Tuesday I drove back over Divide to Loveland for frige install. Big climbs on I-70 from 9,000 @ Breck to 11,103 @ tunnel then down to Loveland @ 5000′. I left sleep spot up Swan river rd, wake up it was 32 degs. Left in time to ride Devil’s Backbone outside of Loveland. Wanted to earn what 4 days of higher elevation riding and moving my saddle a bit forward. Worked great: I rode the anticline rock @ slower pace while keeping my front wheel on the rocks. Was satisfied.
Made DM RV for 2:00 appointment. About 1 hour and new frige correctly installed was in van. Called Suzy for shower & conversation, she had a gig going w/ her kids and needed to leave her house earlier than frige install.
Frige is in, cost $1,000. Now the reimbursement starts. A Northwest Norcold rep contacted me for warranty process. he wants claim number and pics taken that show Van Specialties install. Called DM to ask for claim number. I was told that claim number is created after Norcold accepts an issue. One of the parties misunderstand the claim process. Time will tell who pays & how much I get for failed frige.
Rear hub loosens allowing rear wheel to wiggle in drop out. I stopped @ bike shop in Loveland for a wrench to evaluate the hub. I was concerned that the looseness came from inside hub that i couldn’t tighten. He checked out bike and determined that just the bearing preload needed to be tightened that i can do. Hub rebuild still good. He told me about trails outside of Lyons.
Wed AM driving S on I-25 after sleep @ PUSH parking lot I read the exit sign for Lyons. What the heck, I exited and worked my way to Lyons and found Heil Ranch TH. Wet fog dampened the earth. I was getting geared up when a guy walking 2 dogs stopped to chat. He saw my van and was curious about my travels. He was just back after a 4 month motorcycle tour of S America. Perhaps we had sim experiences. He told me that he and a buddy are creating a documentary on mtn biking and wondered if I would share my thoughts. His name is Steven. I said, call me.
I pedaled off in the mist on a well built mtn bike trail. Lower part was in clay mud that was slippery: counter steering rear end after front wheel slid thru mud. Climbed up a valley leaving mud and switchback climbing up thru P-pine woods. By now rain is falling, just b4 trail junction lightning struck. I was in trees higher than me. Turned around & rode back down. Rock seems to slab off in nice paving sections which were used to armor the trail. Back in the clay mud now wetted and more slippery. I steered the front differently to allow rear to slide its own way.
Back @ TH Steven & I reconnect. He invites me to his house for a shower and interview. His buddy Barlow can’t make it. Steven & I get into some heady discussions, eventually i lost focus & energy to keep the discussion going. I invited him to dinner in my van. Steven is 28 as are his buddies. Kids. I fixed Captain Craig chicken that Rebecca renamed. We concocted a plan for ride on Thurs.
My bottom bracket still has issues causing it to wobble. Another Chris King component requiring special parts & tools. In small town of Lyons are 2 bike shops. I walked down to closer one Redstone Cyclery several blocks from Steven’s sister’s house. Small shop. Dave, the owner, recognized me from a past Moab meeting. He works on Kings. Cool. left & returned w/ my bike. He worked on it next like a destination shop. Found that i just needed a metal spacer and I am good. Fixed it for free. Great knowledgeable service.
Steven’s plan was for me to meet him @ Barlow’s house in Boulder @ 3:00. Found the Whole Foods grocery store I visited previously in Boulder. As I am getting out of my van a wiry man in plaster splatter overalls, shaved head and nose ring approached me. He has been reading my blog. He is Scotch. We talked for awhile. Spent $ for good eats.
Drove to Barlow’s house. He has a collection of early mtn bikes. Friend Steve joined the 3 of us as he had a rig to drive 3 bikes to Nederland and West Magnolia trails. We take off driving up Boulder Canyon into rain threateneing skies. As we are gearing up @ TH the skies open up. 55 degrees & rain. Not all had rain jackets. We set out in rain. Shortly it quit & skies cleared. Nice ride on mtn bike built trails. A bit woods muddy which is far cleaner than clay mud. Steve needed to be home early making a short ride.
I found the last spot to camp. Nederland has no internet access. Another high elevation camp. Plan for today was to ride @ 8:00 from parking lot. Steven, Barlow, & Mike, a former IMBA staffer, arrived a new location was decided: Mud Lake. Back down canyon thru Nederland then up to Mud Lake. Barlow is an explorer and learned the trails. Another shot ride because of their schedule. Really liking my bike. 28 yos who can pedal left me gasping on uphills. Today i rode harder such that I had pain in m y lower lungs like racing causes.
Back @ TH Steven & Barlow get their interview.
I drove down to Nederland and parked on street. I wanted to look @ rusted steam shovel @ their mining museum. precious metals extraction was the former economic engine. Veins played out long ago. I was taking pics of actual steam shovel when a woman, Dawn, pedaled up on a mtn bike. She was so excited. She asked if I was the guy mtn biking the states. She just read the article. Yes I said and then we visited. A guy, walked up that she knew. His name is Rick and he is Fire chief & law enforcement officer in Nederland. I liked Dawn.
CO has medical pot. Nederland has like 18 distributors ( growers and sellers of medical pot) in this small town. Maybe overkill per Rick. I am curious as to the effect medical pot has on community. He said other than rep for Nederdam, like Amsterdam, that’s it. He is sorting out legal ramifications of firemen driving fire engines w/ pot in their system. He found that OSHA does not allow for pot use. He is sorting out how to deal w/ his volunteers.
Bucyrus Erie built these steam shovels, largest land machine in its day back in the 20s & 30s, only 1 remains. Lots of precious metals mining in center part of state.
I continued my way to Breck via Central City which was the richest square mile on earth back in its day from metals. Today it is historical complete w/ lots of gambling casinos. In the town there are tipple piles among the house excavated into canyon sides.
Found KOA @ top of hill for $5.00 shower. Filled h20 tank that was almost empty. The sink pump seems to loose prime when tank gets about 3 gal low. When real low the pump runs trying to pull left overs into pressure tank. The pump will turn on & run even when i am not around. Today when i returned from my ride the pump was running. This hurts the pump & burns electric.
Made Frisco which is N of breck for internet access. Rebecca from The Hub bike shop in Green Bay is only able to make it to Keystone. Husband Dave is swamped @ bike shop & stayed behind. Hope to meet her SAT or Sun during her stay.
I pull off I-70 and park ion a Best Western parking lot for internet access. John, the facilities manager checked out my van. During the course of the early conversation he asked if I was going to stay here. I hadn’t intended to but I asked him if I could just in case. he said yes, the trick he said is to ask instead of poach. He is 77 and is very physically active in motorsports and skiing. He still flies his 4 person Piper. We talked, mostly him for almost an hour. He wants to exit life w/ a well worn body.
Today is the 2 year anniversary of my first day of living in my van. I had to be out of my house. I left on a road trip around WA state. On the 14th I was recovered from my left rotator surgery repair so i could start riding again. I left officially on my mtn biking the states on the 18th.
The motel is right under I-70 and main drag up canyon, going to be traffic noise. Might stay here anyway.