Today I was taking the day off! No driving! Well, not much driving. Despite this area having fabulous bike trails I had some things to do that involved driving!
Before I ran errands I was going to attempt to ride up to Vail Pass. Yesterday I drove over Vail Pass, there's a bike path that goes right down the median of I-70 and you can ride your bike all the way up from Frisco! When we were here 2 years ago Mom brought Dad and I up and we rode down (this was before I had a bike of my own so I was riding her beach cruiser, I wouldn't have made it up if I'd tried!). Now I was here by myself and if I wanted to ride down, I had to ride up! It was about 15 miles(one way) from the campground with about 1500 feet of elevation gain (from 9,000 ft to 10,500 ft!). The path is well graded but it is still a lot of uphill no while we've been at 3,000-6,000 feet off and on for the last few weeks, it's different from being at 9000+ feet!
The ride up Tenmile Canyon between Frisco and Copper Mountain Ski Resort wasn't so bad! It was a steady easy grade and it even leveled out close to the ski area so I got a break! I remember this being my favorite part to ride down last time, the gentler grade is easier both up and down. The wind however was making things hard! It was a headwind and peddling into it, going up, was a challenge!
I took a break for a snack after I'd gone through the ski area, just before the trail went up to the pass. While I was stopped a two guys came up, both over 50 and one was wearing an Ironman jersey, and they were asking some folks who just came down about the wind, thinking it might not be worth it to ride up today because it was so windy. I guess I wasn't the only one fighting it! We all pressed on however! I assume the guys made it to the top, I didn't see them again!
As I got higher the views just got better and better! These mountains are huge! The area around the trail after Copper Mountain is an alpine meadow and the wildflowers were all in bloom! More flowers that I saw in all of Oregon! I enjoyed seeing the things we did this whole trip, but my ride up to Vail Pass this morning might just be my favorite thing I did! Colorado is amazing! And so much closer!
I made it until the last mile before it was just too much to continue! I think it was a combination of the wind, the elevation and the steepness. I knew I was close to the top though, so I walked! There were a few spots where even walking was tough with the wind!
At the top I had a snack and took in the view before heading down! It had taken me 2 hours and 45 minutes to get to the top, took me and hour and fifteen minutes to get back to the campground! (That time includes stop time, I didn't stop at all on the way down).
It was almost 1:00 when I got back to the campground. I got lunch and did a few things at the RV, then went into town to get fuel, buy some more underwear so I didn't have to do laundry, picked up a few things at the grocery, and went to the town dump station.
After my errands I took the bike out again. This time I rode the trails closer into town. I rode to the Frisco Marina and got the Lakeside trail out to the dam. This route took me past what I'd thought was the best campground in town, but I realized it it's not really! The campground I'm at, Pine Cove, is about 2 miles from Frisco, it's not really on the bike path, but it's close. Heaton Bay, which is on the bike path, is at least 4 miles from Frisco and 4 miles from Dillon! I'd wanted to ride at least 10 more miles to give myself another 40 mile day, but then I started thinking I might be able to go 20 more miles have a 50 mile day. The riding seemed easy and I was worried that this was because I had a tailwind and didn't know it, so ended up turning around about 2/3 of the way across the dame after almost 8 miles. Turns out the path was just easier, it was just as easy coming back! I did get in 15 miles, making it 45 for the day which is still a personal best!
When I got back I fired up the generator to fix dinner & charge the batteries got a shower and settled in to enjoy the evening. The weather today was perfect. Chilly overnight (I got out the sleeping bag!) but not frigid, warmed to the mid-70 but with the breeze it was cool!