These are some photos and videos from a great road biking trip that Dan King organized
and I happily came along for the ride. Thanks to Dan and to Sheila (best SAG driver of the
year!) for a great trip and I look forward to hosting next year in Canada.

Day 1 - Glenwood Canyon to Glenwood Springs


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Our first day was really more of a travel day than anything as I had to make it in from Canada and
Luca had to drive from Fort Collins to Boulder. After a few hours drive, we made it to Glenwood
Canyon and the start of a short, but beautiful, ride. Here is a map view of our short 20 km ride.


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Luca Vassalli came back for another year of fun - this time in better shape! Here he is getting ready for
our first outing.


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I call this 'Andy and the two neon kids'.


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Yeah, that's right - about 5 minutes into the ride, Luca got a flat tire. Dan expresses his discontent
for the event.


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The view looking into the start of the Glenwood Canyon, with I-70 above and to our right, the Colorado River
to our left and a beautiful trail to ride. More on Glenwood Canyon HERE .


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Luca and a section of the trail that had been washed out. We had to 'portage' our bikes a few km down the
so that we could finish the trail.


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Even with such a small section of trail, we still managed to lose our SAG driver. Thanks for great
coverage AT&T!


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Some blurry photos from the Glenwood Springs Hot Springs pool - the largest hot springs pool I've
ever seen! It was like 2 Olympic-sized pools long.


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Luca, hanging out in the pools.


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Andy is stretching his legs out in the hot water. Total distance on day 1 - 20 km, and not much elevation.


Day 2 - Glenwood Springs to Hotchkiss, CO


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We awoke to a 'not-standard' Colorado day of rain/cloud. Dan informs me that I'm the bad luck and
they get >300 days of sunshine a year. I don't believe it for a second. Here Sheila poses for me
just before we start our day of riding. She was the sunshine for us on day 2.


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The first section of the ride was along a bike path, which was great since it had zero traffic (although
I still managed to knock Dan off his bike...). The views were just starting to open up as we left
Glenwood Springs. Dan and Andy led Luca and I for most of the trip.


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We stopped for a short break at a group of old coke ovens that are being renovated, near Redstone, CO.
For those of you unfamiliar with steelmaking, this is a crucial step in making high strength steel.
Here is a short piece from the NY Times talking about the renovations HERE .


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A nice shot of Luca looking back along the Crystal River, from where we came.


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A brief hint of sunshine as we climb the very tough McClure Pass. Dan left me long in his dust,
but I steadily pushed up the climb. About 1300 feet in 3 miles, so it just kept going.


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Somewhere back there are the Maroon Bells, but we didn't see them on this trip. I give McClure Pass
the Paul Perrault stamp of approval though.


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When I got to the top of the pass (not quite 9000 feet but about 5 deg C), I asked Dan whether he
was cold. 'Of course not!', he replied and immediately pulled up his shirt to prove it.


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Another shot proving we made it up the pass (or at least we were there!).


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When we all got to the pass, Sheila graciously put the heat on and we warmed up in the car. Gotta love
your SAG driver! After waiting out the torrential rain, we figured we could make it through the pouring
rain. It turns out we were wrong, and we made another detour for a rain break in the van. Finally,
the rain broke, and here is Luca looking down the North Fork of the Gunnison River before we start our
super-fast descent down to Hotchkiss.


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Dan and Andy are taking some layers off now that the temperature is above freezing and the rain
finally stopped.


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Once we got down through the reservoir area and down to the valley level, the views were actually
quite magnificent. This is the view as we got into Paonia, just shy of Hotchkiss. Total distance on
day 2 - 130 km and 1079m total elevation gained.


Day 3 - Hotchkiss to Gunnison, CO


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Day 3 began with a short climb out of the valley bottom and a consistent grade all the way to Crawford.
I caught a shot of our crew (nicely matching) in red as we cruised through the morning.


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Dan thought these horses looked cool.


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Andy with some of the mesas around Crawford.


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I got to ride with Luca for some of our morning on Day 3. Here he is as we're climbing from Crawford
up to the North Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.


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This is coming down a short hill and was the first view I had of the Black Canyon.


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Yes, this is actually blue sky as we were climbing up to our high point of the day.


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The view looking into the Black Canyon was pretty sweet.


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You can see some of the fall colours starting to make their presence known (as well as Dan's butt as
he makes his way in front of me).


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This is not ugly at all folks.


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I'm going to say that I beat Dan to the top of this climb even though he was ACTUALLY the first one to
the summit since I was racing to where the SAG van was. :)


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Me, looking out towards Gunnison.


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Dan, looking down at the Morrow Point Reservoir.


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Andy, with the same view.


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This proves I was actually there as well. It looks like some 'not-sun' in the distance.


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As we steadily descended back down to the reservoir, we had a number of really pretty mesas and
landscape to enjoy. I saw 'descended', but I think we put on almost as much vertical gain on the
way down as on the way up.


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A pretty cool view looking into the canyon.


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I think, from here, this is actually the Gunnison River.

Video of the end of Day 3



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Here, Dan is pointing out where he last saw Andy. He's sitting by the Blue Mesa Dam.


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Dan and Sheila at the Blue Mesa Dam. We decided to call it a day shortly after this stop since we were
all pretty baked and were a little worried about US 50 and the amount of truck traffic.


