CO Tour Day 9: Las Cosas Se Arreglan: Cottonwood Pass and a Broken Crankarm
“Las cosas se arreglan. La gente no.” Things can be fixed. People can’t. Someone I used to work with told me that, after I had been in a fender bender.
That phrase keeps running through my mind as I reflect on our day from Gunnison to Leadville, 105 miles via the big meandering Cottonwood Pass and another intersection with the Continental Divide at 12,000-plus feet.
Even though I think Felkerino and I tour in a rather posh way– traveling light, hotel stays, dinners out, espresso stops whenever we can– this day still challenged my sense of humor.
Until we reached the base of Cottonwood Pass, I was feeling crabby about tandem touring and my vacation. “You know what this vacation needs,” I thought to myself. “More single bikes and downhill segments!”
Cottonwood Pass took me away from my troubles and I fell back in love with tandem touring. A helpful shout out of “You’re amazing!” from two motorcyclists helped, too.
By the time we reached Leadville, a little grumpiness returned. It takes some slogging to reach Leadville. Felkerino and I had lost some of our unison and I was hungry.
Two miles from the hotel the bike jerked. I thought Felkerino had slipped out of his pedal. We looked down and saw that a pedal was still attached to his foot and we now had a stub of a crankarm.
We couldn’t believe it. This is not an ideal situation, but we are so fortunate this happened in a town that has a bike shop. We were going slowly on a side street, we didn’t fall, and nobody was hurt. We were two miles from our hotel, an easily walkable distance. And tomorrow is a planned rest day for us.
We strolled to the end of town and saw a man out working on his mountain bike. He asked us why we weren’t riding our tandem and we showed him our orphan pedal. We chatted bikes and then learned we were talking to Ken Chlouber, who started the Leadville 100. No kidding. We never would have talked with him if not for our broken crankarm.
I’m not happy about this mechanical, but we are relieved tomorrow is a rest day and optimistic about being in Leadville, a town with what looks like a well-stocked bike shop. Like I said in the beginning, “Las cosas see arreglan” so we will figure out some sort of plan.
Good night, all, and thanks to everyone who’s been following and leaving comments. It propels us forward.