MT CRESTED BUTTE, COLORADO
As planned, riders would have a 27 mile ride on pavement or a 35 mile ride with 13 miles of dirt and two 10,000′ passes. In the weeks leading up to RTR Colorado had heavy rains and there were forced to abandon the “Dirty Thirty” option.
Passing the Gunnison River, I saw a bike path that went over the river on its own bridge. Just one rider followed me.
I took a dirt road to the fishing ponds and talked to an older couple enjoying their day. As I was leaving a car came in. The driver asked if I was riding the Rockies. Then she offered me fishing gear. They had a rider with them who was planning to fish. I declined but wondered if I should have joined him. I don’t know how to fish but why not try something different?
I left the hatchery and returned to the main road.I passed a woman who has stopped with her daughter, Morgan. I would guess that Morgan was 10 or 11 and she was proudly riding the 16 miles from the aid station to Crested Butte. I complimented her and assured her that I have many friends who can’t ride 16 miles.
The road today trended uphill, mostly at a 1-2% grade. It was an easy day getting into Crested Butte.
I got into town and immediately saw their center for the arts.
The downtown area was being shut off to vehicles, probably for Ride the Rockies although I am not certain. This is another of the beautiful old mining towns in Colorado.
After exploring the few blocks in town, I decided to go check in to my hotel. It wasn’t a hotel but a condo, and it was uptown. Literally.
And then I looked up the hillside, the mountainside, and saw the ski village. That is where I would be staying. And it was a steep climb. I would be staying in Mt. Crested Butte, which was the uphill finish last year for Stage 2 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. My condo was on the actual finish line won my Robin Carpenter.
On my way up I had passed a bike path which was too inviting not to ride up. I decided to go back down to town and ride it again.
Twice up the hill was enough. I had taken a planned 27 mile day and turned it into 43. With climbing.