A special thanks to Bernard, Kristen and the R&S West team for getting some new rubber on relatively quickly this morning. Heading back up north to Chama, NM where I left the trail yesterday. Hope to be in CO by dark with 100 miles of trail in for the day.
End of day Update: I am sitting at Three Barrel Brewery in Del Norte CO right eating some fantastic pizza and and drinking some very solid beer. I booked another hotel… taking the lazy way around apparently. But… the Windsor Hotel in Del Norte is amazing. I travel a lot for work and have stayed in some very decent places… but this place is beautiful. When you ride The Divide time the riding so you can stay here. It was built in 1876 and the current owners took 20 years to restore it… seriously an impressive place. Plus there are apparently home made croissants and jam in the morning 🙂
The Riding: Despite a late start, had an amazing day of riding. New Mexico was great, but in my 14 years of riding, nothing can beat Colorado (so far). I hit some really sweet tight trail up to 12,700ft (video below), saw a bunch of curious marmots (I know someone that will be happy about this) and just enjoyed riding in CO. I am going to let the video and pics do the rest of the talking on the riding.
This is the third time I have been to CO in the last 6 weeks. The first time I came to CO was when I was ten with my family… its weird but even at ten I knew this was my spot and i have made the trip as often as possible since!
Not Riding: With the down time getting my tires changed I reflected a bit on people I have met in the first 4 days of travel. I have said it before and I will say it again… when I ride, I am typically helmet on… dont talk to people… go go go type person. A chance meeting with a pretty rad group of around the world adventure riders at the beginning of the August has twisted my norm around (follow Pascal, Janine and Phillippe http://ertw2015.wixsite.com/ertw the Aug 3rd post is about the best 2 days of rising I’ve had). Now I try to slow it down and stop to talk to people. Today I met three great people in Albuquerque. First is Bernard. Bernard is the Service Manager at R&S West in ABQ, he has been wrenching on bikes for 53 years, having started in England in 1963 at a Honda Dealership… he was the guy working on and assembling the “You meet the nicest people on a Honda” bikes. Then a guy comes riding in on a VStrom 1000. He sees my muddy and traveled DR next to all of my gear spread out on the sidewalk. He asks “Big Trip?” I half mutter, yep… riding from Mexico to Banff offroad along the Continental Divide. He cracks a huge smile and says “Congratulations and smacks my back” and then tells me where the best breakfast burritos are (with green chiles) and within walking distance… I liked Chris immediately. Turns out he is an operations guy for a tech company with roots in Phoenix. Chris has to get a faaaast fix on an oil leak and meet up for a group ride in Arizona… I think he made it. Third person is Kristen. She works at R&S. Born and raised in ABQ and was just truly interested in my ride. I am riding for me and loving every second of it… but everyone I talk to seems to have wanted to do something similar and immediately wants to know the details and they get excited hearing about the trip. I hope I can leverage my experience to inspire others to dive in and “Just Go”…. whatever that means for them.
In other news… I put on 100 spf today but still have some wicked helmet sunburn. Other, other news… i’m a little bit behind but now I am into the good stuff. Heading into the Crested Butte region tomorrow. Its off-trail… but CB will always have my heart… I tell ya… it’s a Butte! If I make solid time I am hitting it up!