The Weakest Link

Whenever I go long on a ride I am in quest of uncovering what is it that I have done, not done, forgotten or not yet discovered that will disrupt my ride and have to abandon. Will it be me, the bike or something I forgot?

I give it a term, the WEAK LINK! Like a chain, all it takes is one to break and bust the pic 1

It seems the older and more experienced I have become, the more I bring. Where I live also causes me to pack more. One day the temps on the road went from 29-105F. I was begging for rain and all I got was a hot headwind and hatches of stoneflies along the long stretch of the Rio Grand River!

I make sure the bike is in excellent shape. I don’t go on a 1200K without a new drive chain, cables/housing and tires. All my subsequent rides over 100 miles are designed to test myself, my bike and the equipment I use. I keep refining, adjusting everything!


As you see, I am equipped to ride for days almost anywhere, especially in the Rockies where I live. On the handlebar is a Detour bag that is my “glove box” for ready access. The top tube Revelate bag is also ready access primarily electronic related. The Banjo bag under the top tube is ready access for quick to get clothes. On the back is the yellow Camelback roll up bag of tubes and tools. The large Carradice bag with side pockets carries the meat of my needs. I will detail each. In total it weighs about 15lbs unless I carry extra water. The frame is a 52 so I am limited with bag selection. The intent of this arrangement is to provide me easy access to most items while I am riding or quick to get to if I must get off the bike. The small handlebar bag is ideal for the things I need without losing any bike handling. I once rode with a large handlebar bag and it prevented me from sitting up and riding no-handed.

My Eddy Merckx is equipped with a very dependable Campagnolo 11 compact gruppo. The wheels are extra beefy to handle the stresses. They are handmade with conventional spokes. I use Continental Hardshell tires. I beefed up the wheel selection because they are usually the first to go wrong if you run over or into something. I believe it is like a home and the wheels are the foundation. Get them straight and sturdy all else can roll along. I have a dynamo light, E3 on the front axle. Always on to be seen. It provides sufficient light and at an angle that I can see the debris and road conditions from a great angle. This is bike fits me like a glove and the ride is very forgiving. I also have other eyes look over it for me as in an excellent mechanic who understands my riding habits. I believe I have minimized a “weak link” exposure as to the bike unless……


A race tested mechanic always under pressure! I believe they are the best to know and how work on your machine treating it like an instrument. It is best that your mechanic understands what you are doing with your bike.

To start, I keep a journal book for notes from rides. Helping me with a list of what to take and how not to repeat a mistake. With more experience, my notes have expanded. They really help to review early in the season when the riding is relatively new and the weather can be extreme. Regardless the time of the year, on super long rides, I bring about the same. An old mountain biker saying, “All day hard. Bring it all!”

Now for the equipment breakdown for it comes down to being me as the weakest link of all! It doesn’t take much to slow one down or come to a complete stop. I will start from the contents in the front handlebar bag and work my way to the back.


I wish this bag was still being made. It is a great size and I can fit my hands on the bars behind it whereas some prohibit this due to the attachment. The bag has several pockets and a raincover, if needed. Here are the contents, all in small amounts: The map, brevet card, cuesheet, pen, chapstick, eyeglass interchangeable lenses, lens cleaner, “reader” glasses, Bag Balm, Aleve, spork, sunscreen, hand/feet warmers, handi wipes, xtra small plastic bags, rubber bands, mini Leatherman, mini multi bike tool, toe straps, smartphone, toothbrush, tums, Gin Gins, wallet. Everything I have used repeatedly. Finally, I have a picture of my Babydoll who keeps me grounded and has supported me all along every ride of the way!


Before I get started with the contents of this bag I must include a vital item, my Garmin Edge. I am constantly glued to this tool. It tells me where I am going and when I will get to my destination by mileage. I use for mapping. I have a rolling screen feeding me tons of information such as temperature, battery life, pulse, rpm, mileage, average mileage, my pace, climbing grade, elevation, topography, weather data and of course turn by turn navigation.

The above top tube bag is full of electronics and quick foods. Inside there is a battery pack that will recharge my Garmin, phone, tail lights, ipod and secondary headlight. This gives me two days without a wall charge. Also, are the necessary charging cables and plug and ipod with earbuds when not in use. Again, I like the rolling accessability.


I started using this frame bag this year. I have in it my reflective ankle bands, reflective vest, food stash. I can pull the vest on and off and quickly tuck it in here. I may use other items like arm and knee warmers. I fully utilize my jersey pockets and things may interchange where it is placed. Rolling along is key. Frequent stops are time killers when time matters.


