Start of day reading: 92
End of day reading: 8
Total miles: 103
5:30 am. It was cold last night. There is a light dusting of frost on everything. The water in the hose to my hydration pack was frozen. When I got up, I put on my riding clothes and walked up and down the hill a few times to warm up. I got the bear bag down out of the trees and am making some hot tea now. The sky is getting lighter and I am looking forward to the moment the sunlight spills into the valley. Partly for the magic light, but mainly because I am cold and the sun will bring heat.
32.9 ° F after the sun came up.
Got on the road about 9. Went over an easy pass, stopped at 11,200 feet. At that altitude oxygen is sparse. My bike still ran great.
133 miles, 3 gallons.
This is a tourist town where people can stay at a dude ranch and rent side by sides to ride the mountain passes. Posers.
2pm Delayed for about an hour on the downhill section of California Pass. The big bike in our group went down and got the forks twisted. Downhill from that pass is nasty, technical, and dangerous.
Once you drop a bike once, it’s even easier to do it again, which happened twice more to my fellow rider. It’s exhausting enough to get a bike upright, the thin air made things that much more difficult.
At a fork in the road, we stopped to plan. We talked to a park ranger for some intel about what lies ahead.
We split ways. Sean took his damaged bike toward the easier ride out. Bip and I took the route that led to the nasty stuff. We arranged to meet back up in Silverton.
3:45 Silverton, CO
54 miles, 1.57 gal
Bip and I got some gas and other supplies, then sat outside to rest and find Sean. He found us. We decided to find a primative camp nearby to rest and work on the damaged bike. Sean doesn’t want to ride the last pass and I don’t blame him. Tomorrow, I will set out on my own to take on Ophir Pass then will head to Moab to change my tires. They are in bad shape, but still grab well and shouldn’t have any issues getting there.
I was mentally prepared to ride this track alone. So far, I’ve ridden it not alone. Tomorrow, I may go out on my own. I haven’t dropped the bike yet, but if I do tomorrow, my riding companions won’t be there to help me. I will be alone.
I’m in my tent now, and it is already cold. I hope I get better sleep tonight. I have a hard day ahead of me.