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Feet above sea level in Fruita, co, for the most part the rest of the year i will below 6,000′, alas, less stress on my used body.

Last evening i happened to notice oil on top of my shock: not good. Next stop is Fruita. OTE enjoys my repair confidence. I called ahead from the road to book stand time. James thanked me for my bike service. He noticed that the shock was twisted off vertical which was wrong. Solution as he diagnosed the problem was to disassemble suspension parts. He discovered a bonded fitting had brouen free. I called Turner and spoke with David. Always a great conversation. Long story i am sending the frame back to him for expert repair. OTE is reducing my bicycle to a collection of parts. I am sending the frame parts back to SCAL for repair. I will be Turnerless till mid next week. Will find life experiences hete in grand valley till wheels ate under me again.

13 degrees sun AM in Gunnison, today a bunch of miles west it was 17. Fruita is forecast to stay balmy above freezing.

Return to Gunnison

Thursday I finished up doing city things then drove down to Penitente canyon. Big open spaces driving south on US 285. Turned off highway then drove paved county road then turned off on gravel to complete ride to canyon. Just b4 the final turn special event signs showed up. Some kind of event. I drove into the camp ground looking for a spot. every campsite had a yellow paid sign on then. I drove back to camp ground host to ask what’s up. There is a 12 hour mountain bike race on Sat and the event booked all camp sites. I was allowed permission to spend the night and for me to leave early AM then park at the main TH. I complied.

Sat I asked about the course and learned that it is all marked. I figured they solved my navigation by riding the course. I pedaled off. A little bit of tech then it used double track. Nuts, I thought, the course would miss the fun stuff I rode last weekend with BV folks such as Sunshine Kitty and Rock Drops. Some where around mile 5 the course picked up the tech challenging stuff. The course used almost all the available trail including the fun stuff. I stayed after it stopping only to catch my breath taking 2 hrs 13 mins to pedal 15.6  miles climbing 1735′. Beautiful warm day. I spoke to a race official when I finished. He said record time was 1 hr 20 mins. Maybe when I was younger. He said they had 95 racers signed up. I hung around for awhile enjoying sunshine warmth.

I highlight roads I have driven on in my worn tattered road atlas. I saw that highway 114 was undriven which is another route to cross the Divide on the way to Gunnison. I drove west stopping for the night at Buffalo Creek XG on the east side of the divide. Small XG shared with just a few other campers. Today I finished the climb over the Divide them down slope into Gunnison. I reconnected with Bill and Susan from Tomichi cycles. I needed to visit instead of just passing thru. Great people.

Sunshine sort of warm day but blasted by strong winds. Too windy for my enjoyment. I will hang here for the night and ride tomorrow.

Next stop is Junction / Fruita.

I need to make mail forwarding arrangements for Fruita which will hold me there until mail receipt.

Sunshine with clear skies at night for temps below freezing. I filled propane today to get me thru next several days. Always great to stay ahead of an empty tank.

The aspens have shed their leaves leaving just  bare trunks. They were the source of the golden fall colors. No reds here.

Canon City

 

My last look up into the night sky on Sunday night was star filled. Forecast was calling for snow starting around 5. I crawled into bed just about 11. Winds blasted broadside rocking me like a cradle in a tree. Rocking blasting. Maybe the weatherman was on to actual. About 5 I woke up listening to the sounds of snowflakes hitting sheetmetal. Flakes fell to cover the entire windshield. Snow continued to fall during breakfast. Snug under layer of snow.

snow remained up higher, down lower snow melted

A rest day enhanced by snow on the ground. I visited Dave inside his house. I slipped going down bare steps landing on my right arm etc. I made range of motions to learn if I damaged it, Shoulder movement was acceptable. Solar panel was covered by snow till afternoon. I drove out for coffee beans, propane refill, and groceries. Local coffee roaster. Drove onto grocery store parking lot choosing a drive thru spot beside a car that was slightly skewed in the lane. Driving away I did not account again for the turning radius for length of van as I turned right into her front end. I was stuck to her car. I wrote the license plate down and walked into the store to customer service. PA announcement produced a woman who said that might be her. I told her what I did and asked her to come outside. Yes it was her car. Driver door would not open. She crawled in from the passenger side. I turned her steering wheel as she backed up to free herself from my unwanted contact. Bigger crease on the left side with the slider door dented, it still opens which is what is needed. Another insurance claim.

I bought a new belt to fit my smaller waist as the 30 inch belt won’t keep my britches up.

Spent night on the road side in front of Dave and Mekelle’s house. Dave and I made a plan to drive down to Canon City to ride Oil Well Flats trails as it will prolly be snow free as it is further east and at 6,000’ 2,000’ below BV. Plan changed as Paul called to say he will go down and spend the night. Mekelle was off today allowing her to come.

Paul and I drove down Arkansas River to Canon City where Paul has trail familiarity. He changed our plan from riding Oil Well 2X to ride the South Canon(trails?) that were prison theme named as we rode Hard Times and Great Escape among others. A large prison is in the town hence the easy name selections. Purpose built chunky trails.

S canon city trails

We shared the trail with 8 legs making good tracks.

14 miles climbing  1584’. Beautiful day. Put this trail system on your radar. Paul set a brisk pace faster than I could match. Mostly pedaling little gawking.

We finished our day out at Oil Well Flats camp spot. Dave and Mekelle arrived later.

Today we luxuriated in the warming sun. Forecast was for 70 under sunny skies. Fall chill in the air. What a ride here albeit less technical. These trails really work me. Oil Well Flat trails. Still a hump. 13.2 miles climbing1398′

Paul and Mikelle
Mikelle, Paul, Dave on Island in the sky

We encountered a man and woman riding towards us. She was riding a new full suspension bike making a good go of a rocky descent. She stopped right beside me. I noticed that she was using 2 fingers on her brake levers and the levers were not adjusted for efficiency. I tipped her on how to use her brakes using just 1 finger. Later we caught up with her. This time I offered to adjust her levers and she permitted. She is on the city council. I talked with her later in the parking lot as I was interested in community support for these great trails as she was wearing a Tshirt logoed for these trails. She said that tourism is the second biggest economic engine and the city is paying a trail crew. How great.  13.2 miles climbing 1398’. Add Canon City to your bucket list.

We hung in the parking lot enjoying the sun. They left back to home and I stayed in the parking lot. My lack of planning needed attention requiring focus.