Sunday, June 30, 2013

Day 40 - Getting "Vanned" and Climbing Another Pass

Colorful Colorado!!

Yesterday, Austin, Marcus, Dan, and I were a mile away from the host when we saw lightning. We were so close to the host site so we decided to continue even though Bike and Build rules say that you need to pull over when you see lightning. Because we broke the rules, we had to be "vanned" until first lunch, which means you ride in the support van for the number of miles until lunch. At first, we were all pretty bummed because today was our longest day of the summer: 116 miles. But we made the best of it and had fun with a few people who have been riding in the van a lot due to various ailments. 

The can crew today!

After we arrived at first lunch at about mile 40, we ate some PB&J and hit the road. We had another mountain climb coming up and we didn't want to get caught in a storm on the pass. After climbing some foothills, we headed down a long, beautiful stretch with a slight tailwind behind us. We averaged 20 mph during that 20 mile stretch. We were flying!!  Dan looked down at his speedometer, "26-28 mph?? That's how fast the peleton goes!" he said referring to the Tour de France. Our route paralleled the beautiful mountains which were almost unreal they were so gorgeous. 

Our view from the road. 

We had a 12 mile climb after that which was not as bad as the climb we had the day before. The grades were less steep even though the altitude was about just as much. The air seemed easier to breath today which hopefully means I am becoming better acclimated. 

The descent was awesome as usual. It wasn't as technical or as fast as the descent yesterday but we passed by beautiful rock formations as we flew down the mountain. I wish I could have taken pictures but that is one thing that you have to see in person to really understand. 

We pounded out 27 more miles after the descent after taking a long break for lunch. We sat in the shade of this restaurant that was closed and people kept come up to us and asking about where they could get some food. I guess we looked like locals, but I'm not sure how because we all had on our matching bike kits and our weird tan lines which are not really typical around these parts!

Tonight, we walked to downtown Pueblo and sat in a sports bar and watched the Tour de France. For some reason, even though we've been biking all summer, it was still awesome to watch the Tour on television. "We definitely look that legit," we said as we watched the peleton race across through the streets. 

Well that is all for today! Tomorrow we have a short 50 mile day into Colorado Springs and then we spend a week there building a house with Pike's Peak Habitat or Humanity! It will be so weird to spend a week off the bike!!! I can't believe it's July 1st tomorrow. I never want this trip to end. 

Our lunch spot today


  1. Elaina,

    Am trying to read your blog every day as if you get behind it takes some time to catch up. As I mentioned in an earlier post you are doing God's work and we are so proud of you and your team. Please tell them okay.

    We will be together for the 4th and will pray for you and the group as we gather around the campfire each night.

    Hoping that a week of building is not as grueling as a week of biking! ha.

    Mom is on her way so that is good!

    Love you hon.
    Aunt Lynne

  2. Hi Elaina - thanks for keeping such a good blog. Lightning is pretty scary - ask Chris about the bolt that hit near us on 3 week tour in the northwest. The unexpected bolt (storm clouds looked far away) made the air pop and sizzle. Chris insists it hit to the right of us. I think it was just to the left. Too close!

    Sorry you got vanned but glad you are safe. But remind Marcus that lightnIng hits the highest spot so YOU are safe if you two ride side by side. :)

    Andrew (Chris's dad)

  3. Colorado Springs! Fond memories from 40 years ago! You didn't mention the temperature or fire. Hope both are going easy on you all.

    Have fun building and enjoying Colorado.

    Love, Aunt Cathy