Wednesday, Day 4
(Click on pictures to enlarge)

Kathy Wrote:

I am writing this from Boulder.  I drove back this morning.

I just received a call from Tommy.  He, Alice, and Dean are in Leadville.  They left
Salida this morning at 6:20a, hoping to avoid the winds that have a tendency to develop as
the day progresses.  Tommy and Alice arrived in Leadville at 12:30p, having ridden most of
the way together.  Dean stayed with them for the first part of the ride, but he was
feeling particularly strong today, as he pulled out ahead of them and reached his
destination at 11:20a!

Here are today's statistics:

Total miles:  59 (the shortest ride so far)
Time from start to finish (including stops at the aid stations):  6 hours, 20 minutes for
Tommy and Alice; 5 hours for Dean
Time in the saddle:  4 hours, 59 minutes
Maximum speed:  31 miles per hour
Average speed while riding:  11.8 miles per hour (Dean's average was 14.1 miles per hour)

The ride from Salida to Leadville was the easiest day yet, according to Tommy.  This in
spite of the fact that the general slope of the ride was all uphill.  Fortunately, there
were some segments, although short, that provided some downhill relief.  The weather was
gorgeous, a very nice day for riding.  There was a very light head wind during the last
part, but it did not play a significant role in the ride.  The scenery along the way was
really pretty.  Happily the ride was not as formidable as the profile map indicated.

Getting into town as early as they did, our threesome was able to participate in the
community lunch offered by the town of Leadville.  In Tommy's words, it was 'delicious.'
Since they were offering chicken sandwiches and veggie burgers, all three were pleased
with the menu.  The high school facilities (e.g., indoor and outdoor camping, bike
security) are very nice, and the townsfolk have welcomed the RTR riders with a pleasant
and efficient manner.  There is a guy who has an interesting contraption, a pump and gears
that drive two ice cream freezers.  A lot of folks were raving about the ice cream, but
Tommy told me with great pride that 'it did not touch' his famous recipe.  Those of you
who have had it will know exactly what I am talking about!  :-)

Tonight the group is going to go to a bike seminar, then a slide show on the history of
Leadville, and then they will have dinner together.  It has been a really nice time of
fellowship for the three of them.

The trip odometer on Tommy's bike computer reads 300 miles even.  They are well over
halfway.  Tomorrow's official route is a relatively short ride, only 35 miles to Frisco.
There is an option to ride around Turquoise Lake, and our three have opted to include that
as part of their ride.  Apparently they will be in the minority, as many folks have
expressed their preference to sleep in late and enjoy a leisurely day.

Day4...Salida to Leadville, 59 miles

Starting out from Salida was cold, and I felt mellow for the first part of the ride.  Alice and Dean were ahead at this point, so I lingered and took photos A through C of the beautiful Collegiate Range.  Whereas the previous day's ride had the Sangre de Cristo range on the right and the San Juan range on the left, the mountains were very far away.  Today the Collegiate Range was much closer and in our face.

At mile 25 we pulled into the shady Buena Vista aid station.  Photos A through C are scenes from this station.  Photo D is a shot of one of the ever-vigilent mechanics that were at every aid station.  These mechanics picked up their shop and moved ahead of the riders so they would be available to take care of each and every problem.  These guys were always helpful and courteous as well as capable.  What a nice service!  Photo E is of Ralph who is one of the veteran riders while photo F pictures Ralph and Alice.

Slowly we climbed from the 7200 ft altitude of Salida toward the 10000 ft altitude of Leadville.  Photos A through H show the scenes from aid station 4 at 44 miles and 9000 ft, with pictures D and H showing Tom and Alice.  Dean is way ahead at this point.

Finally, we reached Leadville.  Photos A through E show the marvelous view from the high school.  It seems as if all the schools are on a hill.  This particular school had a sign that said "hill" as we entered the school area.  Some of the riders were remarking that the sign pointed out the obvious.  My comment was that the sign was useful because I thought it was a wall.  Picture H shows Larry Green in the blue getting ready for his 5:00p live broadcast.  Larry has been on every ride but one and actually rides as well as covers the ride.  One industrious fellow has rigged a super homemade ice cream maker as shown in pictures G and H.  Needles to say his product was very popular on a sunny afternoon after a hard ride.  Photo I shows Becky and Lonnie relaxing at the evening entertainment.  Whereas Dean did outdoor camping with a tent, and Alice camped indoors in the gym, I took the easy way out by getting a motel each night.  A motel is a hard thing to get because there are too many people for these small towns.  Some of the motels that I got were not impressive, but the Delaware Hotel in Leadville was worth showing to my friends.  Picture J shows Dean in the lobby where picture K shows Alice and Larry playing the piano with a budding young artist.  Picture L is the hallway outside my room and picture M is the canopy bed in my room.  See, I am sleeping in a tent, too, Dean.