Monday, June 15, 2015

Ride the Rockies 2015 - Day Two, Grand Mesa

Miles ridden: 98
Rock wall near the summit of Grand Mesa

Elevation gain: 7,631 feet

Time in saddle: 8 hours, 51 mins (about 11 hours total)

Total miles ridden: 146.6
Total elevation gain: 10,623 feet
Total time in saddle: 12 hours, 36 mins 

Well, I learned some things today:

1) A 98 mile ride is a really, really long way. 7,631 feet is high!

2) All the training I did around the foothills in Denver did not prepare me for a day like today.

3) Never ride fast with your mouth open and big bugs flying around!

Leaving Grand Junction at 6:30 a.m. and getting into Hotchkiss close to 6:00 p.m. gave me a really long day.  However the scenery was spectacular. The photos hardly do it justice.

The morning began with a nice flat stretch along the swollen Colorado River. James and I rode together for this section, though I left him at the first rest station in the queue for all-you-can-eat pancakes!

At mile 17, I started to climb, gently for the first 18 miles, and then it was a hard and steep, but steady climb, all the way to the top of the Grand Mesa - 19 miles of UP!

A fast descent for 20 miles, hitting 40 mph at times, and then rolling hills for 23 miles into the small farming community of Hotchkiss.

At one point I called Steph almost weepy with exhaustion.  Thankfully, the day ended with a 30 minute massage and a cold beer, rendering me ready for another long day tomorrow. 

The extra protein from the insects can't hurt either!
At the summit - after 7,000 feet of climbing and still smiling!

Farmhouse near Mesa

Colorado River flowing near Grand Junction

Early in the day on a bridge over the river

Views from the ascent up Grand Mesa

Views from the ascent up Grand Mesa
Views from the ascent up Grand Mesa

At the top of Grand Mesa

Yup, that's a hill alright!


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