Well the Rockies finally gave us a run for our money. We had a 52 mile day consisting of A LOT of climbing and little descent. Luckily we were again blessed with frontage roads and bike trails. We climbed through Vail Pass and I felt pretty gipped when I got to the summit and there wasn't even a summit sign waiting to reward my efforts...the Vail Pass Trail sign was the next best thing.
Probably the funniest things of the day were the words of encouragement painted on the bike road along Vail Pass. There were a bunch of "Allez" (let's go) and even a large portion of painted cheerleaders accompanied by "Be Aggressive, Be, Be, Aggressive." I had to laugh at that. It made me think of Jock Jams Vol. 3. Too bad it was already so steep I don't know if I really could have clipped back in had I stopped to take a picture, so unfortunately the painted cheerleaders on the road are left up to your imaginations.
The last few miles provided yet more glorious views and great people. With the paths winding and splitting off constantly, I continued to ask "Which way to Keystone?" Lucky for me, biking seems to be a sport of choice in the area and people were very helpful along the way, ensuring I was not adding on more mileage and climbing than necessary.
Wally and Bobbie, two Illinois Wesleyan Cross Country and Track & Field teammates and some of my best friends decided to join me for the ride tomorrow. They are among 5 of the men's team runners that opted to train at altitude this summer in Boulder, CO. They are having quite the experience themselves and added to the summer's list of experiences with their trek from Denver to Keystone today. They pretty much experienced a lot of the same problems we had our first days of the trip (bike issues, directions, fatigue, dirt roads, and so on), but they made it to Keystone in one piece, ready to get back on the bike again in the morning.