Freeze ride update: Colorado berms no fun for cyclists

  • Posted: Saturday, July 6, 2013 11:43 p.m.
    UPDATED: Sunday, July 7, 2013 12:30 a.m.
At left: The berms, or low hills, in background fill Colorado and the roads go over the top of them. Cyclists have to climb one about every mile, a short steep hill, then recover, then coast down, repeat. Over and over again. Above: Hotel Eastin in Kremmling, Colo., is where David Freeze was spending the night.
At left: The berms, or low hills, in background fill Colorado and the roads go over the top of them. Cyclists have to climb one about every mile, a short steep hill, then recover, then coast down, repeat. Over and over again. Above: Hotel Eastin in Kremmling, Colo., is where David Freeze was spending the night.

Editor’s note: David Freeze is biking coast to coast. His trek started June 10 in Oregon. He’s sending dispatches from the road to be published in the newspaper, at www.salisburypost.com, and on his blog, “Gotta Run” at blog.salisburypost.com/gottarun

Lately, I had been focused a lot on the ride and the scenery. Today, after the long ride yesterday, I found out very quickly that my legs were burned out.


Right away there was a stout headwind and the hill was tough enough that I couldn’t wait to get off the bike. My destination was Kremmling, Colo., an old western town with a lot of history. I will get back to that shortly.

For some darn reason, Colorado is full of these ridges or berms that extend for long distances. When building their roads, Colorado chose to go up and over them as often as they can. There is never any chance to gather momentum, and the short steep climbs are very hard. Another thing about Colorado is that there are no shoulders on the roads, reminding me very much of Yellowstone.

One time, I simply got so frustrated with the traffic that I got off and walked the bike through a particularly narrow spot. All of these things combined with the tired legs to make me willing to get off the bike earlier than usual.

I had planned to stop in Kremmling since reading over my map last night. After getting over today’s big climb, Kremmling is the perfect spot to start tomorrow’s climb, which just happens to be 11,542 feet.

I earlier thought that a mountain in Wyoming was the tallest on the Trans Am ride, but this one is by far the tallest. It will be a hard effort that will take most of the day. I am stocked up on energy bars, cookies, bananas and water.

But enough of that for now. The ride was uneventful otherwise, with the scenery being just OK.

I called the Hotel Eastin after seeing it listed on our maps as cyclist friendly. I immediately was amazed at the excitement that Maryann and Walt Van Lue have for their hotel. There is so much history here. Zane Grey wrote “Mysterious Rider” in one of the rooms. There is a possibility that Doc Holliday stayed here. The hotel is 107 years old, and retains much of its flavor from that period. I absolutely love the place. There are cookies, tea and other stuff to eat and drink. The hotel began as a sasparilla manufacturer downstairs and a boarding house upstairs. The windows are open, and it is a very comfortable atmosphere. Check out the photos for a view of the “Mysterious Rider” on one of the rock formations here. Grey used that view for inspiration.

Kremmling didn’t have gold, but held a niche for being able to supply the gold sites and ranches with food and other essentials.

One comical note from this afternoon. I walked down to the grocery store, and they have a recording of cows mooing that plays every minute or so. Perfect for this area.

I feel relaxed and ready to take on the big hill. My mileage today was just 62, but I am satisfied with that. I expect the total for tomorrow to be less than my average too, but all I want to do is get over the hill.

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