A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ride the Rockies 2013 Preview Day Two: Cortez to Durango

After a fun evening in Cortez, Day Two looks like a good day for a late start. It's the second shortest day of the tour. Maybe Woody and I will stop for breakfast on the way out of town. At only 64 miles and 3,442 ft. of elevation gain, the ride east to Durango looks relatively tame.

I'll probably live to regret those words. It'll be hot or windy (or both). It's never as "easy" as it looks on paper. But the highest point on day two is Hesperus Hill at 8,091 ft. And I don't remember it being much of a climb when we rode this same route in the opposite direction on day one of RTR 2008.

Hitting the road with Woody and we stopped for breakfast in Leadville on RTR 2013.

Ride the Rockies attracts all kinds of riders. There are hard core early risers who break camp before dawn and head out at first light dressed in winter gear. They are the "Early Truck" people . The masses head out between 7-8 a.m. They are the Midde Truckers. Woody and I (and most of Team Bar2Bar) wake up about the time everybody else is taking off. We are the Late Truckers (RTR hauls one bag per person from stop to stop in three 18-wheelers).

Morning at our campsite in Gunnison on the first day of RTR 2012.
 We like to ride toward the back of the pack. When we roll into the next stop on the tour we ride straight to a predetermined watering hole for some liquid carbo-loading. Everybody else heads straight to the cmpsite to set up their tent in the heat of the day then wait in line at the shower trucks (impressive 18-wheel mobile shower units).

About the time the masses head out for dinner (and more lines) we head to the campground and find the perfect spot nobody else took (probably because it wasn't in the shade at 2:00!). We walk right into the showers, change clothes and head back out for the evening (about the time the early risers are headed to bed).

I'm fairly certain the official Team Bar2Bar destination in Durango will be Steamworks Brewing Co. This was the gathering point on the first day of RTR 2008. Apparently I had a great beef philly with pablano peppers that night after the long bus ride from Denver. I don't see it on the 2013 menu (.pdf) but the French Dip with House Smoked All Natural Brisket, Swiss Cheese, House Cured Bacon, on a Ciabatta Hoagie sounds amazing!

After Steamworks we'll probably hit a few more local spots before heading back to camp to get some sleep before the 86-mile ride from Durango to Pagosa Springs. Check back in next Sunday for a preview of Day Three of Ride the Rockies 2013.

Ride on!


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