Post Title. - Old Flying Farts Bicycling Club
Old Flying Farts Bicycling Club
 
If I weren't already over the hill, I literally am now.  This morning we left Gunnison and rode 30 miles to Sargents, the base of Monarch Pass.  From there we had a stiff, 10 mile, 3000 foot climb to the pass.  We crossed the Continental Divide at 11,300 feet, our highest pass for the trip.  From there we roared down to Salida for lunch.  After lunch we decided to add another 20 miles for the day.  Fortunately we were able to follow the Arkansas River down stream, making the ride a quick one.  At 82 miles we took another break.  Pat hinted at going on a little further.  I laid down in the dirt kicking and screaming,"No more."  Perhaps, I didn't do that but I would have if Pat insisted on going.  Monarch was a stiff climb for these old bones.
So what is it like making a steep climb?  As you start up you begin shifting to a lower gear.  You glance up and inwardly moan at the steepness.  In my case, I drop my head and begin grinding.  Pretty soon I watch Pat disappear around a curve.  My legs slowly spin.  I check my altitude, which is displayed on my odometer, watching the altitude slowly creep higher.  Each curve gives you a short steeper climb.  You pray that around the next curve it will flatten out, it doesn't.  It's cool but sweat starts dripping like a cheap faucet.  Happiness is reaching 9000 feet.  I take a break for a few minutes.  Back on the bike, Pat is completely out of sight.  I try to convince myself I won't stop again but settle for another half mile.  Off again, at 10000 feet I begin calculating, only 1300 more feet.  Rod and Sal pull over frequently to check our progress.  At 10,600 feet I see the van ahead and Pat.  He's stretching and waiting to escort me to the top.  He tells me not to whine and that I can't get in the van.  Off again,  I wish I had lower gears.  Half a mile to the pass and I tell Pat  I am taking  another break. Pat continues on, and I finally grind to the top  a few minutes later. The climb took about one hour and 45 minutes.
Tomorrow we will begin one more climb and hopefully arrive in Pueblo, Colorado and the end of the Rockies.
 
Susie
7/9/2010 12:48:55 pm

I am absolutely exhausted already .... don't know how you do it and here I am only reading about it...Keep the stores coming and the pics are great too....Thank goodness Sal is with you....Have fun...be safe...Gerry and Sue

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Roy
7/12/2010 02:09:32 am

This is where being in a 747 jumbo jet makes the climb much, much easier. There must be, however, a great sense of accomplishment when you reach the top. Not only that, but the prospects of a uncontrolled descent on bicycle down winding roads must be enticing.

Keep going, my friend!

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    Don Ballingall

    I am a retired elementary school teacher.  Married with a daughter and two wonderful grandchildren.
    I have ridden across the United states at  ages 38, 50 and 60.
    So why not try it again at 70.

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