Well, after a day and a half of some serious riding and elevation gain, the gals suited up in their new threads that they purchased on last night's shopping spree, mounted their carbon bicycles and headed out for the last day of the ride. Durango to Telluride.
Next stop is Mancos Colorado. As you pull in, they have a sign that says "IF YOU LIVED HERE YOU WOULD ALREADY BE HOME"
Ok, that's fine but they don't and there is a ways to go.
Mancos does have the best bakery south of Hwy 550 (it actually is on the left side of the highway over the bridge); Absolute Bakery. Try it! It's good food especially for the road weary.
Coffee, Bacon and Bike-Hike Bar. No need for anything else.
Tum-Tums full, or so I think because everyone is smiling. Hey, we live in the Land of the Plenty and what makes us happy? FOOD!
Next leg - Dolores (which means "pain" or "sorrow") "Yo tengo dolor de cabeza". This is courtesy of my memory from 8th grade Spanish class. Translation: I have "sorrow" in the head" Ha! Thank you Missus Rott, you taught me well.... and now I finally got to use it!
Dolores - Done!
Now Rico, which is a pretty good leg of false flatness that usually screws with your mind. From what I heard, all the ladies took their turns and rode good tempo.
I did get a text when they arrived here, so the chivalry within overwhelmed me, that I got on my bike and headed out to meet them. It was raining when I left, and all I was praying for was that I wouldn't get a flat. From those of you on the list, you know that the puncture gremlins have had me in their cross hairs for some time. Anyways, prior to the girls departure, I loaded up my wife with spare tubes, CO2 cartridges, booties, arm warmers, rain fly etc. so my repair goods were not with me. I didn't want to be that guy who would need to be rescued by these ladies who have had over 200 miles in their legs.
No flats, so I pull into Rico and check my phone. As I look up and see the quatro (that's one more than a trio) rolling in. And they looked good!
Ok, now they have some edibles and drinkables and continue on. The roads are wet, but no rain and the girls are looking strong.
Top of Lizardhead and oh such familiar territory since we ride this thing every week. The girls descend with good speed and well tucked. At this point I feel like me going out to meet them is not doing much as they don't really need anything. But I try to make myself useful try to lead by example on the descends. I'm getting quite comfortable doing the Noah Tuck (riding on the top tube) I got good practice at this when my saddle broke a couple of weeks back.
We get through Ophir and climb out of that, with the only thing left between the ladies and glory being Heartbreak Hill. Ladies, ladies.... let me take this one, says I to myself, and I tuck and get to the front. This takes me a good way up before I engage the pedals and as I fiddle around with the gears, all three of them blow past me in a full sprint. Whaaaaat!? Seriously...
So, here I am having the same shadow, of not being needed, cast over my pride and ego. But anyways, all of them rode strong and very impressive. Wow!
and that is it. 229 total miles with some serious climbing. Well done Ladies!
Thank you Jesse James McTigue for putting this on and being such a great leader.