Saturday, June 13, 2020

A Casual Ride Over The Colorado National Monument

Another batch of homemade vanilla yogurt and I now have five hours on my hands while it all coagulates nice and firm like. What To Do??? Evidence shows, will perpetuate a ride. Not really sure which direction to go. Couldn't care as much about where, just knew that I was heading out. Riding the newest section of trail towards the Lunch Loops, about a dozen Harley Riders blew on by. Thankfully, I was flashing the peace sign as they roared on by.

For Ginny
A little breezy and a little chilly, I made my way towards the base of the spectacular Colorado National Monument. Was thinking that it would be a good idea to gradually ride up hill to warm up a bit. That decision turned me towards the East Side Entrance of the Colorado National Monument. Nobody was manning the gate and I figured I would only ride the first few switch backs, break into a solid sweat, and then turn around. What I didn't realize was that the previous night's low of 37F / 2C set a new GJ record. So I simply continued climbing.

12:34 and the 5th of the 6th Month
About the time that I was feeling good and fairly comfortable, the first and only uphill tunnel approached. My bike lights were flashing, legs felt decent, heart rate in check, and uphill I pressed ahead. What happen next took place in about 15 seconds but felt like an eternity. Now, this is roughly a 17% grade during this particular stretch inside the tunnel. I am in my granny gear with both wheels hugging the white line. My sunglasses blocked out almost all visible light and my only reference to space and time was that little white hole at the end of the tunnel. And of course, Murphy's Law, here comes a truck from behind. Well Sh*t Fire


I was spinning in my granny gear, too damn discombobulated to simply let go of the handle grips and shift! My body navigated the bike forwards as if I was three sheets to the wind. I figured it was my time. I wasn't exactly ready to die but knew that I had some Karma Coupons to cash out. Come On Peace And Quiet


The motor was vibrating the tunnel walls, the growl of death was suddenly approaching from behind, my heart was racing with anxiety, my wobbly legs were utterly useless, and I was too damn petrified to just jump off the bike. At that inevitable climax, the trucker passed me leaving tons of room. Super respectful everyday driver passing a scaredy cat cyclist. You have no idea how delighted I was when I broke out the other side alive a kicking. Totally Relieved!! Now, lets climb some more. Little unseen critters scurried around the underbrush, chipmunks and lizards raced across the pavement in front of me, and Big Horn Sheep happily ate away without a disturbance of any kind.


Mother Nature created a wonderfully spirit killing headwind and the "hill" never showed signs of ending anytime soon. Finally, I made my way to the COLD SHIVERS turn out/trailhead. I obviously noticed all the out of town number plates and would continue the ride with them leap frogging me. AZ, Missouri, Oregon, California, Wyoming, Utah, And Alabama were all parked in this turn out. I powered on up the hill as a Texas RV passed and then a Nevada car that passed without much room to spare. But, its the Monument after all. Around this point, I was committed to ride the whole thing even though I was thinking about turning around at any second. Did I have enough H2o, NO. Did I dial in my nutrition for this ride, NO. Am I prepared for this adventure?? Phuc-No. Oh, and the wind was really becoming problematic. I was rolling past the Red Canyon pull out and the cross wind blew me off the white line. If there had been a car passing me, YIKES. Same experience at the Upper Ute Canyon pull off. I Was Literally Getting My A$$ Handed To Me


And then it happened!! A three word text came through. "WHATS GOOD, TRAVIS?" That text so rearranged my mindset. I went from a suffering give up attitude to fully powered and charged up knucklehead. So much good is happening!! Beauty is all around me!! I am on my bike!! I was completely unaware how deep and "dark" I went until that text popped into my reality. I immediately started smashing down those on those cranks from my hips, flashing more peace signs to my leap frog friends, and sailed on past Black Ridge Towers. And just on the other side of that, the Liberty Cap Trailhead turn out, that group of Harley Riders were firing up their iron horse machines. Oh Baby