This tool bag is strapped to my saddle bag frame. It contains 2 spare tubes, Park spoke wrench, multi tool, Park tire tools, tire boots, and patch kit. Sometimes I use a mini pump on short rides and sturdier pump such as one from Lezyne. I like the tool bag roll method because I have easy access to get to what I need once it is unrolled, especially in the middle of the night. It is also easier to see because of the color instead of using a black bag at night.


The Carradice bag is amazing! I like the way it is mounted on the saddle rails and away from touching the back of my legs. I hate that! The rack is worth it’s weight. This model is the Nelson Longflap. There is an additional flap that can over extend the top if you are carrying more. I have been through some bad storms and everything stays dry without having to put them in plastic bags. I can access to the side pockets while riding if I need too!

In this bag I will have: a compressed lightweight hooded down jacket, Enduro HiViz commuter rain jacket, Shower Pass rain pants, Sealskinz rain/thermal booties, toe covers, thermal arm & knee warmers, thermal gloves, mini chamois towel (for cleaning or insulative barrier under my jersey), 2 platypus 1 liter bottles, chain oil, varied zip ties, electrical tape, helmet light, backup headlight, tail lights, Spot Finder, thermal beany, cotton cycling cap, toe straps, bike pump, gallon size plastic bags, Goretex helmet rain cover, neck gator, emergency blanket or bivy bag and a 1st aid bag. All the clothing items are rolled up and wrapped with rubber bands. Nice and neat, easy to find.

As far as the foul weather gear, I want to note that I use bright colors, and highly reflective material. Usually riding in harsh conditions, the light is darkened and everyone’s visibility is hampered. The more I can increase the visibility with colors, Hi Vis material and serious taillights the safer all will be. It is quite a strange experience to have a motorist stop or slow down thanking me to be so visible!

Find what works for you. I thought that my contribution may save you a lot of time and money. It is a constant experiment with every ride! What’s your weak link?









The 3Ps, Parlin Pitkin Preferred


County Rd. 76 in my opinion is one of the best roads to ride nearby for anyone in Gunnison CO. The traffic is minimal almost non-existent. The scenery is wonderful. There are services available at both ends of Parlin and Pitkin (where the pavement ends but continues to even more stunning riding). However, this is the time of the year, mud season, when off road activities get pretty mucky unless you own one of these…


County Rd. 76 is a great road for those starting out cycling for the first time and  with friends. You can go at your own pace, ride alongside and chit chat, stop and take in the views. It is almost like your own bike path. You can hear the occasional car coming from quite a distance because it is sooooo quiet. Since it is mud season, there is no tourist activity!


I started my journey leaving Gunnison eastbound on Hwy. 50. Although it is our major thoroughfare, the traffic is not so bad and the shoulders are very wide and pretty clean of debris. I do like to be noticed by wearing a hi-visibility vest and lights. And I was noticed!


It is just 11 miles from Gunnison to Parlin also known as the QT Corner. Quiet Time! If you want, you can drive out there and park and start on County Rd. 76. From Parlin to Pitkin, the distance is 15 miles. The QT Corner has a Post Office, always open and warm, and a new country store! You have to stop in!

Tasty treats, antiques, local meats, awesome company…and a bratty little Jack Russell terrier who is all mouth and will “greet” you coming and going!

As you head north up 76 the surface is a little old bumpy. I suggest that you do not have the air pressure of your tires so high. The road is a slow gradual climb with lots of relief of some descents so you can catch your breath, coast and take in the views.

What I like about 76 is that it is almost always clear of snow because it is 99% fully exposed to the sun on the entire route! Since it is an “out and back” route you see things twice and the way back from Pitkin is a sweet downhill. Don’t forget to slowdown and see this!

As you meander onward you will come across Ohio City. A thriving metropolis at a crossroads rich in history!

Some signs have a grain of truth!

Regardless, it is a nice place to slow down, look around and then head onward on 76 as the views become more breathless in more ways than one!

And watch for walkers. County Rd. 76 is not only your bikepath it is also a walking path too!


So onward to the grand town of Pitkin.


Once rich in mining history and timber, you will ride by the Pitkin State Fish Hatchery which produces 90,000+ tons of trout a year! If you have a bike equipped for off road riding you can continue either to Waunita Hot Springs or the Alpine Tunnel. Pitkin is very quaint with many original structures from the 1800s, still in use. I always stop at the Silver Plume General Store and catch up with the very friendly owners, Chris & Kandy Nasso. They just added a little café outside during the warmer times and the BBQ is delicious.

