Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ride the Rockies 2015, Day Four - Crested Butte

View towards Crested Butte
Miles ridden today: 27.7
Elevation gain: 1,424 feet
Time in saddle: 2 hours, 12 mins

Total miles ridden: 256.43
Total elevation gain: 18,037 feet
Total time in saddle: 22 hours, 14 mins 

For many years, Ride the Rockies incorporated a rest day on the middle day of the ride: a day with no riding.  No more!  Now, they call is a “recovery day” – and plan a shorter, easier ride, just to keep us on our toes (or in our toe clips).

Today’s ride was 27 miles of gentle upslope from Gunnison (altitude 7,703 feet) up to the ski town of Crested Butte (altitude 8,800 feet) – some high alpine cycling.

As Gunnison doesn’t have accommodation for all the riders, Steph and I were actually staying in Crested Butte overnight.  We drove down to Gunnison and met up with James, who was camping there, for the ride back up the hill.

Packin' 'em in the car!
At breakfast at the hotel, we met other riders, some of whom had been waiting for the RTR bus to Gunnison for over an hour – more evidence of the slight lack of organization around here.  Realizing the bus was unlikely to come, we ended up piling eight of us in Steph’s car – a cozy way to start the day.

The ride itself was beautiful, as evidenced in these pictures.  James and I took it slowly, in the spirit of ‘recovery’ and rolled into Crested Butte in time to meet Steph for lunch.

After racking up nearly 180 miles in the last two days, it was nice to have a gentle morning ride. An afternoon of rest and relaxation sets me up nicely for the longest day tomorrow.

I had mistakenly identified Monday as the longest day at 98 miles – not so – tomorrow will be 102 over Cottonwood Pass and the highest point of the ride at 12,126 feet. It will be an early start…. 

The West Elk mountains

Gunnison River

Gunnison River

A typical RTR aid station

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