Resting Team WIUS @ RTR
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We all need rest.  During a week long bike ride of nearly 500 miles, you need a lot of it.  Pat had trouble sleeping and it took its toll on day four, Montrose to Gunnison.

During most overnights, we rested and slept at motels.  The exception was Silverton.  Here Pat and I camped with the Rockies horde.  The rest of our group stayed in a back country ski hut.  This resulted in Adam, Dan, and David biking all but the last kilometer of Coal Bank, Molas, and Red Mountain Passes to reach the ski hut from Durango.

On day three Adam, Dan, and David biked all of these 51 miles... the first 10 miles of day 4.  Instead of 6,000 feet of climbing, they had 8,000.

These three strong guys didn't need as much rest as Evan.  His ride was cut short this day by a crash on the descent into Silverton.  Fortunately, with Jack's help, he was able to take the Rockies bus to the top of Red Mountain Pass and with borrowed wheels bike the one kilometer down to the ski hut.

The ski hut was one of the highlights of the tour for Adam, Dan, David, Evan, and Jack.  [above] Evan and his two boys relax in the ski hut about 10 miles and 2,000 feet above Silverton.  Evan was taking every available pain killer after his crash earlier in the day.  His soft tissue injuries would not keep him from riding the rest of tour.  How do you spell, amazing?

Lest I give the idea that Rockies is nothing but hard, readers might be interested to know that we spend a lot of time resting during the ride.  Wonderful volunteers staff rest stops that appear frequently during the ride.  During climbs rest stops are from seven to eleven miles apart.  Even on the flat sections, there is seldom a stretch longer than 18 miles without an aid station.  At these aid stations you'll find fruit and sports drinks.  Sometimes vendors will be there selling fajitas, sandwiches, and other faire.  Always, however, you'll find extremely friendly and helpful volunteers.

[left] I try to figure out how to extend the tour by another week as one of the many volunteers prepares oranges in the background.  [above] Pat, looking refreshed, gets ready bound up yet another mountain pass.
Evan and Pat are wondering if I'm going to take the picture or just stand there holding the camera.
Dan, Jack and Pat talk over the possibility of hitching a ride to the finish while cyclists fill up on sports drink in the background.

Occasionally we take longer respites during the ride.  In Ouray, Pat and I took four hours in the middle of the day's ride to eat and visit the vapor caves.  The Wiesbaden Hotel is built on top of underground caverns.  In these caverns are hot springs that make for the most relaxing atmosphere you could imagine.  Of course while we relaxed in the caves and out by the pool a strong headwind came up to make the remaining 35 miles into Montrose a hot, tough finish to the day. 

Well, that's it.  See you next year.  Much appreciation goes to Paul Balaguer and the Ride the Rockies staff and volunteers for putting on another great tour.  Thanks to Ellen Schroeder for hosting our group in both Nebraska and Estes Park en route to Rockies and on the return.  Thanks also to Jack for allowing Pat and I to travel out Colorado with him in his van.  Finally, Pat and I extend our thanks to the other members of team WIUS (Adam, Dan, David, Evan, and Jack) for being the cherished friends that they are.


Finishing Line (click on photos to expand)

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prepared by Joseph King