17 June 2013

I Could Have Dyed

Wild about Wild Irises

10 June 2013
Ride the Rockies, Day 2
Cortez to Durango
64 miles

Highlight of the day was the wildflowers. I've always enjoyed them and the challenge of trying to identify them, but now I look at them in a whole new light.

I want to dye with them!

In particular was a field so thick with wild irises, the meadow was pale lavender. Oh how I wish I could have had access! I probably would have run the camera battery all the way down.

I also realized I've probably pulled some of the Italian dandelion (chicory) I planted in my garden because I thought it was weeds. The chicory here is in full bloom, and oh, my goodness, is it ever beautiful. I want yarn that color.

Today I learned I am no longer the slowest rider. I still get passed more times than I can count, but I passed about eight people today. On hills.

Today was more difficult than it looked on the map, and somehow I got it in my head we were doing 46 miles instead of 64. At mile 47, I saw a sign giving the distance to Durango: 20 miles. That doesn't do much for the spirit of motivation when you're hot, getting tired and believing you're almost done.

I got my spirits right back up at the next highway pullout, where silver medal Olympic cyclist Nelson Vails also was taking a break. (If an Olympic athlete has to take a break, then certainly I'm not a total wimp if I have to take a break, too!) I worked up the courage to move closer and speak to him.

"I took a picture of you and you took a picture of me during Ride the Rockies 10 years ago at Curecanti," I said, hoping I didn't sound foolish because he probably hears stuff like that every day.

"I think I remember that," he replied. "I think that's in my slide show."

Made my day. Even if he was just being nice. Maybe he really does remember. I mean, how many times has he been to Curecanti???

Okay, so I just did a web search, and my write-up of the day I met Nelson in 2003 is 12th! Ha!

He let me snap another photo before he dashed up the mountain. Some hills make me wish I had wings so I could fly up the mountain. It certainly would be faster than my pedaling!

Nelson Vails

Another big thrill during today's ride has no photographic proof, and I knew when it happened I would regret not pulling over to snap a photo.

We went by several fields with horses early in the day, when it was still cool. Many of the horses came right up to the fences to watch the riders spin by. One particular gorgeous brown horse with a small white diamond on its forehead ran alongside the fence with me as I pedaled by, I think because of the music on my iPhone. Either that, or that horse just liked me a lot. See, I should have taken a picture. It would have been worth more than this paragraph.

I found out today the iPhone will work for only 5 hours while running Cyclemeter. Cyclemeter utilizes the GPS feature built into the phone. The GPS feature is the biggest battery hog on the iPhone. The iPhone cut off the last six miles of my ride! So I guess that means I'm stronger than my iPhone because unlike my iPhone, I finished the ride.

For about a month now, I've been worried that I hadn't developed a callous where my saddle rubs against me as I pedal. Finally, I decided it will be as painful to develop the callous during Ride the Rockies as it would be to develop it in training.

NOT SO! When you're training and your saddle gets sore, you don't have to ride the next day. When you're Riding the Rockies, if you're a Death Before SAG believer like me, you can't wimp out the next day just because of a little pebble in your saddle, so to speak. You must ride!

Owie. Suffice it to say, owie!!!

Finished my first sock tonight!!! Actually had the energy to work on it after 64 miles. I'm going to call it my Demon Sock because I had to rip out the ribbing I did in the tent last night after the sun went down because the low light made me make too many mistakes. And the Durango High School mascot is a Demon.

My Demon Sock

Great Day to be a Durango Demon

Cortez to Durango

Day 2


  1. I love the horse story ... if only we had photos of all the great things that happen during rides. But perhaps it's just as well we don't - we can remember them with our imagination this way.

    I remember your other photo of Nelson Vails! Didn't realise I was reading your blog that far back, but I must have been. He looks like a nice guy.

    That is one heck of a climb! And I can't begin to imagine the final descent (gives me the willies - you are way braver than I am).

    What fun these posts are. :)

    1. Wow, Sue! I can't believe you remember Nelson Vails from past posts!

      This was a good climb. It was harder than I expected because of the heat. But we didn't have smoke yet at this point, so it wasn't as hard as the days to come...

      I should have stopped more for photos this tour. But the hotter it got, the more I just wanted to finish so I could find some shade!

  2. Nelson Vails! That's so cool - and you've met him twice!

    The part about thinking that it was a 46 mile ride and being wrong by 20 miles - ouch! And the saddle sore... But, I can tell how much fun you're having!


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