August 7, 2022 on

Month: August 2022 (Page 1 of 3)

Day 24 – Loveland Pass

With a head start to Indian Springs provided by Aaron, I climbed over Loveland Pass today. I was able to leave the camping equipment at Aaron’s, too, so I was half-loaded, with only rear panniers. Was probably carrying 25-30 lbs vs. the 50+ when fully loaded.

The ride to the top of the pass was 29 miles, 4656 ft up, 254 ft down. More than a little unbalanced. Most of the day was climbing and I was happy that I was able to make it without any altitude problems. I took a lot of breaks, esp. when my heart rate was soaring, but breathing was OK. I’m guessing my body said, “Oh, you did this to me when you climbed Grey’s Peak a couple of years ago. I gotcha!”

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Day 23 – Denver

Most of Monday was spent dealing with my tire issues, Barclays (still), and cleaning and readying the bike for trip up to the Dillon-Frisco area which will take me over a 11,000 ft peak. My previous I was 9,800 so this should be interesting. I’m going to spend two days in Dillon and and head towards Vail and/or Breckenridge. Aaron promises the views are spectacular.

I’ve ordered new tires, but they won’t be here in time for this part of the trip. I did buy a inner tube with sealant in it and hopefully that will get me over the pass. I also rotated the tires so the fresher front one is now on the back. Going to be a much lighter load since I don’t have to take camping equipment.

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Day 22 – Denver

Well, I handed Papa Hobo over to the baggage agent in Lincoln with a flat in the rear tire. Sometime between getting to the station and boarding, it went flat. The California Zephyr was an hour and a half late, so we finally got underway about 1:30 am. It was a long night’s ride and I did catch some fitful naps and got into Denver around 9 am. Almost lost PH as the conductors directed me to baggage claim (PH was checked to Denver), and baggage claim didn’t have the bike and directed me trainside. Fortunately, Denver was a 20 minute stop or PH would have been headed to California without me. I had to get a conductor to open the baggage car and get the bike out. Close call. So far, Amtrak’s been great for hauling the bikes along, but policies aren’t quite the same everywhere and I’ve yet to master the process. Learning as I go though.

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Day 20 – 1,000 Miles

A modest 58 miles today over hill and dale, but much more friendly hills and dales than I’ve been following. I think this might be the first day that was all on pavement. At 14 miles in today, I hit 1,000 miles on the trip since leaving August 7.

I had a really restful night in Falls City at the Stanton Lake Campground. I had Shrimp Salad ala Dole Bag, a nice juicy peach, hit the pad and slept until 7:30. The shelter kept things dry so I was all packed up and ready to go by 8:30. I forgot to mention that PH’s front wheel had a slow leak and with water to test the tube, I found and patched that leak before I headed into town last night.

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Day 19 – Nebraska!

As good a night I had yesterday, today’s was not so great. I was camping at Warnock Lake in Atchison: streetlight in the camping area and I somehow managed to site the tent so it was right in my eyes replete with a barking dog until 3 am which earplugs only somewhat dampened, So I tossed and turned and tried to block it out, but didn’t get much sleep. The good part of all that was, about 5:30 am, I heard two owls hooting to each other In a call and response. That was cool and actually very soothing and I fell asleep listening to it.

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Day 18 – It *is* Kansas, Dorothy!

Had a great night’s sleep and a good breakfast with Mark, and he escorted me out of town. Good to have a local perspective on the routes that the mapping tools pick. We didn’t go that way.

Mark is also an LCI as I am. LCI being League Cycling Instructor, sanctioned by the League of American Cyclists. In his retirement, he’s been going to elementary schools in the Kansas City area and teaching cycling skills and traffic law. So we had a lot to talk about, including the progression of the great infrastructure in KC.

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Day 17 – part 2

The train ride let me catch up on some bill paying and paperwork for Medicare, and writing the earlier blog post. On arriving in Kansas City, I was glad to see that Union station was still in almost pristine shape, and that many of its nooks and crannies are being used for active businesses. There was an informative display on the railroad mail workers. I rode up to the World War I memorial and then headed to my warm showers host Mark.

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Days 15-17 – Riding the Rails (with pics)

A lot to catch up on since arriving at Jean’s and Mark’s. After the concert, we had a very good rest and woke up relaxed and refreshed. Dana borrowed running shoes from Jean and hit the Katy Trail to prevent, as she calls it, “Dana Head.” I had some breakfast, chatted with Jean and generally just relaxed for the first time in two weeks. It was a challenging but fun trip with Dana, and it started hitting both of us that that part of the party is over. It’s going to take some adjustment.

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Day 14 Jean’s & Mark’s

It is 17 years since I’ve been to Jean’s and Mark’s on my first cross country tour in 2005, a much too long time, but we are here. Different locale in Maumee, OH that time, but same warm welcome. It was 39.4 miles from Pontoon Beach, IL where we stayed last night. Some country riding, some city riding, some getting through road closed detours riding, but we made it. We rode 845 miles in two weeks, about 60 miles a day. We are glad to be off the bikes for a couple of days. Despite all the trials, it was a great fortnight together.

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