Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 9 not exactly as we planned

Mileage - 80
Ride Time - 4 hours

Well today was not exactly what we had planned. We got a bit of a late start today and did not manage to start riding until about 10. The big event today was hancock pass at 11,800 feet. The ride up is supposed to be challenging enough to where there is a detour. On the way to the climb we were notified by another rider that the pass was closed due to snow. He said you could get close and that it was a beautiful ride up so we decided to give it a shot.

I was really nervous about the climb because it was supposed to be very rocky. It also did not help that while we were chatting with the owner of our hotel and happened to mention that we were going over Hancock he said "oh, well as long as you are very experienced riders then you will be fine." Anyway with visions of the most vicious rocks imaginable in my head we pointed the bikes up the road and headed up. In the end it was pretty technical with a few very interesting snow banks you had to cross but all in all I think we did great. We rode up as high as you could get on the road (11,600ft) and then hiked a little to get a few photos. Then my dread of getting back down kicked in. My fear was not justified though as it was not bad getting back down either.

Since the detour took us right back through Salida, where we stayed last night, we decided to stop in at a pizza/brewery that someone had recommended the night before. In town we both agreed that we should just call it for the day and rest up since it was already 2pm and we still had to eat.

It was a beautiful day today and even with the pass closed I am very glad that we went up. Crazy that a pass could still be closed on June 19th. From the look of things it did not look like it was going to be opening up any time soon.

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