This is Don:
This is Don's shop:
This is an awesome Campagnolo poster with Eddy Merckx and Clay Regazzoni's moustache:
Don builds bikes; this is one of his framesets:
This weekend, I went to Salida to ride with Don. Don has been doing this ride on July 4th since 1987. This is Don dropping me:
This is Don refueling with melon:
This is Don: http://www.dirtragmag.com/print/article.php?ID=633.
A whole lot of riders left Salida proper at 4:30 am, and were 3,000 feet above the town by sunrise. We climbed for about 4 hours on old rail beds, dirt roads and a little singletrack.
We hit Monarch pass, 4000+ feet above where we started at 8:15, and then continued on to the epic Monarch Crest.
Singletrack across the sky, the crest takes you over 12,000 feet in altitude. My Delaware background had me gasping at points.
This year's ride had only one snow crossing. Brad there was a nice guy who helped show me the route.
We descended the loose and rocky Silver Creek trail, which ended in a river, requiring riders to ride down the riverbed, with the snow-melt, for about 200 meters.
Eventually, we ended up on the Rainbow trail, a moto trail with a lot of ups and downs that really hurt after 50+ miles in the saddle.
The ride culminated in a 3 mile, 2,500 foot hike-a-bike over Methodist Mountain on the Rainbow Trail. Colin was nice enough to keep me company. The aspen and wildflowers were in their full splendor.
Now, this is Colorado. I heard we had 88 miles and around 11,000 feet of climbing for the day. Took me about 12 hours. The combination of lacking fitness, altitude, and tough terrain definitely made this one of my hardest days on the bike. But it was 100 percent worth it. There's a reason Don's been doing this for over 20 years.
These ants were camped next to me:
Oh yeah, America, Fuck Yeah!