Thursday, July 7, 2011

Once in a Lifetime 7/5/11 and 7/6/11

Telluride. Rest Day

After having our arm twisted, we decided to stay one more day in Telluride. We popped into shops about town for hours. Johnny came with us and Matty spent the entire day in the library. I sent out to find underwear being that I left all of mine in a campground shower several cities ago. Let me tell you now, if what you're looking for is a pair of five dollar cotton underwear, Telluride is not your spot. Thirty two freaking dollars for undies? Yeah, but they're breathable and they can also cook breakfast. Forget that.

We had a swell time skipping about town and riding the gondolas. We returned back to the Big Elk homestead and got into the groceries. We prepared ourselves ridiculous dinners and ate like Macaulay Caulkin in Home Alone. Cookies, pancakes, fruit. Ridiculous.

I made pina coladas and the three of us sat in the hot tub and watched the sun set over the mountains. Can't beat it with a stick.

When we got up the next morning, the feast continued. We loaded up on eggs and biscuits and headed out for the day.

Telluride to Montrose

Sun shining, feeling fresh and rejuvinated, we cruise down the mountain toward Montrose at full speed. About six miles in, I feel something akin to rumble strips under the bike. I squint my eyes and try to see through my big, dumb goggles. No rumble strips. I try to shout ahead to Chris but it is a two way street with high traffic and he is going about forty. He can't hear me. I pull over, hoping he will notice in a few miles that I am not in tow. There is a huge bubble in my tire, which I am quite sure is super dangerous on a descent. Eventually Chris comes back up the mountain to find me. We inspect and dismantle. It is proper f$*#ed. The tire has come apart in so many places, it cannot even be duct taped. As soon as I get the idea in my head that we should hitch a ride back into town, I look across the street and see a tan dude who looks like some kind of crocodile hunter. I wave to him and he points a finger at me that says, ' Stay there. I am coming to get you.' His name is John and he has several very interesting books on philosophy in the cabin of his truck. He tosses our bikes in the back in short order and takes us to the door of a bike shop in town. Man, this could have turned out so much worse. We buy a new tire, eat an avocado sandwich and try to leave again.

A fast and easy ride with magnificent descents through the Rockies. Not to mention, Ralph Lauren's teepees. Yeah, I don't get it either but apparently he has a ranch out here. Don told us all about it. I only half-believed him until I saw the big wooden, hand carved sign, DOUBLE R L RANCH. An American flag teepee? Does anyone else see what is wrong with this?

So, Colorado has a monsoon season? Thanks for letting us know. We're right in the middle of it. Everyday, from 2 to 6, it pours. It was not so bad this particular day.

We arrived in Montrose much earlier than expected. Landed in another warmshowers house. Met Rod and Judy, who are made of sweetness. Rod is the quiet, thoughtful type who is handy in every way imaginable. Judy is very Maude of Harld and Maude. When she gets excited about something she literally jumps into the air.

We eat pizza and ice cream with them on their lovely flower wrapped terrace. They are the kind of older couple that everyone wishes to be. They canoe, they cycle, they camp and they own a VW van. They are the grooviest.

Johnny showed up shortly after us and entertained them with his charm and enthusiasm. We set up the tent for Matty. He would be in late as a result of spending the entire day at the library. There's just no tearing him away.

I am starting to actually feel like a real cyclist for the first time. It is much like running for me in that, invariably, for the first mile of every run, I am sure I am kidding. I am not actually a runner. I am not actually capable of doing this. I am the person that throws Soft Batch cookies at runners. I am lazy. I am a smoker. I am a fatty. In the same way, I often feel on the bike like I am faking it. I feel so grateful just to have legs that work. I am stupefied. Like the Talking Heads: "This is not my beautiful wife, this is not my beautiful house."

Once in a while, I look at my legs, at the scenery and back to my legs. "And you may find yourself in a another part of the world.... and you ask yourself, how do I work this?"

It is me. I am actually doing it. If I can do this, I have to ask myself what else I am capable of. So much more, I think.

Johnny with new backpack just like first day of school.
Ralph Lauren's teepees
Matt trying to weigh a bible


  1. The American Landscape dotted with Ralph Lipschitz teepees on 17,000 acre ranches surrounded by teakwood fence visited by Oprah could be a giant art installation, not unlike a Christo, wrapping its uniquely American fabric around the nation's psyche until it resembles something entirely different, yet still what it is; an expression of achievement through commercialism that makes America great and horrible at the same time.

    Love the blog. Keep up the good work!

    Ride Hard, Ride Fast, Ride or Die.



  2. Forgot to post the link to Oprah's tour of the teepees with Ralph: