Day 17- Pueblo, CO

Posted: August 11, 2010 in Colorado

The next morning Jon went down to the beach for a cup of coffee with David, the friendly camper from the night before. I slept in, because I am perpetually lazy.

The camping had been fun and relaxing, but we had some business to attend to that day. We were going to be climbing the Le Veta Pass, and it was nice knowing this time that we were going to be on a long climb for awhile.
It was flat and only the slightest bit uphill as we approached the pass. When we reached the sign at the bottom, we decided it would be a good time to flip our wheels around and use the 18t cog instead of the 15t.

About halfway up the pass I had to stop and de-stress myself because I was becoming increasingly frustrated with how quickly winded I was getting. I was tired and sore from the previous climbs and we were also moving up to our highest elevation yet. Jon offered me a break for about 15, and then I steeled myself for the rest of the climb. Jon even offered to let me lead so that I would feel less upset about how far behind I was.
The break helped and I just forced myself to power the rest of the way up. I was so euphoric as I watched this sign pull into view:

We took another break to chill, take some pictures, and flip the wheels back around.

The descent was pretty hard- a 6% grade for 4 miles (which we conveniently know because of the sign informing us). It was the first true test of the strength we had built up, and our tires. Both legs and tired performed wonderfully, and we made it down with no incidents and minimal stops.
Walsenburg was our next stop, a really nice town that wasn’t quite as small as I had imagined it to be. We checked out the library, hoping to work on the website, and discovered that our card reader was broken. We were just going to have to wait until we could get a new one the next day.
Since there wasn’t anything else to do, we decided to head out since we needed to get into Pueblo before it, once again, dropped a heavy storm on us. And, once again, we weren’t so lucky. In an effort to make time we tried to take the frontage road instead of riding on I-70, until we saw this sign:

which means watch for bikes on the interstate. It was awesome, especially when the shoulder opened up.
Just as the storms started intersecting with our section of the highway, we were seeing lots of motorcyclists pulling off to watch the storm and change into rain gear. We took that as a sign that we were going to get caught up in it soon.

The Taylors, stopped to take pictures of the storm.

Evidently roadside hanging out is not ok. The cop was really nice about it though.

The storms that we had been seeing up in the mountains were scary and intense. But still, none of them was as spectacular as the one we saw outside of Pueblo. It was actually the second of two storms to roll through, except the first was quickly blown out of the area by the 30-40 mpg wind gusts. We were hoping the second storm would follow suit, but instead we got stuck under an overpass for a couple of hours while watching the most electrically active storm so far. It was awesome, with perfect horror movie-sky splitting lightning. The show could not do anything to ease our bind though, as it was getting dark and still very dangerous to travel. We finally agreed that we might as well hitch the last 5-miles or so the edge of town, so that we could at least get under the shelter of a convenience store roof.
We got picked up right as it got dark by a man named Kim and his nephew William. They were super nice, and Kim drove us a little ways into town. He had done a lot of traveling and hitching and so was a kindred spirit. He gave us travel advice and we swapped stories, and then he dropped us off and we all said bye. It was still kind of early so we grabbed a really good (and cheap) dinner at Ianne’s Pizzeria. After the delicious, large, fried chicken dinner, we got sleepy and decided it was time to find a park. There was one right up the street with a pavilion, but we were in the “ghetto” part of town on a Friday night, which was going to throw a kink in trying to get a good nights sleep. It sounded like the party was just getting started when we got into the park, so we headed off for the other edge of town.
We ended up finding the Mineral Palace Park, a considerably softer and quieter park than the previous one. We crashed hard, knowing that we had an 80-mile the next day that we wanted to finish as quickly as possible, since we knew we had a real bed waiting at the end of it.

  1. doctor says:

    Seriously, you both need to be fit by a professional.
    Also, pink bike needs to fix his saddle angle.
    Pink bike also looks to be too small. Oh wait, I forgot that it’s a sweet fixie and not a touring bike… it’s probably still a bit too small.
    Yellow bike: get new bars. Jesus christ. Nobody tours on bullhorns. Fixed might not be the most shocking thing. THAT might be the worst. Bullhorns…
    Don’t die out there. I am having too much fun watching this trainwreck.

    • My frame is a 58c, I am 6′ tall and can barely get 2 fingers on my stand-over. Fixed gears have high bottom brackets which means your seat post needs to sit higher to get proper extension. Nikol is too short to reach the bottom of drops so bullhorns are what is most comfortable for her. And I’m pretty sure saddle angles are a matter of preference. Thanks for your concern, but we didn’t start riding bikes yesterday.

      • Nic says:

        I’ve really enjoyed reading the entries! I recently moved from Austin to Houston and think i recognize Nikol from some of the group rides.

        Only last month I spent two weeks on the Western Slope in Rifle, CO at the Yamaguchi Frame Building School and really fell in love with that part of the country. It’s been great seeing pictures from some of the places I went and I hope you guys have a safe and amazing trip!

        Fuck the haters, you have people enjoying your experience. Thanks for sharing it.


  2. some guy says:

    Fit 2 fingers where? lol

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