To give you a little insight, if I was on my road bike, no way would I have done this. Now, I completely aware that there are at least 10,000 or 100,000 world wide cyclist that could out climb me while riding on my GT MTB. But less than 1,000 could descend this bike as well as I. This was the first new mountain bike that I ever bought for myself. It's a GT Ricochet from circa 1995 and am very comfortable and extremely capable in the cockpit. The Race Was On


The first two Harley's passed me as we entered that first curve. I held my own. Only one more passed on the next straight away and together we held our own lines throughout the curve. Its all switchbacks and I hammered like a mad man. I even rolled the thought through my mind that if I go down, I am Phuc-D until late August. But that didn't keep me from touching my brakes. Into another tunnel and I was not backing off. We absolutely flew down that mountain. The gals on the back of those bikes took video, waved, and wondered what the hell was I thinking. One lady rider yelled off the back of the bike," You Are Fucking Amazing!!" Or at least that is what I think she said. Ya, I'll go with that. With about three or four switchbacks to go, the last Harley ripped by me. His tunes were blaring TAKE IT EASY by The Eagles. Too Funny!! Together, we all California stopped at the 340 intersection, they roared their bikes downhill towards Fruita. I on the other hand was realizing that I was out of water and limped my way down towards Fruita.


On a normal day, I can ride to Fruita in an hour and 15 or 20 minutes. Now, I am so screwed. BCV, I would have stopped, refueled somewhere, little hydration fill up, and continued on. But not these days, I just rode east. Coming around the Dairy Queen parking lot, there there were, the Harley group. And did they ever make a scene!! Clapping, yelling, and exhibiting overall jubilation's as I rolled on by. At that point, no worries riding back to GJ. Hungry, YES. Dehydrated, YES. Stoked, Phuc Yes


The whole ride took me 4 hours and 7 minutes, I finished with 47.7 miles/ 76.76 Kilometers, and climbed 2,600+ ft / 793+ meters of elevation. The next day, a stud college gal and her coach did the same exact ride in 3 hours and 2 minutes. However, they beat me by an hour BUT their top speed was 36 mph / 57.9kph and mine was 42.8 mph / 68.8kph. I will venture a guess that they ate more than just one package of Annie's Homegrown Bunny Fruit Snacks during their training ride on efficient roads bikes.


This would normally be the point of inserting my goals here. Instead, I am going to reflect on my last list of goals and how that went. Goal #1 was to read Catcher in the Rye and thats been very entertaining as I lay my head on the pillow. Goal #2 was writing down intentions. HUGE! I lived off my day planner BCV. I had to as I had numerous obligations all day long. For the last few months, nothing to write down. Totally Lame. Its been really good for me mentally to write down what I need or want to accomplish throughout the day. Goal #3 was lifting again. Well, did I ever half A$$ the piss out of that effort. Sure, I lifted but come on. Goal #4 was painting the trim. Not sure why I spaced that chore. Guess I should have written that one down. oops Goal #5 was the never ending therapeutic weeding in the garden. Goal #6 was to ride the Colorado National Monument. YaH00000ooooooo

Until The Next Time, Face Those Fears And Feel Alive,
Cheers

61 comments:

  1. Goodness that is a long way to ride on a bike you have to pedal and you did well. Coming down that hill wouldn't have been awesome.
    Take care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanx - And The Downhill Brought Life To My Core - Fun Had By All - Take Care This Week

      Cheers

      Delete
  2. One heck of a ride I can visualize the distance as from home to hospital and return plus a few more km. That elevation I'm waiting to see where you go in the snow.thanks for your visit waiting to see what the medics decide tomorrow after lots of vampires did their stuff multiple times and I smiled as the machine took multiple pics of upper spine .meantime I can read and enjoy other places like your beautiful Co.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent Perspective - May The Vampires Sooth Your Soul - Will Post More Photos For Ya - Stay Strong

      Cheers

      Delete
  3. ...planning never has been my thing, but I try to keep on keeping on. Peace!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ... You Do That Brother T - Its Clearly Working For Ya - Be Well

