‘Toads’ keep on riding, Day 2 ends in Carbondale
Ryan Summerlin June 12, 2012
Riders are arriving in Granby on Wednesday, June 13. To welcome them, a party in Polhamus Park in Granby will include 24 vendors, half of which are food vendors. The Sky-Hi News will post the daily trip report of The Toads Less Raveled online each day.The following was compiled from The Toads Less Raveled team blog: www.toadslessraveled.blogspot.com, written by Alan Findley:Day 2 June 11 – Hotchkiss to Carbondale 68 milesAnother beautiful day on Ride the Rockies. Although today’s route was a bit shorter than yesterday, we had a pretty good climb up to the summit of McClure Pass 8,755 feet and it certainly took more than many of us were expecting. The steepest part of the climb was the last five miles that pitched up over 6 percent grade and made your legs scream. Of course, if you are a semi-professional rider or 20 years old, it wasn’t as big a deal as I make it out to be. When you look at the map of today’s ride, it makes McClure Pass out to be a blip on the radar, but don’t be fooled. When we finally reached the summit, we had all thrown out a few prayers, hoping, begging for the end of the climb. After a rest, some water, and a PB&J at the summit, we sailed down the descent at over 40 mph towards Carbondale. The saving grace of this lovely little climb was that the last 22 miles were all down hill, and man did we need it.The downhill section followed parallel to the Crystal River and what an absolutely beautiful view it was. I often found myself staring more at the river than the road, not advised for a high speed descent, and wondering many times why I didn’t have my fly rod with me. Tomorrow is the major test of this year’s Ride the Rockies as we ascend Independence Pass ion our way to Leadville. The ride will climb 50 miles from Carbondale to the summit of Independence Pass 12,095 feet before we descend towards Leadville. I am told by an ex-professional rider that this is one of the most difficult climbs in the world and is not a welcome event for even the top professional riders. Needless to say, having not been a professional rider or even a mid-tier rider, this will be one of the greatest personal tests I have ever undertaken. I will let you know how it goes tomorrow.