Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I Did It!

Well, I finally did it! I achieved my summer goal of riding my bike from Glenwood Springs to Aspen along the Rio Grande Trail. I started out about 7:30 am while the air was still a bit nippy and the sun hadn’t quite poked up over the mountains.

Only forty miles to go.

I soon began to wonder where the bathrooms were. I found the Carbondale Rec Center which is just off the trail and the desk ladies clued me in to those places near the trail you could use if needed, including their own beautiful facility. This was going to be a great day.

Here’s where the Trail crosses over Hwy 82. A little spot called Wingo Junction. Gotta love a place called Wingo Junction!

Loved this mural along the path. Yes, indeed, when pigs fly! But why is everyone on the trail going in the opposite direction from me?

My next surprise was two train cars which appear to be homes. One had a lovely deck built at one end and the other had a satellite tv hookup. The Rio Grande Trail is built on the old Rio Grande railway corridor and I suspect these cars just never made it off the track.

Then came a very welcome sight : the Aspen slopes. Wow, I was getting close.

These folks rafting in the Roaring Fork River looked like they were having a lot more fun than I!

Now for the MOST WELCOME SIGHT OF ALL: The end of the trail and dear husband with a picnic lunch. Under five hours -- four hours and twenty minutes of actual pedaling, I had finished the Rio Grande Trail.

Finished. I love my bike which I bought almost ten years ago to do a triathlon, but I think I need a new, softer seat! And now I know why everyone else on the Trail was going the other way. It may only be an average of 2% grade but downhill (Aspen to Glenwood Springs) is probably a whole lot easier. Nonetheless, I can say that I rode the Rio Grande Trail the hard way! And for me, that's quite an accomplishment.

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