Manitou Springs, CO
Elevation: 6,455 ft.
Distance: 103.0 mi.
Odometer: 1,162.9 mi.
Mostly flat day, slowly gaining elevation throughout. Some areas almost looked like desert. Passed lots of farms along the way, and lots of irrigation systems.
Once I got to Pueblo, I was planning on taking a road that basically parallels the interstate. According to my host for the night, a teammate from Texas 4,000, a lot of that road was packed dirt, and 4-5 miles of it was loose gravel. Packed dirt I could handle, but not loose gravel, at least not on a loaded bike. Nathan found me an alternate route to avoid the loose gravel, and even drove it the night before to make sure it was bike friendly. Now that's going above and beyond the call of duty!
The result was that I'd have to ride on the packed dirt for 3-4 miles, then get on the interstate for about 8 miles, then back on the parallel road after the loose gravel was over. The packed dirt section wasn't that bad. There are "paved roads" around Rockdale that are in worse shape than that.
Riding on the interstate wasn't too scary. Nice wide shoulder, and only an entrance or exit every three miles or so. If I'd known it would be like that, I would've taken the interstate for part of yesterday and saved a ton of mileage. Nathan's directions turned out to be great overall, and the day even wound up being slightly shorter than expected.
I'd never done back-to-back-to-back centuries before, and now I have. Loaded. Only two centuries remain between here and Pocatello, back-to-back in Wyoming. I have the feeling that that'll be the last major hurdle, and maybe the worst is over. At least that's what I'm hoping.
And Nathan, good to see you, and had fun jamming with you!
from Pedal for Potatoes