Out West Wrap Up

Im home. It’s all over. Done and done. I ended up driving the entire way home Tuesday. 17 hours.  Left Colorado Springs at 830am and pulled in my driveway at 245am. It was a bit tough but Im glad I did it. But I might not ever do that again. Im too old for that shit. The drive was uneventful which is good. I ended up with about 4200 miles total.

I only bought one hotel room the entire trip. Gas came to a bit over $300. I spent less than $20 on food as I took a lot with me and was fed by others pretty much the entire time. Altogether I was gone 9 days and spent less than $450 total. Nice.

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Never ran a tank this low before.

Its kinda a bummer driving such distance with a small gas tank. I had to pull over every 300 miles or so. I cut that last tankful very close. Pulling into my driveway at 245am with 3 miles left in the tank. What a disaster that would have been to run out a mile from home. At that point I was not thinking very straight.

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This is how I ate on the road. Cooler full of sandwich stuff, pull over and have a nice picnic. This was in New Mexico.

So a few thoughts as I close this chapter in my life.

I mentioned the dropper seatpost. I take them off my bikes here in Wisco but those things are much needed and is a necessity out west. Everyone else was having a much easier time of it. We just dont have that kind of riding here. Some downhills were over 45 minutes long and I was on the brink of disaster many times. On Sunday I actually set my seat down a inch and rode it that was all day. Somewhat uncomfortable but sure helps.

Another observation was the disc rotors. I finally understand why these bikes are spec’d with a 180mm rotor. In the last I’ve build these bikes with 160 max. I even put a 140mm on the rear of my cross counrty bikes. But I sure used every bit of that 180mm. Going downhill for an hour was a first for me. In the past it was maybe 5 or so minutes. The big rotor was needed out there. Good brakes in general. I’ve never felt brake fade in my life. I did last Saturday.

Its weird how different specs on one bike can be so overkill here but a way of life over there. I can now understand why bike companies spec what they spec. This type MTBing was all new to me. I’ve never rode in mountains. Just hills.

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My view for many days.
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Another view of Sundays ride.

Im not sure I could live out there. I mean I could but the riding would be very selective. I just can’t climb all those thousand of feet that would be needed. The most I’ve climbed on a day is a bit over 3000 feet. That’s a normal everyday ride out there.

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Scenery to the likes I’ve never seen.

At 57 years old and not in the best of shape Im still glad I went. It was hard for me even with the locals picking out the easiest trails. But the scenery was nothing Ive seen before. It was hard to be careening down a mountain and wanting to see the vista’s at the same time but the others were gracious to let me stop a lot. They understood. That, and I had to lower my heartrate almost constantly.

I also want to thank everybody who took me in, fed me and let me stay places for free. You all made this trip possible. Thanks guys!

I hope to do this all again someday. Maybe make it a yearly pilgrimage. Maybe.

Now its back home and back to work. I spent the entire day at the store (with only 4 hours sleep) to try and catch up. And thats what I’ll do after I stop typing here. Which is right now.

DLD

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