deCycles Mexico to Canada 2013
Journal Entry
Date: July 4
Day14: Thursday
Departure: Grand Lake, CO
Arrival: Estes Park, CO

Distance:  53-miles.  13.9-mph ave.
Climate:  Foggy, mid 40s at 8100-ft in am.  Sun & clouds and low 50s on top of the world.
Overnight:   Mountainview Bible Fellowship of Estes Park.

Up, up, and away!  This is the big one!  Trail Ridge Road topping out at 12,183-ft in RMNP.  The riders were only doing 53-miles today, but every mile is not created equal.  Rookies are tentative but excited.  Veterans know they can do it because we follow the same path as on last year's trip from SF to Bloomington.  This is the only time a deCycles trip has overlapped part of the route the following year.  This would be considered the best kind of overlap ever.  The scenery is enough to do it over and over again.  And that's just what 5-trip veteran Nick Perhala did.  He went up, then back down, and back up again.  What a cycling monster.

The riders started in the early morning fog.  There were some delays at the entrance of the park due to rangers not understanding our riding format.  Everyone was dressed for the cold, but the weather never threatened as the day wore on.  It took less than 2-hours for everyone to get to the top.  The surroundings were breathtaking.  Lunch was in the Alpine Visitors Center and a final climb to the top after lunch had the riders celebrating by hoisting their bikes up in the air above the snow covered peaks.  What an amazing accomplishment.   Then the downhill.   Wheeeee!  The riders flew down the mountain in full reward for their morning's work.  We hit a light rain towards the bottom, but not enough to cause any misery.  We pedaled through downtown Estes Park and onto our destination.....the same place we stayed last year.  The church surprised us with an unplanned supper.  They are gracious hosts.  Later, the riders were shuttled to downtown to browse the shops and watch the fireworks display over Lake Estes.  The booms rattled the mountain valley.  In bed by 11pm for a century tomorrow to Cheyenne, WY.  Tomorrow will be our last day in Colorado.