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Uphill and Against the Wind - TransAm E-W
By Dave T

Day 47: Royal Gorge to Fairplay - Snow Capped Rocky Mountains

Wednesday July 2, 1986, 68 miles (109 km) - Total so far: 2,414 miles (3,885 km)

I slept pretty good last night in the cool mountain air. I was up early and so was Fred so we got some breakfast and rolled out. The route was uphill for the first 45 miles with very steep climbs every now and them. The morning was pretty cold, even until 10am today. What a change, a few days ago we were sweating like crazy from the hot muggy weather in Kansas and Eastern Colorado.

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Colorado Morning

Today is the first day we could see snow capped mountains. As I crested a hill, the snow capped Rocky Mountains finally appeared off in the distance. I stopped to make a sandwich and wait for Fred to catch up. (Fred, this is that day you email me about) I had John Denver's Rocky Mountain High song running through my head. My parents played John Denver records over and over at home and I subconsciously knew all the words. I never really "listened" to the words or understood the meaning of the song until today. It was an unbelievable feeling standing there looking at the mountains.

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First view of the snow capped Rockies

Riding was very difficult with one stretch of 48 miles with NO services. I ran out of water 25 miles into the day and Fred loaned me some water (thanks Fred). Fred and I arrived in Hartsel at noon, after a long, tough morning. We took a break at the café and had some lunch.

Fred is a real character and is great to ride with. He is very enthusiastic and positive about pretty much everything. Fred is a guy that won't bring you down, even under the toughest conditions. He pretty much rode my pace today so I know he can crank it up when he wants to. It was a great day of riding with Fred.

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We climbed all the way up to 10,000 feet when we arrived in Fairplay. We stayed inside a community center for the night in town. The center was very nice, with good showers and restrooms.

I wanted to make sure my crank bearings were still operating smoothly so I carefully dismantled my cranks, and bottom bracket. I had all my parts and bearing carefully laid out on a cloth when some of the BC group started horsing around near me. Clay was goofing around and almost scattered my parts and bearing all over the place. I told him if he looses any of my parts they will end up missing from his bike before sunrise. I re-assembled the bottom bracket with nice new Phil Wood WP grease and finely adjusted the bearing tolerance. I made sure the lock ring was good and tight and made a mark on it so I could tell if it moved. Getting everything back in working order and tested I started horsing around myself.....

Tomorrow, Hoosier Pass 11,542 feet then into Breckenridge, where we are slated to stay at the Fireside Inn for 2 days.

[Author's Note:]- How many people would take apart their bottom bracket and repack bearings in the middle of nowhere? I was fearless back then.~~


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