We broke camp at the abbey around 7:30. The abbey dorm was an excellent deal. We rode to Mugs for breakfast. I ate there 4 times including dinner last night. After brekkies, we headed west on US 50. It was a bit hillier than I had anticipated. Luckily the temperature was in the low 60s and we had a tailwind.
We were at about 6,000 feet after ten miles when we turned north on Colorado Highway 9 and the fun began in earnest. I gave myself a puff of albuterol in the hopes that it would help me breathe. To my surprise it did.
Up and up and up again. At one point we cycled a 9 percent grade to over 7,000 feet. I had to stop multiple times to get my heart rate down and my breathing under control.
Mark and Corey were usually well ahead of me with their young legs (they’re 65, I’m 66) and lighter bikes. One day I’m going to show up with a titanium bike filled with helium and kick their asses.
Our misery was interrupted by two competitors in the TransAmerica Trail Race. They were enjoying the downhill from Hoosier Pass.
We were laboring on the climbs. Thank god for that tailwind and cool temps. I had an annoying noise coming from certain gears. At the end of the day we each looked the bike over and couldn’t find anything wrong.
We arrived at the turn for Guffey after nearly 34 miles. We regrouped in a surprisingly nice coffee shop. Root beer and a muffin plus some Fig Newmans. Then we did the final mile up to Guffey at 8,891 feet.
I am feeling a little lightheaded but I’m pretty happy with the day. We’ll sleep in an unheated cabin. No running water. No shower. An outhouse. We’re going to freeze our asses off overnight.
Miles today: 35. Tour miles: 1,295.5