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.

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.

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.

My view for many days.
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.

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.


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