Day 19: The Continental Divide and Father John

I probably had two key concerns about this trip — would I be able to conquer the Rockies and could my knee handle 52 days of riding with 5 breaks?   The first has been answered.   It was another great day weather wise.  The summit was not an anticlimax; it just felt terrific to climb for 41 straight miles, the last 10 being almost 3500 feet, and reaching the top.   The first 31 were just lovely, riding next to the Gunnison River pretty much to its source.   The last 10 were tough — relentless up, sometimes 5, sometimes up to 8 or 9% grades.   After 10,000 feet, I could really feel the altitude and lack of oxygen.   Most of the time the road had no guardrail, and it looked straight down.   We all made it.

In the picture with me is one of the most popular members of the group, affectionately now known as Father John.   John lost 76 pounds in the run-up to the trip (from December to May).   He has taken off two years to have adventures, and lives life with quite a gusto.

His method was to go three times to a fitness camp in Spain run by a former boxer (3 weeks each visit).   He said it is 5-6 hours of exercise and 1000 calories a day.   You lose about a pound a day.   He’s still not the lightest guy on the trip, but he can zip up hills while chatting away.

So back to one of my key objectives for the blog (as opposed to the trip) — it is to motivate each of my subscribers to pick a big goal and really go for it.   Something that you will look back on 30,40,50 years from now and say “that was a real highlight in my life”.

Ride Summary:   Gunnison Colorado to Salida Colorado.   63.6 miles, 4345 vertical feet of climbing.   Temperature still relatively low, but that is about to end — looks like it will be in the high 90’s/30’s once we hit Kansas.   My butt is getting better but my right  knee is still quite stiff — my L/R balance was 60-40 today.   So my left leg is contributing 50% more than my right.   I’m going to try taking  ~4 Advil a day for the next few days and see if that helps (I’ve been taking 2 every other day; trying to avoid too much medication).   At this stage I don’t think I have much choice.

Song of the Day.   It has to be “Ain’t no Mountain High Enough.”   Marvin Gaye 1967.   The average is getting worse.

2 thoughts on “Day 19: The Continental Divide and Father John

  1. Ibuprofen is a good idea. I also suggest something like Icy Hot with lidocaine, especially at bedtime. You may have less stiffness in the morning with this. I’ve been enjoying your blog. You are inspiring me to resurrect mine.

    Like

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