Day 22 - June 28th
Total: 902.5 miles
Moving Avg: 7.3 mph
Overall Avg: 4.2 mph
This morning we made the long gradual ascent to Marshall Pass. It wasn't slow though. The grade was a perfect grade. It allowed us to gain elevation, but not fatigue from the steepness, a near perfect 200 feet per mile for all sixteen miles. I never needed to push the bike, and the two of us only needed to take a handful of one minute breaks. If all climbs were that easy, I would be happy. On top of that, the quality of the road was near perfect with a fine gravel and hard packed dirt combination, all energy exerted moves us up and forward.
We knew that the grade going down was identical, so happiness awaited us on the otherside. A descent that is graded so there is no need to Pedal, nor any need to break. We arrived at the top and enjoyed tortillas and tuna and mayo and mustard. hose mayo and mustard packets bring dull food to life.
On the flip side we started our 25 mile descent to Salida. It turned out to be a very bumpy road for the first half. In fact, it was too bumpy to coast. As such, we ride with our hands poised on the breaks. During a particularly bumpy stretch I noticed my rear brake suddenly stopped working. Then my rear tire fell off. I heard this loud grinding of rubber on metal, and screamed "oh shit! Oh Shit! OH SHIT!"
I managed to get my feet unclipped from the pedals and on the ground before falling over. Fortunately my tire stayed close enough to in frame to prevent me from crashing down onto the derailer or frame and causing serious damage to the bike. Unfortunately, the rest of the ride down the mountain I was paranoid it would happen again. So we descended at a dismally slow pace for downhill.
The last ten miles into Salida were paved and downhill so I finally picked up confidence to move at a normal pace. We cruised into town, and went to the bike shop first. I wanted a mechanic to look over the bike and double check that everything was okay. He gave it a thumbs up, but tried to sell me on a new tire. This is probably a good idea, but we are going to hold until Silverthorne to make that purchase.
Post bike shop, we hit up lunch, and made plans for our next leg. We decided to save money, we would push out of town about six miles. A not-so-quick stop at a grocery store, and we were on our way out of town.
As we left, we bumped into Joy. As we all suspected, it was probably the last time we would see each other, so we said our goodbyes, and pushed out of Salida, into the very steep, very humid, next leg.
Three miles in, and about 1000 feet of elevation gain, Apricots and I decided that we weren't wanting to do it. We both had uneasy feelings about the leg, and a strong desire to get solid rest.... and some ice cream, pizza, and beer.
We turned back and checked in to a Hostel. We then got pizza and beer. Then ice cream. Then warm dry quiet sleep.
Live life at a slower place.