Thursday, June 25, 2009

BTC Day 4 - Crested Butte Here We Come!

Day 4 started early for me. Our plan was for me to leave at 5:30 a.m. to get a head start... D would leave at 7:30 and catch me. So I headed out early - just me, a few early bikers and the long open road. ... LOVED:) watching the sunrise, LOVED the tranquility of the morning.
BUT, as the minutes passed, a head wind picked up something FIERCE!!! Our first climb up Cerco Pass would have been a challenging climb without wind, but the wind at our face for 13 miles of climbing made it one of the most difficult mental (and physical) challenges I've experienced. There ended up being loads of bikers getting off and waiting by the side of the road for the SAG van to pick them up (bailing on the ride). The interesting thing about this part of the ride was this: the climb - hard, the wind even harder, but I really do think that most of the people who quit didn't quit because they physically couldn't withstand the climb and wind, I think they quit because the mental challenge of knowing that even after the climb was done and maybe (or maybe not) the wind died, what lied ahead was still 90 more miles of saddle time. This thought went through my mind a ton while I was fighting just to stay on the bike early that morning, and the verse in Matthew came to mind:

"Do not worry about tomorrow, for your heavenly father knows what you need. Seek FIRST His kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you." - Matthew 6:31-32

... a lesson for me on the power of staying in the moment. Don't get too far ahead of yourself, Heather. Be in the moment - just take it one step at a time and ENJOY! God will give you what you need for the moment.

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith." - Hebrews 12:2 ...not on "worry" for the future.

I snapped this between wind gusts. :)
So this summit is nothing impressive, but for me, it meant a lot. I didn't give in to the physical pain, I didn't give in to the mental "worry" of "all the miles that lay ahead". I put in my tunes and sang (really I did:O) ... "Savior, He can move the mountains, our God is mighty to save..." hoping he really would move the mountain :):):)) my way up... and made it! YES!!
Now for the short descent. LOVED IT! (Oh, if you want to check out our loop or elevation gains etc. each day, it's on the BTC website. Google Bicycle Tour of Colorado). :)
At the bottom of the hill was our first aid station. I left a note for D at the white board... was looking forward to him catching me! ... missed him:)

Our next climb was up to Blue Mesa Reservoir. ... a steep climb, but the view from the top - priceless! This Reservoir must have measured at least 15 miles in length... made that 15 miles pass fast! ...reminded me of MN... LOVE the water!
Me at aid station 3. Still no D... just me and the road, my notecard:), and tunes! I was doing great... a happy camper!
So the best part of the day came when i was pulling out of aid station 3. Some guys I had chatted with earlier in the morning were leaving at the same time. Earlier I had mentioned that I was riding with my husband, but he was planning on sleeping in a bit and catching me later. Since D hadn't caught me yet, they invited me to ride with them. Duncan, Dave and Ron... great guys - strong riders. A peloton is a line of bikers. The front rider (pulling) does most the work and the riders behind get to draft... easier. The bigger the guy in front of you, the better the draft. Ron asked me a bit about myself. I told him about the accident and Caleb. Nice guy. SO, from mile 50 to mile 93, I hung with these guys. It was GREAT! 3 hours of solitude on the road is nice, but gets old. Riding with them provided community, and motivation not to slack... learned a great lesson about the power of community:). They kept a good clip - about 20 mph - and I didn't want to get dropped, AND knew I had a day off coming, so I filed in behind Ron and WOULDN'T let myself fall from the peloton... It squeezed every last bit of energy out of me staying with them, but I had fun challenging my self to stay with these good riders.
The peloton:)... thanks for carrying me into Crested Butte guys!
The view riding into Crested Butte:). BUT... STILL NO D!!! Where is he?
I MADE IT! I had Ron take a picture - 93 miles DONE! :)

Crested Butte High School - where the ride ends. I pulled in at 1:15.
SO turned out Dustin's spoke broke, so he had to get it fixed at an aid station... took a while. Even after lots of wait time, made it in at 1:45... what a guy!
Nothing like being welcomed by this face! I love you Caleb!
Day 5: DAY OFF IN CRESTED BUTTE! We made our way to Crested Butte Mountain for a hike! WOW!!!
...on the chair lift up the mountain.
The beauty speaks for itself... :)
Nap time! What a flexible guy!

Lunch time:)...
D getting work done at the summit of our hike. We're SO lucky he has a job that's so flexible and can be done on the road!

The view on our hike down.

Our little man at lunch. What a BIG boy!

So, tomorrow we take off from Crested Butte (so sad to leave the BEAUTIFUL mountain town!) and head to Buena Vista... 70 miles over Independence Pass (12, 200 ft.)

1 comment:

Lynn Haanen said...

Thanks for this latest entry! What amazing experiences and beautiful pictures. Glad you had a day of rest!