Day 21: Jesus at 11,312 feet

Sunday, July 23rd. We are in Cotopaxi, CO.

The tepee was a bad idea. We woke up at 5:45 am absolutely freezing (we’re at 8,500 feet) and proceeded to lay around in bed for another hour making bad jokes and every attempt to avoid going out into the cold. No tents to tear down, no sleeping pads to roll, almost nothing to do and every excuse to try to stay warm.

Today we climbed to well over 11,000 feet (3,500m) in the first 10 miles and then mostly descend for the rest of the day. Luckily it didn’t rain at all on the way up or down. Tomorrow we make one or two more minor climbs and then we enter eastern Colorado and relatively flat elevation for over a thousand miles.

The climb this morning was magnificent and ended with a sprint to the top. I don’t know if you know this, but there isn’t much air at over 11,000 feet. After the 200m sprint to the summit, I felt more exhausted than I have this entire ride. It’s impossible to get enough air when you put your body into overdrive.

At the top we tried to haggle our way for free onto a $7 tram that would take us up another thousand feet or so. The tram operator responded, and I quote: “Cancer charity? Lookit, even if Jesus his-self wanted to ride the tram he’d have to pay.” We thought he was bluffing, so we dressed Ezra and his curly locks up in a robe.

The tram attendant wasn’t bluffing.

(FYI, he really does make his grandchildren pay to use the tram)

We descended about 25 miles and are currently kicking it in a wonderful little town called Salida at a solid 7,500 feet or so. So on top of a late start on the day, we stuck around in Salida for hours and even watched the new Pirates movie. By the time we left it was almost 7pm, and we’ve never been on the road past 4pm. We cycled like champs for the 25 remaining miles, keeping an average speed of 25-30 mph and a tight formation. This is something we’ll be doing a lot of once we hit the Kansas flats.

Today’s Numbers:

Miles cycled: 70
Flat tire tally: 16 (John got two)
Miles John rode on a flat tire: 8 (god only knows why)
Rockies conquered: 1
Sacrilege committed: 3.4
Employees at the cinema: 1

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8 Responses to “Day 21: Jesus at 11,312 feet”

  1. Zane Pierce Says:

    That Jesus bit was truly hilarious. (I think that God will forgive you. : ) ) By the way, Ezra, why don’t take a break from READING books and WRITE a lil’ journal entry for your peoples.

  2. Steve Says:

    Its all smiles at Monarch Pass, you look good. Could you see Baltimore from there or were the tornado cloulds of Kansas intervening.

  3. Rachel Says:

    You guys look good. Your thighs look so thick and manly… and sweaty…
    My thoughts are with all of you. I hope you are healthy and happy.

  4. Kim Says:

    Hi Team. My sister and I enjoyed meeting you all on Sunday in Salida (in spite of the awkward initial introduction!!). Your entries are quite entertaining and we plan on checking in for the remainder of your trip. Best of luck on the rest of your journey and beyond!!

  5. Alison Says:

    Great work guys, keep on pedalling we’ll be checking your progress.

  6. Dalene Says:

    Just checking in to see how you all are doing and could not resist doing a post at The Cancer Blog about the tram operator.

  7. » If Jesus his-self wants to ride the tram he’d have to pay Says:

    [...] They have blogged gorgeous scenery seen and generous people met. They have also discovered where the Grinch works his summer job. In case you don’t know, because I didn’t, the Grinch is running the tram somewhere near Cotopaxi, Colorado. [...]

  8. Dave Says:

    YOO..i did that this summer…i was going west though….awesome..very awesome

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