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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Bike Day: Ouray To Blue Lakes Trailhead...and Back

If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.”   Yogi Berra

Which can be a good thing if you live in Southwestern Colorado...

Shortly after 7 AM, Bobbie and I mounted our trusty mountain bikes and pedaled north. Half asleep, I eventually realized a couple things: One, it's almost dark nowadays in La Crevice at such hours. And Two: we had a freakishly warm tailwind pushing us along, something that would soon change. 

The plan was to meet Leon in Ridgway for our bike race up Log Hill...another in the "Summer Series" of Geezer versus Geezer races that no one beyond us actually gives a shit about. Hey, it helps take our minds off the devastating political and environmental news these days. To quote Wordsworth: Is then no nook of English ground secure from rash assault?” 

Anyway, thanks to our warm tailwind, Bobbie and I made great time with little effort. Then, about halfway to Ridgway, and I must say, weirdly so, the temperature suddenly dropped from mid-50's to upper-30's. We shivered into Ridgway's Town Park in under 44 minutes. Being Friday, Town Park was bustling with venders setting up display tents for crafts and the weekly Farmer's Market. Hopefully there would be a couple cinnamon rolls left when we returned from our ride.

Leon decided he wanted to change our itinerary from a short, intense race up Log Hill, to a long peaceful grind up to Blue Lakes Trailhead near the base of Mount Sneffels. Fine with me. I'll take "miles" over "intensity" any day. Being it was a workday for Bobbie, she headed back to Ouray, while Leon and I peddled route 62's pavement up to Pleasant Valley, a well-shouldered but insanely driven stretch loaded with 18 wheel semis, Class A motorhomes, and pickups pulling all kinds of loosely hitched shit...from cargo trailers to fifth-wheels. It was unnerving, to say the least.

After 6 miles of white knuckle riding, we reached County Road 7...a lonely gravel lane that promised to land us by a frothy creek under soaring pines.   

Of course Leon and I had to push each other. We took turns at lead on what turned out to be a modest, but ever-so-relentless, grade. It kept us pedaling in lower gears, wondering if and when we'd ever catch a downhill break. It's always a race with Leon and I. It helps take our minds off the quad-smoldering burn in our legs and focus on the task/goal at hand.    

Route 7: Leon heads toward the base of Mount Sneffels.

From hayfields to aspen groves... another 4 miles to go.

Ahhh, we made it to our creekside oasis...in desperate need of carbs.  

Yes, Peanut M&Ms...Official sponsor of the Senior Olympics :)

Leon ponders a dip in the ice water, but decided it was a tad too cool and cloudy.


52.7 mi (Miles)Distance & hrs (Hours) 13 min (Minutes) Moving Time

7 Hrs  18 Min  Total riding time
1 Hrs  5 Min     Total Time Stopped Time
3,270 ft  Ascent
3,225 ft  Descent

Another great day, playing in our Rocky Mountain backyard.

Peace out.
Mark, Bobbie...and, of course,  Leon.
Post Script: There was not one cinnamon roll left in the entire Farmer's Market...  😧 

1 comment:

  1. Wow, beautiful in Green and in another month it will change to Gold , Burgundy and brown, then the show begins :)
    Made all our en route rsvp's yesterday.
    Al's cousins were here the first part of this past week and they related how they were at the KOA in Ouray in June for a week of mostly showery weather but they enjoyed it none the less.
    Ok don't break a leg, we will be seeing you real soon, arrive on the 9/ 27th


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