Today was another day worth sleeping in. And that is exactly what we did. However sleeping in on the road is much different than sleeping in at home. Sleeping in meant we still got up at 7am to another brisk and chilly morning. After such a long hard day yesterday our muscles were slow to move.
The ride today looked like it was going to be an easy day. A little over 60 miles into Montrose, CO along Blue Mesa Lake, over the Blue Mesa pass and through the Black Canyon. Every time we think that, we are wrong!
The sky was perfect for picture taking! Bright blue sky with large puffy cotton ball like clouds. The red tint of the hills gave the perfect contrast between the blue sky and the waters of the Blue Mesa Lake. The problem with riding through such beautiful places is that every 100 yards we are wanting to stop and take another picture. And that is exactly what we did. Before we knew it it was well after 12 o’clock and we had not traveled very far at all. But hey, you might not see it again so make the most of it.
The route over Blue Mesa Pass was a gradual climb for approximately 4 miles. It took us through a canyon where the road turned back and forth hugging the sides of the rock tight. The cayon walls slowly turned into open hills as we pressed on. By the time we reached the top we were looking off into a vast valley of green rolling hills. Spectacular!
I reached the top a little before Cam so I laid my bike down on the side of the road and waited to take a picture of him ascending the crest. He reached the top and we took a short break before we began our descent. As I walked back to my bike I heard a hissing sound. It confused me at first but then I realized it was my tire leaking air. I guess that the inevitable was bound to happen at some point. I had traveled over 2,500 miles before it had happened to me which pretty remarkable.
As we began to change the tube and figure out what caused the flat we noticed several small fragments of glass that was embedded in the tire.
However that was not the cause for the flat. Once we disassembled the wheel we found the problem. The tube around the valve stem had separated. The Lord must have been looking over me because had this not happened at the top of the hill it would have happened while descending more than likely causing me to crash at a high speed. We ended up going ahead and replacing the tire as well so that where the glass was did not cause any future problems.
It always scares me to change something that is working. So I am sure you can imagine my thoughts as I began the descent down the mountain on a tire I had never ridden etc. But we had to move on. We descended into Cimmaron where we stopped for lunch at a small gas station diner. We both had elk burgers which were pretty good. Cam had pie for dessert and I had a chai milkshake. At the time it was a good idea.
When we got back on the road we quickly regretted the desserts as we began climbing Cerro Pass. Cerro’s ascent was 4 miles long as well. The wind began picking up as usual of the afternoons. We reached the top and accelerated back down. We were still several miles out of town but were driving hard because it appeared a storm was coming. We reached Montrose while fighting headwinds.
Unfortunately, since it was the 4th it was difficult to find something open to get food. So we grabbed some food and headed to the park for a picnic, bluegrass music, and fireworks! It was a pleasant evening celebrating our nations birthday. Happy 4th of July!