Date: April 1st, 2017
From/To: Salida, CO to Cortez, CO
Daily Mileage: 25 miles (by bike)
Total Mileage: 1805 miles
Current Elevation: 6150 feet
Conditions: Partially cloudy, temperature above and below freezing
I didn’t have a chance to conquer Monarch Pass, the weather wasn’t going to allow for that. The only reasonable alternative was to drive through the pass and start biking on roads that weren’t covered in snow.
The plan was to head south to warmer weather. It’s against my wishes, but I had to accept the weather and plan accordingly. We made sure to leave Salida early so I’d have time to ride throughout the day once we made south of Montrose. Even so the temperature remained subfreezing when I was descending through the mountains. It wasn’t that I had a headwind by any means, it was freezing because I had just finished an 8 mile climb to the summit of Lizard Head Pass, then I descended on the other side through the cold air. Even with my breathable Gore-Tex I was sweating profusely on the climb and it turned to a cold damp feeling once I started the effortless downhill ride. I tried to distract myself by imagining how nice the ride would be in May or June but I still froze. I reached Rico, a small town south of Montrosa, and decided to call it. Mom drove the additional 45 miles southwest to Cortez. I’ve had to make some tough calls over the last few days, it was going to be spotty with the weather regardless, but I ended up running out of luck in the Rockies. I certainly got some good riding in, but I’ll have to return someday to ride through these parts when the weather is more forgiving.
We drove (the descent) to Cortez in about an hour, arriving around 2:30. We found a place to have a late lunch and made out way to the hotel mom had booked after that. We both took a long nap upon arrival. I’m still recovering from my virus and I think mom unfortunately caught whatever I’ve had the last few days. Hopefully we’ll both be feeling better over the next few days, we’ll be traveling through some of the more amazing sights this country has to offer. Tomorrow I’ll be passing through the 4 Corners, and soon on to Monument Valley.
Enjoy The ride,