Exhausted in Colorado with a 112-mile uphill ride behind

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 5, 2013

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

After a nice evening in Rawlins, Wyo., I had a hard time getting up and rolling this morning.

Still, I was out the door just before 7 a.m. and headed east. It was pretty cool to get to ride on Interstate 80 for almost 20 miles. There was plenty of room and the shoulder was wide and smooth. The hilly riding started as I headed for Saratoga. There was a huge amount of traffic heading there, and almost none heading out. I could hear sirens and an announcer, so I stopped for a real western style July 4th parade.

There were lots of horses, and nobody moved to clean up after them once the parade was over. People were not in a hurry to leave, either.

The next town was Riverside, and there was a big choice to make. It was getting hot, and the next town was 48 miles away. I already had 62 miles behind me, so I could have stopped. But if I went on, I would be doing a bunch of the climbing for tomorrow’s conquest of the Willow Creek Pass, at 9,621 feet high.

As you might imagine, I went on. It was the worst ride that I have experienced while on the trip. There was a constant climb, with some severe uphills. There was also rain and swirling winds.

The one good thing is that I am now in Colorado, my fifth state. I am staying the night in Walden, Colo.

Bottom line, my total for the day was 112 miles. It was getting dark as I finished, completely exhausted.

Tomorrow, I plan to climb that pass and then stop with a much shorter day.

Freelance writer David Freeze lives in Rowan County.

View David Freeze’s ride in a larger map