Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Durango - Day 1

Cam Kirkpatrick

Man I’ve been lookin’ forward to this day for a long time, oh since about this time last year, day 1 in Durango. Woke up at 6 bells, poured myself a cup of cereal and kept pouring myself a cup of cereal until the box was empty. Fuel. Sat on the porch of my cabin, watched the sun rise over the mountains, did a little reading, ate a banana, some yogurt and a cup of joe. Man what a beautiful morning, something like 60 degrees, not a cloud in the sky… perfecto.
So I figured I’d do my favorite road ride up to Silverton and back today. I figured I better hit the road kinda early because they’ve been getting a lot of rain in the early afternoons. So I got all of my crap together and was on the road by 9. As I was headin’ north I could see in the distance the clouds starting to gather over the mountains for a little powwow. I made it up to Silverton without encountering any rain or problems, except my front shifter is getting ready to crap out on me. Gotta have the 53 tooth ring for the descents, maximum speed is where it’s at. I also didn’t seem to have any trouble with the whole altitude thing either, never have so I suppose that shouldn’t surprise me.
Turned around in Silverton and headed back up the toughest part of the ride, a 7 mile climb up to Molas Pass with a gradient that varies between 6 and 10%, mostly 8-9%. After 50+ miles in the saddle, most of which is spent goin’ uphill, tends to soften the legs a little and makes the climb out of Silverton pretty tough. The clouds continued to gather and I could tell they were gettin’ ready to raise some hell all over my arse. I made it up to Molas Pass without any significant rain, just a couple of sprinkles. Rolled down the backside of Molas and began the 3 mile climb up to Coal Bank Pass, again encountering only light sprinkles.
On the way down Coal Bank I figured I was home free from the rain because the clouds were becoming fewer and the sky was getting bluer… saweet! About this time, my HR monitor decided it was gonna crap out on me too, great, more money to spend when I get back. So I was getting close to this gas station that I usually stop at to refill on agua and it starts to rain kinda steady, nothing heavy, just light stuff. So I get to the station, go inside, get some water, look outside and all hell broke loose. We’re talkin’ sheets of rain and a whole shit pot of hail. Glad I got to the station when I did. Never ridden in hail, I bet it sucks. So I sat there for about 30, waitin’ for the rain/hail to stop.
It stopped, I hit the road and about 1 mile later the road was dry as a bone, never even rained there. Crazy stuff. I got rained on every once in a while on the way back to town, it was all light rain so all was good. Finally made it back to the cabin, my old man was there, sittin’ on the porch throwin’ down a cold one, lookin’ like he was enjoying life. So despite all of the bad crap that happened today, it was still better than any solo road ride in Iowa!
Some stats from the ride, total distance – 107+ miles, 8800+ feet of climbing, average HR around 160, max HR at 178 (a few times), 6:20 of total ride time with an average speed of about 17mph. Max speed of a little over 46mph, would’ve been faster but I got stuck behind some old people in a coffin on wheels.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading,


No comments: