Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tour de Colorado Part I - Gettin outta town (FC-Salida)

This will be the start of a long string of posts about my tour bike ride through Colorado. I figure I can segment it up and just go bit-by-bit. Most of these posts will be of pictures that I snapped along the way and maybe some short descriptions. I've got to try to keep it short though, or it'll take FOREVER. I'll just give the quick run down of the shit I was hauling with me. I had some shitty flat/clipless shimano pedals and shoes, Chuck Taylors, 2 rear pannier bags, 1 front handlebar bag, one-man tent, thermarest, bottle of Breckenridge Bourbon (thanks Matt!), sleeping bag, 3 bottles and cages, Jetboil w/ food, all-weather type clothes, tools, kindle, camera, an ipod, and a universal solar charger (thanks Nation!). I was more or less set for 4 weeks on the road. Oh yeah, and a chamios (which is highly necessary for long days in the saddle). Here's a pic of the rig.

The night before I left, Barry roundhouse kicked the potted plant. Quick with the Shop-Vac.

Naïve Kid. Leaving the house. Big Andrew was there to see me off. I got rid of that chrome bag before I left.

Asher & Schuyler were super fuckin nice to ride me outta town. So nice leavin with friends!

Oskar Blues in Lyons. On my own from there.

I actually rode this single track for a long ways in order to avoid 60 mile an hour traffic with no shoulder. Anyone who's ridden Flatirons Vista trails can imagine how nasty it was climbing out of the valley with a 90 pound fully loaded touring bike. The LHT (Long Haul Trucker) totally kicked ass though.

Kenosha was my first mountain pass conquered.

First night I slept behind the Golden Bike Shop. The second night I pulled into Fairplay at Sunset. Golden-Fairplay over Kenosha Pass (10,000ft) on that big ass rig was a long day in the saddle. One of my biggest days.

Next morning made a break for Salida. Headed into Fibark raft festival in order to party my balls off after a long ride.

The New Belgium employees had a Mountain Chalet on the Arkansas River and were nice enough to let me sleep in the backyard in exchange for volunteering to pour some beers during the festival. We partied our balls off during fibark. The highlights were the HUGE post festival bar tabs, singing country songs, the barrels of fun with Kyle and the joust with Keith at the carnival. SICK. Also, Annie from New Belgium was such a good host and really set me straight with the Salida scene. One of the best people I met on my trip.

Keith giving me a sweet barb-wire tribal tatt. He is also the artist that painted the garage door mural at Road34.

A nasty Nasty NASTY hangover stuck with me after Fibark. I was the last motherfucker to pull outta that town after the festival on Monday morning. I was hurting soooooo bad that I only made it to Buena Vista by that evening. I was dizzy, miserable, and pushing into a stiff headwind. I couldn't keep food down and could barely drink water. Cars were rushing by me making me nervous and neurotic. All in all, this part of the trip was the absolute worst. Lowest of the low. I almost lost it in a Subway. So I decided say "fuck it" and go straight to the Buena Vista hot springs. This paid off in dividends. I had a good 3-4 hour soak that evening, and another hour long soak at sunrise the next day. Completely refreshed, I was ready to pedal over the biggest mountain ranges in Colorado. I'll save that tale for next time.

Zness out.

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