Pitkin is growing with places to eat and stay. So check it out!





You just wanna hangout because you never know what or who is going to pull up! Unfortunately, you can’t stay too long. A fantastic descending ride back to Parlin or Gunnison awaits. It is a much quicker ride back unless you face a headwind. Always bring extra layers. You might need them as you know how quickly the weather changes!


County Rd. 76 is a fantastic road to ride almost year round and I highly suggest you give it a try!

Ciao y’all





The torment of Quit

htfu There comes a time in every brevet I ride, my body sends hard signals to my brain to quit, flat out stop, abandon, DNF, fuck it! It’s like a muscle cramp but in the head. It’s typically 5/8 of the way through the brevet. I am past the halfway point and I am in the purgatory because the finish is well out of sight. The devil called Quit sends out his minions of messages, such as, ” you’re fried, you’re feet are on fire, it’s freezing and wet, you’re hands are numb and your back aches, you’re legs are toast and you’re balls of steel have gone softer than your ear lobes! You are miserable, alone and it’s in the middle of the night.” And it goes on and on. It gets so bad I think of things that could take me out accidently on purpose!turtleGod, it sucks. Lord help me! This mental seizure happened to me recently on a 400k! It was my first time of the year in hot weather, the course was ass-cracking flat and moderate winds. Sounds ideal, really! Yes, but it was still a beat down of wear and tear after a while and the Quit devil was coming out to wreak havoc on my softened stubborn brain! How do I survive such a predictable symptom? The key is to keep rolling, further. I have read all about not thinking of the finish line of brevets. They are too far away to mentally obtain being 100 to 1000k away! Rather, it is best to focus on something more obtainable like one control at a time. However, when you are at a point when you want to stop the world and get off, you gotta drill it down further like to the next turn on your cue sheet, or the top of the next hill, or store, or a shady safe spot to get off your bike and take a mini break. Make that Quit devil recede back to it’s nasty cave in your brain. Drown that bastard with fresh water too! My defense against that tormentor Quit is to activate my memory of past victories overcoming worse demons of the sort. Quit has rarely won a battle! Randonnuering, you don’t win like in a race. You finish, but you are victorious over the rat bastard Quit! That is a huge prize with a lasting trophy to take to the next challenge! Another method to combat against the oncoming brain cramp of Quit is playing out the scenario if you do cave in and… know…Quit. How do you get home? Could be harder. What do you tell your friends and family in a face saving way? Good luck! Oh my, what will all your Facebook friends think of you now? Then what about the next time you decide to ride long? Quit is going to reveal itself. Always has, always will, again and again. Are you going to cave? It is said, once a quitter, always a quitter. You have a much bigger hurdle to overcome with that SOB now! And then there is the ultimate coup de grace, when your “pals” who are terminal quitters from long ago on the sideline will mutter in your ear, “Maybe you ought to do something else for fun, like us.” Yikes! The final weapon of suggestion in the fight against the devil called Quit is God himself! My favorite righteous tool is from the book of Romans 5..”.but we also rejoice in our affliction because we know affliction produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope. This hope does not disappoint because God’s love has been poured in our hearts….”  Ride with all your heart and feel that Quitter whither away like Dracula under the noonday sun! Put that in your toolbox!

It’s time for me to shut and ride!

My “stuff” I pack to give you ideas as to the “shit” you take when you decide to go long.

2014-05-26 09.23.45ImageWhen I decided to go rando, I hardly had a clue as to how to prepare. I googled for bikes and read all the blogs. It was such a conversion from riding a minimalist racing bike for speed and shorter rides to converting to an old racing bike to be built for comfort, durability and to actually live on. It’s like going from the hare to the tortoise. I fortunately got an education while riding brevets and riding with randonneurs. Unlike the racing community, my new compatriots welcomed me and openly helped me immensely. Y’all know who you are, and I am truly grateful. This community is free of egos. It is truly riding with the adults who brave riding conditions at extreme levels for insanely long periods.

