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.
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.
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.
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.
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.