This Bike Fueled by Eggs and Espresso: McClure Pass

I’m glad I wrote those sentimental notes about how wonderful tandeming with my partner can be, as I had to remind myself of them this morning.


I woke up famished with only the thought of scrambled eggs and breakfast in my mind. Felkerino, on the other hand, awakened to an equally powerful urge for espresso.


Both of these were available, but located in distinct locations in Glenwood Springs, a few blocks apart. Because Felkerino does the steering on our bike I was at a real disadvantage, and I had a hard time accepting any delay for my scrambled eggs.

Ultimately we worked through this bike tour-induced conflict, eggs were eaten, espresso consumed, and no one shouted or cried. Yay bike touring!


The remainder of the day, that is, our 75-mile ride from Glenwood Springs to Paonia over McClure Pass, was bright and peaceful.


After a brief stop in the cute town of Carbondale for more of the ever-important espresso, we climbed steadily for around 25 miles until cresting McClure Pass at over 8,700 feet.


With the exception of the final three miles which had a significant yet manageable pitch, the ascent was a gentle grade. Although we rode on what I would call a “big” two-lane road, it was fairly free of car traffic.


Our descent into Paonia was rocking. The tandem hit 50 miles per hour and soon thereafter we stopped so that my stomach could decide whether lunch should stay or go inside of me. I don’t know whether my nausea was due to altitude or motion sickness from the rapid descent. Fortunately it passed.


En route to town we passed through coal country and over a couple sets of really wretched unrideable train tracks. Rim crushers, as our friend Mike would say.



Paonia is an appealing little town with a main street that sustains a variety of businesses. It looks to be a place where the local food movement is also thriving.


After a rough start over eggs versus espresso, it was another picture perfect day.

Categories: Bike Touring, ColoradoTags: , ,


Brevets, commutes, tandem rides, coffee. Sometimes a marathon. Washington, D.C.


  1. MT Cyclist

    Glad you’re having fun in my home state. It’s certainly beautiful country. Lately I’ve been fantasizing a little bit about buying a tandem. But I doubt that there’s enough room in our dining room to accommodate one.


  2. You are carrying so little gear. Are you carrying everything you need? I toured in this area and carried way too much, which is a lot more than you seem be carrying. I need to figure out how you do it since lighter touring = more fun.

    Enjoy the mountains!


    • Yes, we are hotel touring so we do have all the essentials and are touring comfortably. I will do a rundown of what we took with us after we return from Colorado. Oh, and summer means not having to carry as much :).


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