I have been asked several times when riding or from neo randonneurs as to what I take when I go long. I decided to share by stripping my ride down to the item. I do not weigh my bike, nor do I care. There have been times I have used or will use everything. Living in higher elevations, one needs to be prepared for anything. It is easy to be isolated. Being in a bad spot, can happen fast, especially when you are in the middle of nowhere. I am old and I get cold. One experience of hypothermia is enough. Fortunately, my babydoll, Andrea, has been the best soignor who knows me better than me and can work through my stubbornness and make sure I have the right equipment. I would’ve been buzzard bait long ago, if it wasn’t for her!

Let us begin by viewing the bike as a whole and work inward. The bike is a 54cm racing frame with no eyelets. I have padded bars underneath the Lizard Skin bar tape for a sticky grip. I prefer using  the Detour handlebar bag which is sufficient and does not weigh too much so I can ride with my hands off the bars or even rest my forearms on the top of the bars. I have a top tube bag to keep food for quick access and a Gomadic battery recharger for my Garmin. I used to have an Arkel bar bag and it was too much weight on the bars making the ride sketchy. The two bags make a good alternative. On the back is a Carradice bag and spare tire bag attached to a supporting rack. I do not like rear bags that rub against my legs and this is perfect and dependable. I use the SKS clip on carbon fenders to keep me dry. I added a little extra on the front fender using part of a plastic milk jug. My feet are a lot dryer now in the rain. I like the set up of the dynamo. It’s clean, out of the way and spots road conditions quickly. I use 2 Cygolite rear lights. They have intense brightness, long lasting, rechargeable and waterproof! Saddle is a Rivet which I can adjust the tension for stiff or cushy ride. The tires are Continental 25mm with stopleak and the bike is Campagnolo equipped Athena 11 speed compact.
2014-05-26 09.23.452014-05-26 09.11.04


2014-05-26 09.09.202014-05-26 09.09.05

2014-05-26 09.30.27 Here on the left are the contents of my handlebar bag. Beginning from the upper left, I include, glasses, earbuds, glass cleaner, sunglass lenses, Tums, iphone charger, Princeton Tec Eos helmet light, cash, chapstick, pillbox of Aleve, pillbox with Bag Balm, multitools, spoke wrench and sunscreen. I also keep my iphone in the bag.

2014-05-26 16.39.24 These are the contents of my spare tire bag which is attached to my rear bag. From the top are Park tire tools (the best), Park tire boots, more cash, small knife, spare tube, Lyzene patch kit and a multi tool. Seems like a lot of tools, but not one is complete and sometimes you need 2 in order to get the right torque.

2014-05-26 16.52.59 The rear bag is used items that are needed but not while I maybe pedaling or for immediate access. From the upper left to right is: Shower Pass rain pants (incredibly efficient and visible), thermal vest, Enduro commuter rain jacket with a Gore helmet cover. Just below is a variety of plastic bags. On the middle left is a Shamwow cloth which I primarily wear under my jersey for insulation. Then there is a Spot finder ( cell phones reception is sketchy in the mountains). Then a RUSA wind rain vest which is highly visible and insulated booties. Below on the left are an assortment of zipties, an extra tire tube, a Cateye rechargeable back up light, cleat protectors, hand and feet warmers and thermal knee warmers. In addition on the left again are RUSA ankle reflectors, thermal cap, gloves and arm warmers. Finally, on the bottom row is an emergency blanket, first aid packet, neck gator, chain lube and yellow electrical tape.

And when I ride I usually wear besides helmet, cycling shoes & gloves, a cotton cap, sleeveless technical base layer, wool undershirt and jersey (sometimes wool) as well as bib lycra shorts and wool or coolmax socks.

The past issues of American Randonneur used to publish a rider’s bike and I gleaned them for all I can get. I would think my bike was “dialed in” repeatedly, but after each brevet, something had to be tweaked. Once again, I think I am dialed in again and I hope this contribution may help you.

It’s time for me to Shut Up and Ride!


Romans 5:3 (The essence of Rule 5)




High Plains Shifter ……


… the Colorado Last Chance 1200k Grand Randonneur

I wish I was as badass as Clint the way he was in High Plains Drifter. Yet, in a way,  I was, and so was everyone who accomplished this 1200k starting near soggy ass Boulder CO east to a crispy Kensington KS and then back west, not in the ultimate gunslinger’s way, but having the ability to endure the distance, the desolation, the wear down suffering.

hwy 36

Some say “shit happens”, but on this journey it became “shift happens”. Although the scenery seemed to be a sea of nothingness, I constantly had to shift. Shifting gears for the ever changing wind, terrain, strength, and varied pavement. I was constantly shifting my position to accommodate the myriad of aches, encroaching soreness, fatigue. I was shifting my attire for the full frontal rainstorm, wind, mist, drizzle, as well as a sun boosted scorcher topped off with hi humidity during a 40+ mile stretch of freshly laid chip sealed ass-fault! Only the drive to go forward never shifts! Pedal faster, punk!

