Ride the Rockies – Day Five

Cottonwood Pass – Crested Butte to Salida

Distance 103 miles

Time 7:08

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. 

We then followed Rte 742  along the Taylor River to the next two aid stations.  By the third aid station at mile 40 I was finally warmed up. The views were awesome and the grades were not too bad.  

    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.

 The last 25 was mainly downhill which brought my average up to 14.4 mph. Not bad for my second century of the year. 

John

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