      Cheers

      Delete
  4. Wow, what a great bike ride. The tunnels might have spooked me. The views are just fabulous. I guess the tourist are out there now, seeing all the out of state license plates. Our daily plans/goals depends on the weather, we just wing it. Great photos! Enjoy your day, have a happy new week ahead!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those Tunnels Only Spook Ya For A Second - No Biggie - Plus, Its Worthy Of The Views When You Pop Back Out - Loads Of Tourist Because They Simply Don't Have Anything Else To Do - Lets Get In The Car And Drive - Its Great To Just Wing It - And You Have A Happy Week As Well

      Cheers

      Delete
  5. Is your name Travis, or did I pick up wrongly? I hate noisy motor bike riders but love cyclists who use the power of their bodies. I can imagine your exhilaration as you rode downhill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Cats Meow - Normally, Those Harley Machine As Obnoxiously Loud - The Downhill Was Awesome - Both Thrilling And Hair Raising - Rock On Brother Man

      Cheers

      Delete
  6. My husband and I aren’t brave enough to bicycle on the highways here. We are buying new bikes for the trails here. That’s as adventurous as we are willing to be.

    You are a brave soul!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I Am So Happy For You Two - Riding Is Just That, A Ride - Doesn't Matter Where You Go - Who Cares About Distance - Just Free Your Mind And Your Bike Will Follow

      Cheers

      Delete
  7. Oh my gosh what a ride.. what a day, waaaay to exciting AND energetic for most of us 😱 Thank goodness you had that vanilla yoghurt to pep you up at the end of the day πŸ˜‰

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It Was A Ride And Thanx For Following Along There Perth - The Yogurt And Homemade Granola Are My Go To Meals For Breakfast - If I Only Had Access To A Raspberry And Strawberry Garden - Hell, For That Matter, An Almond Tree - Why Stop There - Have A Banner Week Perth

      Cheers

      Delete
  8. Wow, this was so exciting! very cool with the Harley folks too.
    Good for you keeping your goals-I don't plan my days especially since being retired back in '03 but I would get more accomplished if I did I guess.
    we used to make our own yogurt too we did all the farm stuff and loved it-we don't have access to fresh milk any more. how sore were you the next morning?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those Harley Riders Were An Intricate Part Of The Adventure - Its Nice Not To Plan Out A Day As Well - Hope This Inspired You To Whip Up A Batch Of Yogurt Because You Know How Much Better It Taste Homemade - Only My Left Calf Was Stiff In The AM - Loosened Up Rather Quickly After Morning Routine Of Stretching Out - That Ride Put Me Over 200 Miles For The Week - Thanx For Asking - Be Well This Week

      Cheers

      Delete
  9. Wow! Good for you! I can totally see how that truck in the tunnel would have been terrifying, with all that amplified engine noise. Glad you fared well and had an exhilarating and beautiful ride!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanx Brother Steve - It Was Only Terrifying In My Minds Eye - The Whole Area IS Gorgeous - Should Be Riding It Daily - Olga Would Love A Treat Right About Now - Take Care

      Cheers

      Delete
  10. Oh wow that was some adrenalin pumping ride. You had me pillion right through! Phew...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Total Adrenalin Junkie - Stoked You Enjoyed - Been Enjoying Those Photos Of Yours - Take Care Magic

      Cheers

      Delete
  11. Right when I went to your blog, I grabbed the remaining half of my Whopper from earlier's drive thru (first time to go out of the house in 92 days and my sister took me to burger king, I can't stop closing my eyes with every bite) Glad I did because it's like I'm watching a cycling documentary! Started with those mountain sheep who looks so cool and of course, you know me, those views of those canyons! Padre, they are breath-taking to see on my screen! What more in person! So so proud of you on this ride that you did! 2,600+ft! Just Wow! Keep it up my friend the Padre, please keep taking us on your bike trips! It's a great great escape from our desks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yo Stevenson,

      It So Hard For Me To Comprehend That You Have Been Locked Down For Over 90 Days. You Have Inspired Me To Shoot More iPhone Photos From This Stunning State Of Colorado. I Will Make An Effort To Stop More, Soak Up The Atmosphere, Snap Off A Few Photos, And Post Them For You. Thanx For Your Kind Words As Always And Thanx For Being You. More Bicycling Trip In The Future. Stay Strong My Brother!! All The Best.

