From 6,200′ Cortez to 6,500′ Durango this was to be a day of climbing. The profile basically trended up for 50 miles before descending to Durango.
My roommate, Scott Olson, and I were quick to get out the hell hole we were staying and made our way to Denny’s – which was ill-equipped to serve a whole bunch of cyclists at 6:00 a.m. Poor waitress. One waitress. What were they thinking?
We rolled out together until I peeled off for my first photo of the morning. Scott soft-pedaled and I jumped on the back of a group and was quickly back on with him. Near the second aid station we separated for good as I dropped back to talk to a rider wearing a Trek Travel jersey.
Rolling into Mancos I saw the Davis Phinney Foundation car and stopped and talked with Connie Carpenter Phinney.
The next 16 miles were a climb which was long and steady but not hard. It was just a matter of keeping the pedals moving.
There wasn’t much to stop for and take pictures but occasionally there was something interesting. Like the elk ranch.
The climb led to something called Hesperus Hill. Who knew? The last 10 miles were to be downhill into Durango but this? This was awesome!
The road was smooth and cyclists were hugging the shoulder. I jumped in a lane and was following an RV which was following a tractor-trailer. We were doing 53 mph. It was a new personal best for me. And it was fun!
In Durango I ate at a pizza truck turned into a building, Home Slice Pizza, then explored the town before attending the cycling seminar at the school.
|Barry with Bob Roll|
The guest speaker was Bob Roll. He is incredibly funny. He told us that George Hincapie will be doing TV for the Tour de France. Favorite part of working with Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin: the drinking. And his picks for the Tour: Froome, Contador, and van Garderen.
After the seminar I still had time to explore the town.
I would love to come back here as a tourist.