24 June 2015

UnDirty Thirty


Day 4
Gunnison to Crested Butte via the short, paved highway
27 Miles
1,424-foot elevation gain
Song of the Day: Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees


30-year anniversary commemorative route
Gunnison to Crested Butte via dirt/gravel Ohio Pass and Kebler Pass
35 Miles
2,796-foot elevation gain

Thanks to all Colorado's spring rain, the Dirty Thirty was cancelled. The dirt road leading up to Ohio Pass was in no condition for road bikes. All riders had to take the standard highway route into Crested Butte.

Didn't know if I'd be able to ride today, thanks once again to saddle sores that may have been the result of riding through four rain storms and two hail storms on Day 2. Sitting in the saddle in wet shorts for 14.5 hours can do that to you. Who knew? I sagged the last 24 miles or so yesterday because my saddle was that bad. But I finished the day's climb!

The state trooper who summoned a sag for me has been doing Ride the Rockies for nine years. The volunteer who sagged me has been volunteering for 19 years. She took me directly to the first aid station instead of the bike corral, which was awesome because the first aid station likely would have been closed before I could waddle across the school campus.

I received second skin and pain-deadening cream. So I guess you can say I was on drugs today. Today's ride was easy (albeit a gentle climb mostly in a headwind), but without both of the instant fixes, I don't think I could have survived another three hours in the saddle.

If I had sagged, I'd have missed this:

It was nice to have some free time today and not be too exhausted to even write in my journal. I'm covered with mosquito bites, but the wildflowers are out of this world. They don't call Crested Butte the Wildflower Capital of the World for nothing!

We tried to stock up on bike food for the rest of the week before leaving Gunnison, but the supermarket there does not carry single-serving almond butter. Yet the tiny market here has it!

We slept in until 5:30 this morning because too-close-for-comfort lightning kept us up most of the night. The sun made a grand appearance today just in time to cook us to a crisp. It's hot and muggy, and the mosquitoes are having a grand buffet.

This was the first time since Grand Junction I've had phone signal. We may have signal again tomorrow night, but that probably will be the end of electronic communication until we get home. I'll catch up on the short trip reports when I have more energy and a real computer. I have to code these posts by hand because nothing in Blogger or SmugMug works properly on an older model iPhone. I can't even see previews to see if I've coded everything correctly! (So I couldn't see that Saturday's photos didn't show until I got home and fixed them.) I can write HTML, but writing code on an iPhone is the pits.

Gotta get up at 4 a.m. for what I anticipate may be yet another very long day tomorrow... Cottonwood Pass and another potential century.

first view of Crested Butte Skyline

Teocalli Mountain and Castle Peak

mystery flowers

You can be super creative when you don't have to deal with homeowner associations.


  1. That's quite the amount of license plates haha good you got a quick fix ad were able to get back in the saddle again, maybe the rain was a good thing to give you an easier ride too

    1. Wasn't that house just a hoot, Pat? I wonder how long it took them to collect that many!

      I'm really glad I was able to finish the ride, too. I worried each and every day, but each day I got right back on the bike, even though it hurt.

  2. Lounging around Crested Butte for almost a full day was kind of nice.

  3. Love the photos and enjoyed your journey. Thanks for sharing with me.

  4. I love those license plates! sorry about the cancelled ride.

    1. I probably wouldn't have been able to do the harder ride that day, Michelle, so I guess it's good the temptation was removed.

  5. I can't imagine how intense this is, especially with the pain and fatigue. But glad to see you're having a good time and got a bit of a break with the rain. Some really pretty photos there, too :)

    (My WW is from Utah / Arches again this week, btw)

    1. Thanks, Amanda! The whole tour was the most difficult I've ever done. I'm very happy to be back home, but I'm also recovering enough now that I'm actually beginning to feel joyous about finishing! I've been enjoying all your Utah pictures, especially Arches. Very special place for us!

  6. Great video - impressed anyone had the energy to be so happy after all that! I had to look up "sagging", relieved to find out it's nothing bad and great to have such good support when you're injuried. (also impressed you took the time to code in the post - I would have been a bad blogger and waited for hometime)

    1. No kidding, Niahm! I couldn't believe their energy! They were so fun!

      I actually did put a week delay on all my posts, but I probably will not be trying to write html on the phone anymore.

  7. It sounds as if you were having a fabulous time and a very happy attitude. Wonderful photos. We were just discussing when we would go to CB... (not until the snow melts on the highest trails!).

    1. It was the most difficult RtR I've ever done, KB, but I'm so glad now I did it, and that I got to be a part of the 30th anniversary!

  8. Aren't you glad you didn't have to choose between the routes? Nice to have your mind made up for you. :)

    The wildflowers sound wonderful. That mystery flower is very interesting - the "petals" look like they're actually yellow leaves and the true flowers would be that bumpy stuff in the center of each cluster. (Yeah, I know my botanical terminology. NOT.) :)

    Thank God for second skin and hydrocortisone cream (or whatever it was). :)

    P.S. The video link was broken for me ... might just be my browser though.

    1. I'm thankful I didn't have to choose, Sue, but if I'd had to choose, I probably wouldn't have been able to take the route I wanted to take. I just didn't have the cheeks for it this time around!

      Might mountain bike it this fall...

      Oh, you should see if you can see the video in a different browser! It's SO worth watching!!! It's even worth firing up Internet Exploder!!! Just for two minutes!

    2. Yep, I just watched the video again, and it's still such a feel-good minute! Brings out all kinds of warm, fuzzy, happy feelings!

  9. P.S. The mystery flower makes me think of spurge....


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