Day 43: Silverthorne, CO to Beaver Creek, CO
Total Mileage: 47 miles
Last night, we had to make a decision to either stick with our original route, or change it up a bit. The issue was securing a host in Gunnison, since we couldn’t find one. Our alternative was to bike through Vail into Beaver Creek and the following day bike to Glenwood Springs, since we had a secured host in both cities. As a team, the most feasible option was the latter, since we didn’t have to worry about calling hosts for Gunnison on a Sunday morning, a time when most locations do not have business hours. We voted on changing up the route to Beaver Creek and Glenwood Springs. Even though we don’t get to see the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, we do get to cycle through the Vail Pass Bike Trail.
When you start early in the morning at an elevation of 9035 feet, you run into colder weather. We all took out our arm warmers, cycling tights, and jackets this morning since it was freezing.
Today’s team name: Ebony and Ivory with Hilary, Michael, and Gloria. We left Silverthorne and headed towardsFrisco, where we ran into the Vail Pass Bike Trail. The first half of the ascent was very gradual, going up to about 10,500 feet of elevation. It was all downhill from the summit into Vail. The best part about the trail aside from the awesome scenery was the cyclists. We just happened to cross paths with bikers racing the Triple Bypass Ride through Evergreen and Avon. The ride itself is about 120 miles and “bypasses” three mountain passes. Fortunately, they were headed the opposite direction from where we were going, so we didn’t have to deal with a lot of cyclists over-passing our 4K team.
After the uphill summit, I got a flat on the downhill, which was really frustrating since I got it on the gatorskin tire I replaced yesterday. It may have been an issue of the gravel on the road or improper installation of the brake pads, but it was still frustrating regardless, especially since I bought new tires the day before. I patched up my tire with a dollar bill (thanks for the tip Schneids), changed the tube, readjusted my brake pads, and didn’t run into any issues for the rest of the trip. The number of ski resorts you pass on the Vail Pass Trail is great, especially passing through Cooper Mountain and Vail. I really need to come back to Colorado to ski and snowboard.
After passing Vail, my chain derailed right after we passed the security gate into Beaver Creek. It was a pretty close call since Hilary ran into me (my fault), but no one fell over and no major accidents occurred. Once again, Alex rode with us today and kindly offered his parent’s vacation house in Beaver Creek as a host to our entire team. The house is being renovated tomorrow, so we came at a perfect time to crash for the night. Alex and friends made us dinner and we hung out there for a couple hours. Second homestay of the row, and we’re all loving it. Life is surreal right now.