Today started with a cool 48 degrees and a slight east wind. I ended up wearing my arm warmers and my wind vest as it was real cool into the head wind until we started the 1st of 3 climbs on the route for today. We started to gradually climb out of town at 1-2% and then it kicked up to a steady 6% until mile 13.8 and there was a large covered wagon on the left side of the road, and everyone stopped for a photo shoot. After leaving this site the road continued to be 6% until we topped out at the Summit at 5277 feet. This was also where we had our rest stop set up. There was a restaurant that is famous for their cobbler, so 90% of the riders tried it. It was very good and I would go back again. After filling the water bottles up we began the 1st decent of the day and it was very cool. Then the road kicked up once again for the second climb of the day and this limb was once again 6% all the way up. By this time it was getting warm as we were climbing all the time and the scenery was second to none. The sky was clear and blue and not a cloud in the sky. But due to no cloud cover it continued to get warmer. At the top of the second climb which topped out at 5124 feet we once again filled the bottles up.
The mountains were majestic in 3 directions and I took a few pictures that are posted below. On the second decent it was a great ride to the bottom and then the 3rd climb of the day started, with another climb of 6% all the way to the top and at the top we had 50 miles in for the day which took a long time to get there compared to my normal 50 mile ride. You really can't compare due to the long climbs that we can't duplicate in Texas.
After completing the last decent we came to the junction in the road were we made a right hand turn and shortly after I heard a scream from a bird, I looked around and spotted a bald eagle in a nest on top of a pole. I was going to stop and take a picture, but did not. Then luck was with me as 1/8 mile down the road were 2 more poles and there were a group of us stopping and one of these nests has another one in it and I got the picture which is in the photo below.
Due to no stores after mile 50, everyone had ordered sandwiches from the restaurant that we ate last night and our support crew hauled them to mile 58, which was next to a lake at a picnic area that had picnic tables and nice shade for the big pine trees in the park. We also had a nice breeze blowing which was nice, however the wind was again coming from the east and we had 25 miles to go in a head wind.
We left the park and headed on the home stretch and the road followed the clearest stream and the water sure looked inviting but we wanted to get home so 2 of us shared the work by taking turns up front and fought the wind all the way into town.
I was another tough day with the legs still not recovered from yesterdays climb and most of the day I took it real easy.
We got to the hotel just in time and the luggage truck pulled in right behind us. Everyone that was here helped and the unload went really fast.
Every day so far has been another great day to be on a Bike with the great company and the scenery that has been fantastic due to clear Sky's.
Tomorrow is going to be 84 miles but overall we will be dropping elevation instead of climbing and everyone is looking forward to this day. The only thing that may be a factor is the heat that some riders are not used to. The morning temperature is supposed to be 44 with a high as we go east of 92.