Carbondale to Kremmling

Public Service Announcement: If you pedal at a 4.5 miles-per-hour pace near mosquitoes, be assured they will have their way with you.

We spent today crawling along the rises between Carbondale, State Bridge, and Kremmling.

Our ride was unlike the last couple of days, which have been a big up followed by a big descent and that concludes the day. Instead our route went up, down, then up again. Repeat.

Cottonwood Pass Road

We also experienced some sublime gravel going over Cottonwood Pass Road out of Carbondale – and some pothole-ridden gravel and washboard, too, don’t want things to be too perfect – as well as the intense vista magic that is Trough Road between State Bridge and Kremmling.

Over 7,600 feet of elevation gain over 87 miles. Quite an invigorating day.

Cottonwood Pass Road. Photo by Felkerino

We’ve ridden this in the opposite direction and I remember writing about how comfortably small it made me. Today I reflected a lot on the little me who grew up in Iowa. I never left the landlocked flat to rolling terrain of the Midwest – and rarely Iowa – until I was 21.

Although little me learned to ride a bike, it was mostly for purposes of bumming around town during the summer and to very occasionally visit the town six miles up the road.

Little me would have a tough time believing that she would grow up and spend her summer vacations riding tandem over mountains with her bike-riding husband.

Felkerino and I are not exceptional people. Little me was never considered athletic while growing up and I doubt many people see me as such now.

Camp Store on Trough Road

But here Felkerino and I are. Out in these mountains with our bike, climbing our brains out, and getting chewed on by the local biting flies and mosquitoes like nobody’s business. We are two regular people exploring together in a way that little me never even dreamed about.

Trough Road

But it’s possible. You don’t need super strength or athleticism to do it. Bike touring requires some planning, time, resources – and of course, a decent bike – but I believe that many of us have the ability to do it.

Whenever we tandem tour, people ask us about our bike and our riding. Many say that they could never do what we do. But I think people sell themselves short. I say start pedaling and see where your bike takes you.


  1. Not athletic? ROFL! Just a PBP or two and a bizaillion marathons. NBD.

    But I totally get your point. It doesn’t take superpowers to see the world from the seat of a bike. And you find out so much about the world around – and, more importantly, inside – you.


  2. The sad thing about our culture is that athleticism revolves around team sports which do not have a life-long potential. I love that what we do can last a lifetime and the places we go and the people we meet make us better. Some of my best memories are the adventures taken under my own power on a bike. Love following your adventure! As someone who lives on the east coast but grew-up in Iowa and Colorado, it is fun to see these areas fresh and new through your eyes.


  3. I get the same kind of reactions when people see me on my cargo bike with all of my kids. There’s nothing innate that makes me more able to do this – it’s just that I did it.


  4. This blog is beautifully written, nicely measured and perfectly pitched. The photos are an antidote to the Southern Hemisphere winter.


  5. I saved your last trip blogs to read when I returned home after a few weeks away. They did not disappoint. What a delight! And I don’t care what you think, Little You has become Strong You and you are an inspiration.


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