Beautiful varied day today. I got up to a gorgeous dry morning which was a nice surprise given the heavy rain as I was heading to bed. I had a light breakfast and got packed up then headed out around 6:45.
The sun was rising up over the Colorado as I took a left turn onto highway 9
I proceeded through the valley at a good pace. I was pushing hard because I wanted to make it to Breckenridge early so I had time to go mountain biking at the ski resort in the afternoon. I reached the far end of the valley and started a decent climb up to a reservoir. Truck traffic through here was particularly heavy. Luckily the route turned right at the top of the climb onto a secondary road right as I got a nice view of the reservoir, the Green Mountain Reservoir. This road wound around the far side of the reservoir avoiding the shoulderless highway through this stretch. This bit was absolutely gorgeous.
I then got to descend back down to highway 9 and rejoin it. A startled beaver ran out in front of me and waddled across the road. It was super cute. I caught up with a mountain biker doing the Great Divide route. He was headed to Breckenridge for the day to relax. He told me that he was there just a few hours after the biker was killed by the bear in Olvando a few weeks ago. He said she’d been sleeping in a jail then a bear had attacked the jail. Some other bikers had scared it off then she’d gone out to her tent for unknown reasons and was killed. Poor woman. We rejoined highway 9 and he took a snack break and I continued on. This was the worst stretch of road yet in Colorado. High speed traffic, including trucks, winding roads, and no shoulder. I took it really slow and did my best to just avoid everything. This stretch was only a few miles and was soon over, thank God. The shoulder reappeared and the riding became pleasant again. I followed the Blue River upstream through beautiful river valleys with amazing views of the mountains towering above.
This was quite a bit of climbing but the grade wasn’t too bad. I wasn’t pushing nearly as hard any more and was enjoying the scenery more. I was looking for the town of Silver Thorne, the first of 3 major towns for the day (with Breckenridge being the last). There were several false alarms as I entered populated valleys but they were just clusters of beautiful homes. Eventually I actually made it into Silver Thorne and got to ride on a gorgeous bike path. It was well maintained, also following the Blue River with beautiful wooden bridges to cross it.
I stopped for a sandwich, chai tea, and cinnamon roll at a cafe right next to the river. They were amazing. The wifi was good and I uploaded last night’s post.
I got back on the trail and met a man who’d just bought 2 brand new Specialized Roubaix, 1 for himself and 1 for his wife. I told him about my trip as we climbed up a very steep winding bit of the trail, all the way up the several hundred feet of a dam. I emerged over top of the dam to a view of Frisco and Breckenridge and all the water in between.
The route continued along this path for several miles through the forest. This was one of the absolutely most pleasant bits of riding on the entire trip. No cars and a well surfaced path, not to mention the view really was sublime
I caught a duo on mountain bikes doing the Great Divide route, but they were carrying rafts with them and would take side trips out to raft rivers. They said they put their bikes on the raft! I followed them for a while into Frisco and they pulled into a restaurant for lunch. I kept going and got back onto the bike path. I noticed that the screws in one of my panniers had come undone, probably from overstuffing. I got it screwed back in and kept riding. The path mostly climbed, then gave me a nice little descent to the inlet to the reservoir
The bike path was super busy with people and I waved to everyone: I was feeling sociable :D I kept going and rolled into Breckenridge. It’s a beautiful touristy little town but I loved it instantly. I headed to my hostel for the night. Their hours were 10-12 and 4-7 so I had some time to kill. It was only about 1. I headed to a bike shop and they were great. They took a look at my front hub and bottom bracket. I had some time while they did so I rented a mountain bike and headed to the flume trail. It was such a weird feeling being on a bike with suspension, and so light! I loved it. I feel like the bike handling from the touring has really helped my mountain biking. The scenery was fantastic
I made it back to the bike shop and they’d regreased the front hub and the bottom bracket, and oiled the chain. I said thanks and headed to my hostel. It’s a really cute home that has been stuffed with rooms and bed. I am staying in a shared dorm. I have two roommates, Emily and Kathy who are hiking the Colorado trail. I got my bike unpacked and stored away then took a shower in the nicest shower of the trip, it had 4 heads. The hostel offers free laundry so I washed my clothes. I ordered breakfast for the morning then headed to dinner with Emily and Kathy. We exchanged hiker/biker info, and I may have successfully convinced Kathy to bikepack. We came back and I sat down in the living room to watch the Olympics and write this post. It turns out that everyone here is on an adventure. One of the girls is headed to Peru to train for mountaineering in Nepal, and everyone else is doing some portion of the Colorado Trail. I’m gonna head to bed for an early morning. Night!
- Freeze dried bananas
- Kind bar
- Cliff bar
- Hi chews
- Chai tea
- Cinnamon roll