Day 18: Heckuva climb and peach pie

Today was a spectacular day.   Beautiful weather, tailwind, unbelievable scenery.   After one pretty tough climb and before the next one we popped into this little country store that specializes in pie.   She makes 10-12 a day, and then as they sell out the pieces they have a little whiteboard that shows what remains.   Most of the pies were already sold out by 10:00 am.   I will say the peach pie was as good as my Mom’s, which is saying a lot.

One thing I am struck by in the poorer parts of the US is the lack of entrepreneurship.   Here was this lady cooking 10 pies a day.   8 pieces per pie, 4.50/ piece, $36 per pie, $360 in income/ day.   Plus coffee and all the other things they sell there.   That’s a decent income.   But there is so little of this kind of activity.   It’s all a malaise.

The climbing all took place in the first 33 miles; most of the second half was in some beautiful canyons and around a reservoir (that was drying out — down by at least 15 meters (my guess) from peak).   It’s sad to see these effects of global warming.

About half of the group will drop off in two days, so we go from 21 to 11 (these only wanted to go from San Francisco to the far side of the Rockies).   It’s nice to have different groups to hang out with and ride with; it will be a real change in pace with only 11 of us.

Tomorrow we cross the Continental Divide at Monarch Pass — 11,312 feet.   We were told that today is tougher than tomorrow; I certainly hope that is the case!    I didn’t have to stop on the rides up today, so I guess I’ve got a few more red blood cells than before.

Ride Summary.   Today was 63.6 miles, 5829 feet of climbing.   We are off the interstates, so the inclines tend to be a bit steeper.   I did use my lowest gear several times; thank goodness for the cartridge / derailleur shift in Salt Lake City.   I tried to keep my cadence above 88; my coach and Tony May both felt it would help with the sore right knee.   60-40 balance today; yesterday was 56-44.   We will have gone 20 days with only 1 rest day — probably a bit too tough on this old man’s knee.

Song of the day.   I had two suggestions today — Rocky Mountain High by John Denver, and the Colorado Song by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils.   I’m afraid if I picked either of those Steve would give up his subscription, so I’m going to wait until Pueblo to do a one week retrospective.

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