      Cheers

      Delete
    2. That is very nice of you Padre, thank you so much! You know how I love your landscape shots and knowing that you my friend took that feels like I'm also there at that very spot! All my pleasure and thank you also for being you, a lot of us are joyed by it and your adventures around CO and beyond! :)

      Delete
  12. What a wonderful adventure. The tunnel and the truck experience sounded incredible, my heart would have been pumping like crazy. I enjoyed your descriptive post very much. Thanks for taking us along. Until next time, Padre take care and stay safe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not Bad For An Unscheduled Adventure - That Truck Rubbled My Noodle For Sure - Happy You Shared Along Mr Bill

      Cheers

      Delete
  13. What an exciting and incredible adventure. The truck in the tunnel must have been scary.
    Beautiful photos to remember this interesting and brave bicycle tour.
    Hugs and take care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will Be Awhile Before I Forget About That Truck - Plus, It Was All In My Mind - Damn You Fear - Sure Do Enjoy Bicycling Tours - Thanx For Checking In

      Cheers

      Delete
  14. I like the way you leap frogged 1-5 and went straight for 6 on the goals...Loved your play by play of the ride. I have a goals post coming up mine have nothing to do with fitness but I need to change that and leapfrog it to the top of the list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All The Best With Your Goals And I Feel That Writing Them Down Offers An Accountability Of Sorts - Enjoy Your Week

      Cheers

      Delete
  15. Homemade yogurt sounds so good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Give It A Go - So Easy - Helps To Remove All Added Ingredients And Preservatives - Makes For A Cleaner Batch

      Cheers

      Delete
  16. Harley drivers are always friendly, I do know, we had one and sold her to a nice friend.
    Oh, I miss the sound! The wind in the face...

    Sorry, but you made me laugh! Wonderfully written!

    Stunning views and weee what a tour! Defining goals, I should do that, too...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pleased You Feel This Way And Happy You Are Laughing

      Cheers

      Delete
  17. Oh WOW!!! That trail looks absolutely stunning, really wish I could have been there too...although I think I would have run out of stamina long before the ride was over!! Lol. I am becoming a bit unfit since lockdown began.πŸ˜‰ And that truck in the tunnel would have terrified me!!😱
    Your homemade yogurt looks really yummy, I'd love to try some someday...😊

    Have a great day...and stay safe!

    Hugs xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well Its A Beautiful Drive As Well And The Yogurt Is So Easy To Make - Enjoy This Week Ahead

      Cheers

      Delete
  18. Dearest Padre,
    WOW, you must be very strong and muscular. Your description of being inside that tunnel, riding your bike and a truck coming from behind, surely made me anxious about knowing how you got out of it. Sure you did, or else we would not all be reading your adventure!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One Would Think But Not The Case - I Am No Where Near Race Shape And Haven't Really Workout In Months - Doing My Best To Correct This But Seriously Lacking The Motivation To Hit The Gym - The Uphill Tunnel Was Treacherous In My Mind - However, It Was Only About 10 meters Of The 76 KM Ride - Thanx For Checking In - Be Well This Week

      Cheers

      Delete
  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  20. A few years ago--ok maybe more than that, after I got my road bike, I'd wave to motorcyclists until one of my friends told me 'that wasn't done'. Huh. I am glad to hear the Harley riders appreciated your effort. They might have hundreds of horsepower but you have one manpower and it sounds like you killed it.