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Luca, member of the Swiss National Team, and the Blue Mesa reservoir.


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A great sign right at the entrance to US 50 highway. Don't worry, honey, I've got all the equipment
you need! End of day 3 with 87km distance and total 1565m vertical gain.


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After soaking for some time in our hot tub, we took a short drive to Crested Butte for dinner.
This is a neat sculpture of a skier as we're coming into town.


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I thought Big Al's Bicycle Heaven was worthy of a spot on my website.


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We followed my good friend Jordan Disko's recommendation for dinner and went to the Secret Stash for
pizza. We went a step further and ordered his suggested fig pizza. This one here is called the
Booty Call and has meat and cheese, with extra meat and cheese, and a side of meat and cheese. This
was definitely my favourite pie.


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This is the vegetarian with grilled veggies, which was good, but not Blow-My-Head-Off-Amazing.


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Here is Dan, showing off the figalicious pizza. I would have never ordered this without Jordan's suggestion
so thanks for the inside scoop buddy! Dan loved this pizza and so did Sheila. I took pictures for Natalia
so that she could see a fig pizza. She makes a mean turkey and fig panini, so I wanted to show this delicacy.


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Here is Andy showing off the pizza box we took our leftovers home in.


Day 4 - Plan for Gunnison to Montrose, CO


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Our morning started with a beautiful day and a rainbow that actually touched down really close to
where we were riding.


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Shortly after we started our ride, the rains started. We tried to wait it out in the heat of the SAG wagon
pulled over by the reservoir, but 5 deg C and pouring on US50 is a pretty good time to consider doing something
else. We made an executive decision to shift our ride to the west and instead went for a tour of the Black Canyon
National Park. This is the view from the top of the south rim.


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The Black Canyon gets the Paul Perrault stamp of approval.

View from the South Rim of the Black Canyon



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Andy with a view out to the Black Canyon.


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The tights are a nice touch.

Looking across to the North Rim



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The canyon is almost as deep as the Grand Canyon, going down something like 2500 feet to the Gunnison River.


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A seriously big hunk of rock across to the north rim.


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I thought the veins in the rock looked pretty cool.

Going for a ride in Montrose, CO


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So, we got to Montrose and the sun came out. After a warm-up hot chocolate and coffee, we found a local bike
shop to get directions for a fun ride and headed out to at least get a few miles in. This is the view for our
ride tomorrow towards the Western San Juan Mountains to the south.


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Dan and Luca on the ride up to Dave Wood road.

Video of the top of Dave Wood road



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Luca likes to ride without his hands.

A view into the Western San Juans



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A better look zoomed into the mountain range we're biking to next. The sage brush was pretty much everywhere
and smelled like turkey stuffing.


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Luca and Dan posing with the sun out.

Video of the descent back into Montrose, CO



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Dan, stretched out on his bike.


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Andy Minden, taking a ride around Montrose, CO.


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For dinner, we went to a local brewpub called Horsefly Brewing, where we found good beer, great pretzels,
and I had a burger that was half ground beef and half ground bacon! Total distance for day 4 was 65 km,
and about 500m elevation gain.

Day 5 - Montrose to Ouray


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Our last day of riding started with a sunshiny morning from the hotel. I caught a shot of Dan and Sheila
exchanging pleasantries before we headed out.


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I caught the back of Luca in Montrose as we were heading out of town.


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Dan's enjoying a good day on the bike.


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A great view looking down towards Ouray.


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A nice view of Dan climbing up one of our last passes.


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Dan thinks this ride doesn't suck at all.


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I even got a photo of me enjoying the views too.


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After a full morning of riding, we arrived in Ouray ready for a picnic.


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The hot springs pool in Ouray.


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Luca and Dan at the end of our ride.


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Here is some of our amazing picnic. I'm holding a peach dipped in almond butter.


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After a relatively short day, I wanted just a little more riding so Andy and I headed up the three last
switchbacks to the end of town for another view.

Video of Ouray Lookout Point



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Apparently, Ouray is banking on Switzerland's reputation. No one would take Swiss francs though.


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The town of Ouray is right inside a box canyon.


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The hotel we stayed at has their own hot spring pools right outside the hotel. Here's some info
about the hot springs.


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I think it's neat that many years ago, hot springs were mostly used to cure insane people.


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The view from the top of the hill above the hotel looks up to the amphitheatre.


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Here's Andy sitting in one of the pools.


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Dan and Sheila enjoying one of the hotter pools.


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Some neat rocks above the town of Ouray.


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I thought this Bed and Breakfast would be right up Natalia's alley.


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The Old Beaumont hotel is an old historic site in Ouray.


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An old grandfather clock inside the Beaumont hotel.


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A great sign that I thought Nati would like as well.


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A neat sign inside the Ouray Brewery.


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The door to the Ourayle House Brewpub, a great haven for ice climbers.


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Sign outside the Ourayle House.


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This might be my new favourite brew pub.


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"You must be at least this hot to go back here".


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Prevent Beer Madonnas.


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After our pub crawl, we stopped for ice cream at a local shop. Dan liked the bear and kissed its feet.

Total distance for the trip was 364km and 3884m total elevation gain and something like 9000 calories
burned. Not too bad for a short tour through Colorado. Thanks again to Dan and Sheila for a great trip! Return to picture index