Day 43 Sunday July 3, 2005, 35 miles (56 km) – Total so far: 2,576 miles (4,146 km)
34.8 Miles and 4:27 Pedal Time
Last night was so cold I had on all my clothes and slept in fetus position inside my sleeping bag. I asked Miles if it’s typically been this cold, he said it was a little colder than usual. I think my tent performs better in the cold then in the heat but I still froze. With the rain fly on tight I’m able to trap some heat inside.
We all got ready and packed up our gear. I get so jealous of couples riding together because they pack up so quickly. I sat and talked to Miles and Juliana about the trail for a while then we said farewell and left in opposite directions. I stopped at a diner for a quick breakfast; I talked with another cyclist about my tour while I ate breakfast. Every morning I have a new person to keep me company during breakfast, it’s great.
Before I left Fairplay I rode through the historic South Park City. It’s a restored mining city. The TV show south park actually takes place here.
Around my 5th mile I was riding on a bike path and my bike felt slow. So I got this brilliant idea to check my tire pressure, maybe the altitude was affecting my tires, who knows?! The back tire was at 50 psi when it should have been at 70. That’s just great. While I was pumping up the tire I somehow broke the valve and all the air quickly drained out. I cursed for a good 5 minutes then changed the tube. I put on the patched tube from my flat in pueblo. Tomorrow I’ll buy a new tube.
The first 12 Miles of the day was on an off road bicycle path. I felt like a King riding on the bicycle path. I talked with another cyclist who was riding the opposite direction for a little while. She invited me to a huge party in the town of Alma at the end of this bike path. But I was on my way to Breckinridge.
When I got to the sign that said it was only 4 miles to the Hoosier pass 2 east bounders rode up. They were both pulling bob trailers were bundled up pretty good for the cold weather; the girl was wearing winter mittens. They asked if I had seen any east bounders and I told them I camped with Miles and Juliana last night and they got all excited and were going to try to catch up to them.
The climb up the Hoosier pass was really beautiful. It was pretty gradual, the closer I got to the top the faster I rode. When I got the top I saw 2 hikers. They told me about hiking in Colorado and I told them about the Trans am and how excited I was to finally be on top of Hoosier pass. I asked them to do me a favor and take a picture of me in front of the sign with my camera.
I walked over to the sign, propped up my bike in front, grabbed my camera and as I handed it to the man so he could take my picture the string on my camera got caught on my bike glove and my camera fell on the ground. I picked it up and fiddled with it. It was pretty broken and the lens was scratched. Its done.
I couldn’t believe it. I’ve waited 3 years to take this picture. I’ve put this camera through hell and I finally busted it in the process of the most important picture of this bicycle trip. The Hiker guy felt really really bad about, but I kept telling him not to worry it’s not his fault. I wasn’t upset I was more shocked and I started to think it was actually pretty funny. I couldn’t believe I broke my camera on top of the Hoosier pass in front of the sign. This is my money shot. Those nice Hikers took my picture with their camera and they are going to email it to me when they get home.
I rode down the hill it was pretty steep and it felt weird. I haven’t ridden down a hill since Missouri. Haha There were a couple of switchbacks. I rode downhill 10 miles until I got to Breckenridge. I called Chris; he was out hiking with the kids. I found a camera store; the kid working there told me my camera wasn’t worth fixing. He tried to sell me a cannon camera but I want to stick with Olympus. He said Walmart sells Olympus and he told me where the closest Walmart is.
I rode around Breckenridge for about an hour looking at all the people and buildings. It was packed with people. I realized this is the most congested area I have been in since I left NYC 43 days ago. I was starting to get cranky cause I was starving. I couldn’t find any cheap food, eventually I walked into a pizza place, ordered up a chicken parm sandwich and buffalo wings.
Chris called while I was eating and gave me directions to his condo. On my way there it started hailing little ice balls. For a few minutes I could see people 30 feet away getting attacked by the hail but I was fine. Then I got destroyed. I quickly found Chris and was introduced to his beautiful children Reena and Dorjay and their golden retriever Cassie.
Chris brought me up to the spare bedroom where I could stay. I unpacked some stuff, took a shower. While Reena and I played a game of chess, I asked a lot of questions about Chris and Tina’s around the world backpacking adventure. They said they only mistake they made on their trip was to spend more time. They did their trip in 6 months and said it should have been at least a year.
Chris and I decided to go for a bike ride around town. Chris gave me an excellent tour of Breckenridge. He showed me downtown, the parks, some expensive houses and a lot of condo complexes. Breckenridge is a very cramped place, everyone wants to have a spot here, and all the buildings are very close together. Nevertheless there are still a lot of nice buildings. One of my favorite things about the city is the blue river doesn’t care and it just cuts right through center of town. It absolutely beautiful. I was kind of bummed I didn’t have a camera.
We decided to go get something to eat and went over to the brewery, Chris explained to me how the Tour de France works and I told him all about riding across the country. We rushed back to the condo so I could hang out with the kids before they went to sleep.
I was in bed by 10 o’clock. It was a long day. Chris and Tina invited me to stay for the 4th of July; they are having a small party with friends. I think I’m going to stay because the roads will be hectic, all motels and campsites will be booked for the holiday and I kind of just want to take it easy and lay low for the holiday. If I’m lucky ill catch some fireworks.