    Speaking of killed, glad you didn't meet your maker in the tunnel. Sheesh. Were you wearing a helmet? Says the peds NP....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That Is Be because You Are Way Cool There - And Of Course You Would Wave - Its Wonderful To Communicate, Even Through Hand Gestures - Their Horsepower Was Explosive - Helmet, U Bet - I Have A Client ( Neurosurgeon ) That Explained A Very Simple Concept To Me - At The Time, I Was Not Wearing My Helmet When I Rode To The Office Or A Majority Of The Time While On The Commuter Bike - They Went On To Say How A Very Simple Thump Of The Skull On The Pavement With A Helmet Would Hurt For About A Week - That Same Simple Incident Without Could Disrupt My System For About 18 Months - So For The Last 10 Years, I Wear My Helmet At All Times, No Matter What Bike I Am On - Wendy, You Rock

      Cheers

      Delete
  21. What an adventure you had! And so cool of the Harley riders to be cheering you on at the bottom of the hill. As for me, I would have started that bike journey last week and would still be on it trying to finish. I am not one for hilly rides. It has to be a flat surface for me or I ain't going LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too Funny - I Like It - And Those Harley Riders Were Such Good Sports - I As Well Am Not A Hilly Kinda Guy - The River Trail Is Flat And More My Speed - Thanx For Dropping Some Humor

      Cheers

      Delete
  22. i have never made homemade yogurt, why you ask, because they sell it in the store. i do admire your drive!! those annies products have become very popular. i enjoyed reading about last times goals, it's good to have a sense of humor about our missed goals and to do lists that seem to hang around for ever!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now That Is Funny - I Appreciate The Drive Comment - Glad You Like My Humor - Now, This Is NOT An Attack - So Don't Take This Personally - Store Bought Yogurt Is Toxic - From The Plastic That It Is Stored In Until You Eat It - The Added Chemicals - The Extra Foil Across The Top Waste Or The Plastic Lid - Sure, You Can Recycle But Do You Know How Much Energy Was Wasted Making One Container Of Store Bought Yogurt - Homemade Yogurt Is Mind Boggling Simple, Cleaner, And The Taste Is Remarkably Desirable - And For Me, No Leached Plastic Particulates In My Digestive Track - Something To Ponder Anyway - Stay Strong D

      Cheers

      Delete
  23. Love it. Gripping tale of Man and Machine in perfect harmony. Well almost. Take a well earned beer.

    ReplyDelete
  24. wow....awesome adventure....
    love to read your explanation about tunnel...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanx T - A Little Nerve Racking But No Biggie - Hope You Are Well

      Cheers

      Delete
  25. I have never tried home made yogurt, I don't know anyone that makes it... When I was little my gradma made some kind of sourmilk or buttermilk and I remember I liked it even if it was quite pungent.
    Fantastic trip, I envy you for all those great things you get to see, wild nature and everything...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yogurt Is Super Simple - And Its Not Pungent At All - Riding Around This Beautiful State Is Remarkable, Stunning, And Literally Breath Taking - Thanx For Checking In

      Cheers

      Delete
  26. I am so glad that you rode the Monument!!!!! What a story. And what a spectacular place.

    I often write my goals for the day... and then I often veer away and so other stuff instead. Rather than be mad at myself, I write down what I actually did. It's informative to see what my list tells me that I wanted to do (as opposed to what my goals were). Hope that makes sense. No point in constantly fighting myself.

    BTW, my yogurt recipe requires 12 hours to firm up. That would be one heck of a long bike ride!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its Defiantly A Magical Location For Sure - You Bring Up A Valid Point - I Just Might Change My Goals To Intentions - However, Reflections Are Rewarding - Totally Makes Sense - The Wild Thing About Your 12 Hour Yogurt, A Kid In The UK Rode His Bike For 12 Hours On Summer Solstice - He was Out For 18 Hours But 12+ Hours Of Moving Time - Never Crossed My Mind To Ride All Day For Solstice Day - Thanx For Checking In KB

      Cheers

      Delete
  27. Sounds like an awesome bike ride! The views are spectacular!.

    Love the photos, btw.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pleased You Enjoyed The Photos - Be Well VL

      Cheers

      Delete
  28. You cyle in some amazing areas Padre. I saw tons of cyclist on Hvar today. There was even one boat that arrived that was filled with cyclists, there must have been at least 70 of them- and they all came on this Pirate of the Caribbean kind of boat- you know those wood old looking ones. It was quite a sight. We have a view of the port from our apartment so we got to see it. They were probably on a one day trip to island Hvar.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete