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September 28, 2010 / jslipschultz

Day 16 and 17: Pagosa Springs CO to Taos NM and Rest Day

Sorry for the late update on yesterday’s epic ride.  We didn’t make it to Taos until 5:30 or so yesterday.  Then we had to check in, clean up, and go to a social hour and dinner.  By time I got to the room, I had just enough energy to call home and brush my teeth.  Asleep by 9:30 PM.

Simply put, yesterday’s ride was long.  The ride had lots of climbing.  The ride had incredible scenery.  And the ride was the longest I had ever done (by 7 miles).  The combination of 7,700 feet of climbing (much of it in a 22 mile span) and the distance made the ride the ultimate challenge.  I’m glad to say that all the cyclists made it (although the last three came in after it turned dark with Karl behind them in the van escorting them in.  We have a tenacious, strong team of cyclists.  I spent the day with Austin and Joseph for a lot of it, but we kept regrouping with Bill and Michael and Dave, too.  It was nice to ride with Michael, as that was his last day.  We’ll miss him.

One weather note:  we have been extremely lucky on this trip weather-wise.  The closest we’ve come to rain so far was a few drops right as we pulled into to Tuba City.  Dave told us yesterday’s ride historically has bad weather (like rain and HAIL).  Although, the start was extremely cold (like in the low 40’s), once it warmed up, it was a beautiful sunny day with little wind.  Just what we needed.

We crossed the state border early in the ride and soon after came upon the sign for the Continental Divide (which was placed at a very unassuming spot–we were nowhere close to our summit point–it even seemed a little flat at that spot).  About 10 or so miles from the hotel, we crossed the Rio Grande.  Pretty neat gorge.   And right around that spot, Joseph got a big surprise.  His girlfriend flew in from Guam and rented a bike and road right along side him to say “Hello, guess who’s here” (she’s a strong rider, too–guess you have to be to ride with Joseph in Guam).  Needless to say, he was very surprised and happy (and found new strength as the two of them biked ahead of the group).

Today is a rest day in Taos (a miniature version of Santa Fe, from what I could tell riding in).  I’ll work and explore a bit with Austin today.  The body desperately needs the rest.  I woke up at 6 this morning and it was the first night of the trip I slept right through.

Pics: border crossing, the Divide, close to the summit, at the summit, the Rio Grande Gorge

NM border  CD  Almost summit  The summit

Rio Grande

Rest Day pics:  Just a few shots of the Square.  I spent about an hour or so walking several miles to get a B12 shot (long story–I have pernicious anemia.  Discovered during the process of getting medical clearance for the ride).  And the bike was being serviced–finally putting on a new bottom bracket.

Square1  square 2

By the numbers:  142.9 miles, 17.1 mph avg, 8:21:47 riding time, 7,700 feet of climbing; Totals 1,256.1 miles, 52,604 ft of climbing.

Helmet-cam: Early in the day climbing; Climbing up the pass; Coming down the pass;

A late video recap:



Leave a Comment
  1. Bill Kemp / Sep 29 2010 2:31 pm

    I’ve been following the blogs (and adventures) of you and your fellow riders. Congrats on a great job. You have been flirting with the old
    SFE for many miles now. It looks like halfway ( in time and miles) will be around Enid somewhere. I’m sure you all know where it lies. The Midwesterner Motel may still be in business there. The wheat elevators may be the only tourist attraction around. Keep it coming,
    you are all going to make it.

    • jslipschultz / Sep 30 2010 4:02 pm

      Hi Bill!
      Yep, we’ve seen the BNSF and the Santa Fe Trail for the last few days (and back in Seligman, of course). Got a few engineers to blow the horn as they raced past us. Today’s ride (Day 19) between Raton and Clayton had us running parallel to the tracks. We crossed them at one point. Yes, the halfway point in days will be end of ride tomorrow. In miles, might be the day after that. We’re all nervous about crossing OK. Wind will be the primary factor determining difficulty.

  2. The Hoots + Whiskee / Sep 29 2010 9:57 pm

    Whiskee would want you to know that this is how he spells his name, he is a little finky as you know! Seemed to like your lap however, or was it the view. Anyway, he had a great time and so did we,.

    Glad you enjoyed the hot springs, I put my toe in the very hottest pool briefly. Do you remember that we told you that the pools supply all the energy for the high school, another unique note to put on your list as you are scouring the country!

    Glad Karl with a K’s girl friend surprised him, sounds like a little romance to brighten-up the trip. loved the pizza, Dick thinks it was the best he remembers every.

    Wish we knew you were going to stay in Taos a while,you probably rode by a very unique green energy place that we have visited. It is before the canyon. If you want to check out the web site called Angles Nest. They have comverted a Hummbee to using hydrogen, very interesting, use gray water eight times. They have a few pattens on board.

    Have a great recovery and ride on!!

    Margot and Dick

  3. Casey / Sep 30 2010 7:23 am

    Jeff, epic to say the least! Great pic of RG Gorge. After Raton, it’s all downhill to Miss river, right? Riiiiight. Hope the group stays healthy from here on out…take care.

    • jslipschultz / Sep 30 2010 3:59 pm

      We had a little bit of climbing to Raton and then some more the next day to Clayton. But yes, things are starting to flatten out (even some slow loss of elevation now. We now are at the mercy of the wind direction. We might be out of the woods on the bug going around. I am flirting with a slight cold, but I think I’ll be fine. Thanks for checking in.

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