Monday, July 03, 2006

Fort Collins

This morning I rode 106 miles in 6 hours 43 minutes. Climbed over Cameron pass and made a long downhill cruise to Fort Collins. (It's about 70 miles of downhill!) This was such a beautiful ride, it's sort of my last hurrah for this trip. The final stretch of wilderness riding before I fly home in a week or so.

The sky was beautiful in the early morning, weather report said 30% chance of showers after 9:00 am. (i brought my rain pants just in case)

It looks like this could be an actual storm brewing.

It's amazing how much space there is up here at 8,000 feet. The rockies are a lot older than the sierras, they seem wider and more spacious.

I took so many pics today, I figure since this ride will be the last truly over-the-top scenery one I'm going ape-shit and just posting everything.

I love it when clouds cast shadows over parts of the land.

I spotted this antelope pretty close to the road when he took off down the slope...

To join his buddies, cool.

I've gone another 7 miles and they don't look any closer, they must be big.

I can see rain blowing down in little curtains, but I haven't caught any yet.

There are actually lots of wildflowers growing up here.

I stopped to take a leak up near that next curve and in the space of one minute I was bitten by about 15 mosquitos. I had to get back on the bike in a hurry, they were relentless.

Starting to enter stands of pine trees, mixed with aspens.

So far, a good day for wildlife. I'm seeing lots of hunting and fishing lodges.

I'm trying to pound out these first 30 miles to the top of the pass before the morning is up, many miles yet to cover.

Shadows and light.

Who paid for this sign..?

The road here is wet, looks like I just missed a shower.

I'm getting closer to those peaks..

The climbing has begun. This is awesome country.

I saw another grade that angled off towards those peaks, and was disappointed when I realized it wasn't my route.

Getting close now.

This is the highest point of my whole trip. I'm surprised I feel as strong as I do, but I have been riding a lot for the last 5 weeks.

A cryptic monument.

Now we get to cruise. I put my skins and ear warmers back on anticipating a chilly ride downhill.

It's so fun to roll down all these twists and turns through the forest.

Still looks like possible rain.

Lots of crags hanging out everywhere.

This is part of Poudre Falls, a graduated narrow sort-of waterfall right next to the road.

This grade just keeps on rolling down through tier after tier of river canyon. There's actually a pretty stiff wind blowing UP the canyon.

As I drop down, it gets warmer, rockier, and less forested.

Stunning cliffs all around.

Then this lush meadow.

This river is obviously a great place for fly-fishing and rafting.

Getting there, it's the 4th of July weekend, so there's a little more traffic than I'd like to see, and not much shoulder to go around.

I stopped for a minute to take some clothes off, it's getting quite warm now. This river is all rapids, it seems.

I pass a sign that says I'm entering the narrows.

Great stuff. I think I'm almost out of these mountains, the wind is getting stronger.

That does it. Looking back at the range from the plains.

Looking east towards Kansas.

I'm here! This is a college town, so I found a great deli and threw back a giant sandwich and a delicious spinach salad with no problem (I was pretty starving) After meeting Greg and Boo at the hotel, I was thrilled to discover that we get OLN on the tube, which means I get to watch the TOUR!! How great is that. So we're here for a few days, no ride tomorrow.


Post a Comment

<< Home