Jens the Canadienjens in kansas

This was my first Grand Randonneur (1200k) unlike most of the others. I believe I had trained well in N Carolina and then the last few months in my new home in Gunnison CO. I was constantly tinkering with my Merckx, adjusting the positioning, gearing. I had fairly new equipment, like brake pads, cables, saddle, bar, bar wrap, Loctite on the spoke nipples, lubricated and tightened everything. I also had stop leak injected in the tire tubes to prevent punctures. I trained for this event staying fairly structured and riding a lot in the mountains, in the heat, rain and darkness. I always kept an eye on the data I was accumulating in order to be able to gauge my pace. Eating and hydrating was tried and tested. I knew the food available was going to lack, so I found the right food I could tolerate for 3 days. Good coffee was non-existent except McDonald’s excuse for espresso in Norton. The bike got trashed from all the rain and debris, such as the manure excreting from the cattle trailers as the blew by inches away. Thankfully, I brought oil for the chain and later bought a can of WD-40 and sprayed the whole drive train to keep the Campy singing!


It helps that I rode at my pace. The first day started at 3AM during the beginning of monsoon. So, for the first 70 miles we all rode in the dark rain with our heads down pondering our sanity. After the first control, a microwave chicken biscuit and a quart of chocolate milk, I ended up riding alone for most the day going east on Hwy. 36. The rain turned to a drizzle/mist and a headwind. And then the rollers. During one of my moments of High Brain Drifter, I wondered why I was dropping in elevation yet gaining vertical footage. Dang! Some of those rollers have over a 5% grade! I also calculated that I was going to rotate my cranks about 165,000 times!  Most of the brain waves were spent staying focused,  or not quitting, or the consequences of quitting, or the next control. What kind of food might be there? Stop the brain, here comes more rain.kansas sunset

At the end of the day, I decided to ride with the next closest rider. I didn’t want to ride this all by myself. I train alone, but not here. I hooked up with Gary Sparks. We rode the next 2 days together. We got to know each other. Kept the pace manageable, stopped when we needed and it was fun. I gave him the nickname Jens. He looked like the hardman in my mirror. Anyone conquering this is a hardman. Jens the Canadien, rode this last year. He was riding an old steel Marinoni with a Campy Valentino gruppo. Classic! Jens converted a trash bag to a full on storm shield!


Deep into the ride, the legs were surprisingly fluid, but the internals were shifting. The stomach began to get irritated. Time for Tums. My back began to complain. Tighten my saddle and dig out the Aleve. And my universal joint was getting tender. Wear 2 pairs of shorts and apply Lantiseptic liberally! Sometimes the rain felt good. Gotta keep them ears soft.

I wanted to stop and sleep when we got to the 3rd bag drop in Byers CO. It was nighttime on the 3rd day with 200k or so to go. The fatigue was taking it’s toll. Jens decided to push through to the finish. Hardman.  I took a 4 hour break. shower, hot food, fresh clothes, re-charge electronics and get some semblance of sleep. The rain finally stopped. Time was on my side.

I left Byers with my new riding pals at about 4:30 AM. It was Vinnie and Theo. We were riding within range of each other the whole trip. Those guys had the ultimate class randonneurring bikes. Unlike racing bikes which all are stripped down, aero-ized, carbon molded look alikes speed demons, the randonneurring bikes are so individualized. Each rider puts a lot of thought to building up there bike that will support them trustfully over every long haul. Vinnie and Theo are from Seattle and Portland. Vinnie is an incredible athlete. This was his 7th Grand this year! Theo, the kid, has done his share of Grand’s. I have a lot of respect for the left coast randonneurs.

theo & vinnie photo courtesy: John Lee Ellis

We slowly made it north to the lovely feedlots of northern Colorado. Ah, my nose was finally getting a shift in the country air! Our route was changed due to the floods that washed out the roads. The roads we did take were full of debris, Surprisingly, no flats except Theo was encountering a slow leak the last few miles. My neck was stiffening and I started to get a bit of double vision. So, maybe there wasn’t as much debris afterall. hmm

As we rolled closer to our finish in Superior, the big city traffic was upon us again. Rudeness arises from those in some self-inflicted rush. The roads on our trip were in pretty good shape and some wide shoulders throughout. There was little traffic except for some of the outlaw agriculture truckers from Kensington to Norton who gave little space. The crew that took care of us at the bag drops were awesome and a friendly sight for my road weary eyes. The hot cocoa was a lifesaver!


