Bike Tour 2022 – Florence to Cañon City

Florence didn’t live up to its potential. No one escaped the SuperMax prison last night.

This morning I contented myself with the motel continental breakfast: coffee and granola bars. That’s all they had. I wonder if they feed the SuperMax prisoners like this.

Super 8 offered a not-so-super breakfast

I called the Warmshowers host in Cañon City and left a message. Then I rolled into town at the civilized hour of 9:30.

In town I stopped at the Copper Kettle for a real breakfast. Two eggs, hash browns, and two pancakes. Perfecto.

My plan was to ride the 8 or 10 miles to Cañon City to check out the possible shelter situation. If all else failed I could return to Florence to camp in Pioneer Park.

After breakfast I biked to the park to check it out. It was quite nice and verdant with some standing water here and there, the result of its sprinkler system. Okay, this would truly be the last resort.

I took my time riding to Cañon City. The road was narrow and quite busy. One classy Colorado dude in a big black pick up coal rolled me.

In Cañon City I rode past the Warmshowers house. It looked shipshape. Next I rode downhill to town and busy US 50. I found the abbey but it was closed for the weekend. It’s mostly a winery and assorted other ventures these days.

The Abbey. There are several other buildings on the campus

After the Abbey I went to a Walgreens to refill my glaucoma eye drops. Wonderful people.

As I was leaving the store, the Warmshowers host called and told me to come on up and camp at his house.

I made a quick stop at a Safeway for dinner (PB&J and an orange). A sign said it was 96 degrees at noon. I made a bee line to Mugs, a bar/cafe. After my chicken sammie and three tall glasses of ice water, I rode to the Warmshowers house, up a hill I had just descended an hour or so earlier. I was dreading the short climb but it was no big deal. Maybe I’m adjusting to the whole altitude thing after all.

Dwayne and Stephanie welcomed me warmly. I had yet another ice water and set up my tent just as a squall line came through. It was much more wind than rain. My tent didn’t budge.

While writing this post, Dwayne learned that the leader of the TransAmerica race was cruising through Cañon City. We walked down the street to cheer him on. After five minutes we almost gave up, thinking we had missed him. Then there he was biking around a bend in the road. If you didn’t know any better you’d think he was just a local rider out for a quick spin. He started in Astoria, Oregon on June 5, a week ago.

Kraig Pauli, 56-year-old race leader in Cañon City

In a change of plans, Corey and Mark are coming to Cañon City tomorrow. Mark seems determined to stay in the Abbey dorm. I’ll check on availability in the morning. No worries; there are plenty of other options available.

Miles today: 17.5. Tour miles: 1,225

The next couple of riding days will take us over Hoosier Pass, the highest point, over 11,000 feet, on the TransAm. Mark and Corey did this in 2019.

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