Day 40: Canon City, CO ➡️ Hartsel, CO

Miles: 60.3

Total: 2,270.6

Today, we were playing leapfrog with a couple from the Netherlands. When they passed, the man jokingly said, “You win some, you lose some.”

And that’s true. But today, we won.

It was one of my favorite days of riding so far on our trip. There’s just something about climbing a mountain on your bike. I felt tiny amongst the mountains and long climbs, but I also felt strong.

This is the part of the trip I have looked forward to the most. I have spent some time pretty much every summer of my life out west, so even though I’m far away from home, I feel at home at the same time. Like I mentioned in my very first post about the trip, I have always loved seeing bike tourists climbing mountain passes, their bikes all loaded down. I always thought it was so neat…and now I’m doing it.

Today, we left Canon City (pronounced Canyon), and immediately started to climb.

We climbed and climbed. BUT, what all the cyclists have said is true- the climbs here in the Rockies are easier than the Appalachians. The climbs here are long and more gradual, rather than short and insanely steep.

Although they are easier, they are longer…way longer. You just have to accept the fact you are going to feel uncomfortable all day long (quads burning). I really had to take charge of my thoughts today.

We’ve only done 8 miles ➡️ We’ve done 8 miles!

Man, we are still climbing…➡️ I wonder what’s around the bend.

You have to force yourself to think positive thoughts. The climb takes enough toll on your body– it doesn’t need anything else tearing it apart!

About 30 miles into our ride, we saw a sign to a little town about 1 1/4 mile off the route. It was all uphill too, but food was a great motivator! Shortly after we arrived, the Neon Dudes arrived too! It’s always neat seeing your riding friends. You leave a town anywhere from 60 to 100 miles away, and somehow you always end up in the same place at the same time!

Shortly after we left the restaurant, it got pretty chilly and started to lightly rain. The Neon Dudes came up behind us and made sure we were warm enough!! They even offered to give us extra layers if we needed them. How nice is that?!?!

As the sun started to set, everything started to glow yellow. The skies were very dark and thunder was rolling in the distance.

Then….a rainbow!

Little did we know, it would soon turn into a complete double rainbow.

It was just absolutely amazing, and even though it was already a great day, it made all the climbing worth it even more. I will never forget it.

Today, we climbed 6,125 feet, and we’ve got lots more climbing tomorrow. Tomorrow is the day we climb Hoosier Pass- the highest point on our route. We are currently camped out at around 9,000 ft. above sea level, and it’s going to get down into the mid 40’s tonight….I’m glad to be toasty in my tent and sleeping bag! Hoosier Pass is over 11,000 ft. above sea level. Once we climb Hoosier, we get to enjoy the descent into Breckenridge and other little ski towns!


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