1998 Ride the Rockies Reports from the Field, Day Six

Friday, June 26 - Avon to Frisco

64 Miles - 5100 Feet of Climbing
Report Posted on 28 June 1998

The last day of the tour is always bittersweet. Being so focused on the ride each day makes life so simple and uncomplicated. I love my family and I can't wait to be reunited while at the same time I'm feeling attached to this simple illusory life.

Dan Gives
the Thumbs Up

The spirits of everyone I talked to on the way up to Tennessee Pass seemed high. Many were now feeling the good result of biking at altitude for nearly a week. Again the sky was clear and the air that filled our lungs was clean and cool. We quietly pedaled our way through the town of Minturn while it slept, it's residents unaware of our efforts.

Victory at Pass Number Two

For me, food would be easy to come by today. At the second aid station they were making pancakes and serving sandwiches. It was all a very welcome and relaxing rest. That seemed to fit perfectly with the scenery on the way up to this spot just 10,400 feet above sea level. The road wound up a river canyon wide enough and gradual enough to cradle a rail line in addition to the road. The tracks disappeared into a tunnel in the side of the mountain about 300 feet below the pass and this aid station.

On the other side of the Tennessee Pass we were greeted by the Fourteeners standing tall. These are a series of over-fourteen-thousand-foot peaks that stand in a row. They were a magnificent sight all covered in snow. Our highest point of the tour, crossing at over twelve thousand feet on Trail Ridge Road, doesn't even compare to these jagged peaks poking into the sky. At this moment in the tour I can feel the Rocky Mountains reach up through the road and touch me on the inside. Each time I bike in Colorado I become more and more the possession of those mountains.

For Dan, he would bike the entire day for the first time since the first day. Although he was still tired and weak from being sick most of the week, he finished strong and his spirits were high. I ran into him shortly after watching Jack arrive still high from the thrilling descent off Freemont Pass. He caught the tail of a tandem and hit speeds that could have generated speeding fines. Dan too broke limits and a personal record when he hit 59 MPH on the downside of the mountain.

Jeremy looks for Stuff

I happened to be standing at the finish to welcome Lou, Evan, and Adam to Frisco as well. Although we didn't get a chance to talk, I could tell that everyone had a wonderful ride and a challenging tour. Mike and Jeremy would run out of fuel before the summit but they arrived in great spirits. Jeremy is just thirteen years old and was exhausted at the end of the tour. He and Mike pedaled a tandem well and made it through some really tough rides. He should feel accomplished and encouraged by his own strength and will. Adam, at just fourteen years old, is already an accomplished cyclist. He bikes with a skill and smoothness that is lacking in many older riders.

Signing Off

Accomplished is exactly how I feel at tours end. I've gained confidence in myself and in others. The mountain may have claimed a bit more of my being but I am leaving with some of it's strength.

Joseph King

Go to Ride the Rockies Reports from the Field,
Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four, Day Five, or Day Six.

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