Cottonwood Pass – Crested Butte to Salida
Distance 103 miles
Average 14.4 mph
Feet of Climb 5,640
Max Speed 38.9 mph
Max Elevation 12,126 Feet
Cold Start and pedaled to a new height
I started riding at 6:30 with a brisk 39 degrees. The first 17 miles to the first aid station at Almont was almost all down hill and I averaged over 21 miles an hour. I started riding with a group going 20 miles an hour but I needed to brake alot so I laches onto two bikers going 25mph but I was getting too cold so I only followed them for a mile. There was a lodge at the aid station where I was able to get a warm breakfast and warmed up near the fireplace.
After the 3rd aid stop we turned onto a dirt road toward the summit of Cottonwood pass. It wasn’t as steep as the Grand Mesa climb but it was bumpy and dusty. Someone put a sign up: “rumble stips ahead” (staff must get bored). It was an accomplishment to make it to elevation 12,126 feet above sea level.
The 20 mile downhill was fast. A police officer announced that a bicyclist didn’t make one of the turns and is in the hospital and he won’t be doing the rest of the trip so be careful. I also saw a person repairing a flat on the downhill so I limited my speed to under 40 by applying lots of brakes.