Monday, June 27, 2011

Tour Divide Day 17.

190km. Silverthorne to Salida.
Total time: 16 hours.

For once, the ride felt not too far from civilization. At least for the first 40km. There is a bike path that connects Silverthorne with Frisco and then Frisco with Breckenridge.

In Frisco, there was a field full of bright pink tents. Today is the Avon walk to cure breast cancer. I like that people do these things to raise awareness. Maybe I should do that one of these days. Or maybe I already am. For now, I'm raising my self awareness.

I stopped for breakfast in Breckenridge. I like that town, and not just because the dude at the cafe made me fresh mini donuts for the road. Small. Pretty. Clean. Well situated.

Out of Breck, it was right up Boreas Pass, which is an awesome climb with a good grade, a nice surface and shade from the aspens on either side of the road. Possibly the best climb yet.

On the other side of Boreas is a small town Beer in Como. I needed to recharge my water for the remote slog ahead and I pulled into the grocery store. It was closed for renos and didn't look like it would be open until quite some time after I'm hoping to have reached Mexico. So, I went to the only other business in town, the Como Depot, a cute little hotel and restaurant built back in 1892.

The proprietor, Dave, was expecting me and called me by name. A keen supporter of the Tour Divide, he has been watching the little bouncing bubbles approach his town for the past week. He offered me a free beer and I couldn't say no (see picture). It was not even 1130 yet, so that was probably violating some kind of social norm. But that's nothing new for me on this trip and I'm guessing that wearing the same unwashed jersey for 2750kms is a more severe violation.

Dave showed me some pictures and was really friendly. If I weren't set on getting to Mexico in good time, it was the sort of pace that I would have enjoyed staying for a night. But I was set on making it to Salida today, so I was quickly on my way.

Looking at the elevation profile, the tough part appeared to be Boreas Pass. Not the case. The post-Como hail was a tough one. I've noticed that a lot of people hang flags in America. Not around these parts. That's probably because it's the kind of territory where flags would get ripped to shreds in a matter of hours. It was WINDY!

I spent the next few hours ducking the headwind and trying to keep a straight line amid the gusts coming from the side. The dirt road was severely washboarded, which further impaired my progress.

When I finally made it to the next town, Harstel, I thought about waiting out the wind and doing the rest in the dark (because the wind doesn't blow at night, right?). But patience and I have never been very good friends, so I charged along. Got to make it to Salida!

Slow going. I made it over the last pass just after sunset and had a long gravel descent in the dark. Sloooooow. I eventually made it to Salida just after 10pm. As it is Sunday, that meant that my dreams of a hot meal tonight were broken. But, hey, I made it!
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network


Anonymous Fred E. said...

Hi, Tori - Definitely not your Sunday walk in the park. But, the picture you paint almost makes it seem so. Thank you for brightening our day. Onward to the border....

June 27, 2011 at 10:09:00 AM MDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your Como photo! Sounds like JPE is a day ahead of you; he did the Silverthorne to Salida stretch on Saturday and complained about the washboard roads. (His 2-sentence blog entry for that day is entitled "Washboard.") Yesterday he had the same headwinds you were having.

June 27, 2011 at 11:05:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Dallas said...

Never wash that jersey, ever .
I think it's going to be a symbol of something really great. I mean it already is... but now. With that machismo, tribal priestesses will sniff that thing and go to war...

June 27, 2011 at 3:08:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Megan O'Brien said...

I've spent the night in Hartsel! Hope you got to see the igloo.

Good work, Tori!

June 29, 2011 at 8:08:00 AM MDT  
Blogger oldultrarunner said...

Tori, I've ridden Boreas Pass many times. It's so beautiful in the Fall with the aspens in full gold color. Yes, Breck is a great little town and it has a great 50 mile and 100 mile mtn bike race every year that is one tough SOB.

Great job lady!!


June 29, 2011 at 9:01:00 AM MDT  

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