I envisioned this when I was riding through the great grasslands. I felt very vulnerable as if I was on a small rowboat in the middle of the ocean with no sight of land. I planned for the worst, hoped for the best and all of it came about, the good, the bad and butt ugly!. I am already planning about my next one!

brevet card me on 1200

Happy Trails…..punk!


A steeple atop every steep climb!

600k brevet card600-sf-shatley-landis-cpmap
My second 600k of the year. This one ran up along the Piedmont and crosses the Eastern Continental Divide 4 times. 26,000 feet of climbing; My first 600 was in eastern NC  ( refer to my earlier blog, “A Full Moon and a Dog on Every Porch 600K”)  a flat and cold brevet and every bit a challenge. Similarities? Agriculturally, there were Christmas tree, paper pulp tree, apple tree farms and vineyards. The warm weather thawed out the winter’s deposit of manure producing the country with a methane stench from cattle and chicken farms. Along the southern edge of the route we rode by old tobacco curing sheds now only used as junk storage, if they were still standing. Oh yes, there were the porch dogs all along the way. All defending their turf with their tough bark but not so threatening. However, two instances in the middle of the moonless night was the sound of howling dens of coyotes. It was a little scary. They weren’t too far off the road and we were in the middle of  BFE nowhere. I am sure glad I was riding along with Joel and Ed then!

shatley springs controled boltz climbing

This route has a lot of hills. So, imagine you are out on a country road either climbing or descending. Each climb requires some degree of effort. Being said, I love my derailleurs!  It seemed that atop of every climb there was a small chapel. Each chapel had a sign with a message. “Get right with God or Suffer!” Why am I suffering then? I got it right with God or I believe so. And why are these churches on the top of the steep hills?

old chapelchurch

The first 400k was just Ed, Joel and myself. I was glad to be riding with guys with PBP experience. They kept the pace steady and we stayed on course. N.Carolina is #1 in the US with paved roads and they are in great shape! However, over a brevet of this size there are so many road changes and name changes of the roads. Very challenging. It seems the turns sneak up on you. The best cue sheet or mapping system has it’s limitations. And when your body is borderline fried and it’s in the middle of the cold night, getting off course can be frightening. Later, my Garmin 800 started to randomly switch from day to night vision mode and then later died.

We road the usual strategy, complete 400k and then rest. With the stupid Daylight Savings Time, we lost an hour and slept for only two. Joel only signed up for the 400 and that left just me and Ed to go the last 200k alone. We rode quite well together and I flashbacked on times years ago riding, training, or racing through these same roads, such as, Shatley Spgs., N. Wilkesboro, Brushy Mountain, Richmond Hill, Mocksville, and finally up Oklahoma Rd to Roaring Gap. Did I say up?

ok road This is the road, but what you don’t see is that it is a steep, steep, steep climb. Consider you have been riding over 34 hours with only 2 hours of sleep. Speed is in the form of a crawl. Legs are screaming…and so is the rest of the body. All I think of is to get to the top and enjoy an amazing descent down Hwy. 21 and about 25 miles to the finish.

The descent was very long. We had to be careful for our bodies were fatigued, bikes were burdened carrying our gear, and the sunset was upon us limiting our visibility. Thankfully, Tony Goodnight, protected our backs buffering us from following oncoming traffic. The road was smooth except where the pavement had separated causing cracks running along the middle of the lane. My bike Freddy, handled like a dream. It’s the best bike I have ever had when it comes to descending mountain roads. It reminds me so much like backcountry skiing linking turns in the powder shifting my position from side to side like banking into each curve. Coasting is such a benefit to long distance rides and this was an ultimate bonus for us!freddy headbadge

We had less than 20 miles to go in the dark. These last miles, like ones I have ridden in the past are painful. I am so eager to finish, but it seems to take so freaking long and yet still, more hills, like pouring salt on a wound. Oh, to get out of my kit, lay down and sleep!

I am grateful Tony put on this event. It was nice to revisit old roads, before I move west and take on the brevets in Colorado! I will always remember this ride and having Ed partner up with me on this journey.

salem fork boys

Ciao y’all!