Then a riding medic passed me on the right side, announcing he was a medic. The girl who went down literally had help in seconds. It's so good to know we are in good, capable hands.

Blue Mesa Reservoir Palisades

I pedaled the North Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison during my first Ride the Rockies, but in the opposite direction. I didn't remember such big descents from that ride that were such big climbs on this ride, but the views more than made up for the hot, hard work.

It's fun to see so many people get excited about the views. I stopped at lots of pull-outs, mostly to stretch, but also to snap a few photos of cyclists snapping photos.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

I have to budget my shots. I forgot to bring an extra memory card. I always forget something. This time, it was the memory card. I have 135 shots to last the whole week. Reminds me of the old days, when I was limited by the number of rolls of film I could carry without getting them too hot in a day of riding in the sun. An extra memory card would have been so much easier to carry than the six rolls of film, one per day of riding, I carried in 2003!

About 40 miles into today's ride, I found a $20 bill on the road. Is this my lucky day, or what?

I watched a swallowtail float from flower to flower at the last rest stop of the day, in Crawford, the one-time home of rocker Joe Cocker's Mad Dog Cafe. The butterfly flew away every time I tried to get a photo.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Wild, bright magenta sweet peas in full bloom line the roads leading into Hotchkiss. I didn't stop to take any photos. I'm hoping I can go back while the flowers are still blooming and I'm not trying to reach a specific destination before dark.

Halfway between Hotchkiss and Crawford, a guy (undoubtedly the property owner) was trying to rent tent spaces in what looked very much like rattlesnake country. He called the location CrawKiss.

Sprinkler-free camping in Hotchkiss


  1. Good luck on your ride. I hope you manage to get pics of the sweet peas.

  2. I started reading your blog a couple years back in the fall, looking for crochet snowflakes, but I love your posts about your bike rides just as much. I have a disabiity and am unable to ride, so your photos are of things that I am unlikely to ever experience. Glad that you have such a great time when you go!

  3. that was some different landscape. Not as beautiful as you mostly show. More wild and raw I think.
    I hope that girl was ok in the end.
    Turn off the wind....applies to me too.

  4. You go girl!
    Yup, I've been one of those with thoughts inside my head instead of visiting your blog and leaving a comment! Shame, shame.....:)
    Glad you two are well and riding on!

  5. Ow - I cringed when you said "135 photos for the whole week". (I take that many on an hour-and-a-half hike). But it's good for the self-control, isn't it?

    What a very gorgeous place that canyon is. And how nice not to be the only one snapping photos.

    Can't wait to see the rest of the shots and read about the rest of your days!


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