Day Six: Here I am in Almont, CO (elev. 8,018 ft) at the beginning of the climb up Cottonwood Pass. The pass opened on June 12, just in time for Ride the Rockies.
Day Six: At Taylor Park Reservoir (elev. 9,300 ft.) on the west side of the Continental Divide on the climb up Cottonwood Pass.
Day Six: The Beef vs. Pork showdown at Aid Station 4 (elev. 10,700 ft.) on the climb up Cottonwood Pass (beef won, of course).
Day Six: STILL on the climb up Cottonwood Pass. That's snow below...lots of it.
Day Six: A little free advertising in a seven foot tall snowbank on the side of the road up Cottonwood Pass (approx. elevation 11,500 ft.)
Day Six: At the summit of Cottonwood Pass (elev. 12,126 ft.)...finally. It took me about five hours to complete the 39-mile, 4,108 ft. climb (including stops). It was cold on the summit but I hung around long enough to revel in the moment and get my picture taken with the summit sign (waiting in a long line of cyclists).
Day Seven: At the finish line in Breckenridge after the long ride across South Park from Buena Vista and over Hoosier Pass (I didn't stop long enough to take any pictures...it was too cold and windy).
So the big ride is over and I'm not anxious to climb back in the saddle to ride my bike again anytime soon. But it won't be long (Wednesday is bike to work day in Colorado and I plan to ride!). And I'm already looking forward to the announcement of the route for Ride the Rockies 2009!
Thanks to all of my friends and family who offered words of encouragement and prayed for my safety. I felt and needed both. It's good to be home safe and sound with my family today and breathing a little easier.