Sunday, August 06, 2006

Tuesday June 6 – Day 17

I’m sitting out in front of the lodge waiting for the UPS guy to show. Roger (the guy who owns the place) is taking off for the bank, so I have the porch staked out. Ann says I have too much faith in the UPS guy.

Last night I was talking to Sarah on the phone and somebody cruised by on a Cervelo road bike – I think the same one Ivan Basso rides. I didn’t get a chance to track him down just then, but this morning I ran into someone in the laundry room who happened to be his training partner’s mom. Turns out the training partner is named Caleb, and he’s on the US national team for cycling. He’s only 19, so he lives with his folks and trains…


OK – now it’s nighttime. Continuing the thought – those two guys from the campground passed me like I was standing still on the way up Cumbres Pass. Then they passed me again on the way down while I was still forever and a day from the top. What a couple of animals.

One more note about the national team guys – last fall (I think) Bicycling magazine ran an article about American kids over in Europe racing. This Caleb was over there while the reporter was there, but with sort of a different group of guys than the reporter interviewed (Caleb was junior nationals then).

Also – ran into a fellow by the name of Stix Largo at the DQ. Stix is an Apache, and was telling me all these stories about running expeditions a crew in his tribe used to do. He claimed that they used to run ridiculous distances – like 100 miles a day. He said they haven’t done one in awhile, though. I want to believe the guy, but 100 miles is so far it boggles the mind. Maybe the Apaches are in better shape than the Navajo – most of those guys would be lucky to run one mile – but still. Come on.

So – the ride. I run out of things to say, because a lot stays the same. Every day I get on and drag myself and my gear up some big slope. It feels great to get up there, and the view is even better. Then I coast down. By the end of the day, I’m dog tired, sweaty and grimy, and ready to eat everything in sight. And my bum hurts.

Today I got rolling by 2 after putting my new tire on and having a burger. And I now have a camera! So things are looking up. I got rained on somewhat on the pass, but the big rain missed me. I made it to a campground just on the other side of Horca, called Conejos and camped next to some folks from Texas (one is named Justin). They invited me over later on, so I may be forced to drink one of their beers. Mmmm… beer.

Day 17 stats:

35 miles
3000 feet up
some cool pictures of the train


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