Day 45: Thurs 8/28, Breckenridge and dodging rain, 52 miles

Today was a fantastic crash course in thermo regulating whilst cycling up and down bigass mountain passes, at elevation! Lol!

But first, the beginning of the day. I rode into Breckenridge in the late morning, since I didn’t get there last night. I had a buddy with me, Matthew, who was cycling from Avon (or somewhere around there) to Boulder. He took a little detour to go to Breck with me. Cool! I haven’t seen another touring cyclist in a while so that was rad. The entire morning and riding into Breck it was raining. And cold. UGH.

This is actually the 2nd time I’ve been to Breckenridge. First time was in the winter. Breck is a total ski resort town. Like Steamboat but with less of a local feel, and totally touristy. Still a cool town, but expensive, which is what you would expect from a place like this. We didn’t get in til late morning, and I was HUNGRY. Lol! To the point where we just decided to sniff and find a place to eat. Literally. We smelled our way to this small coffee shop/cafe by the river and it was awesome! Breck looks so different in the summer than it does in the winter. I really like ski towns in the summer better. πŸ™‚

Oh! Exciting new! I got a new saddle for my bike! JOY!!! It is a women’s specific design saddle by Bontrager (Trek’s company), and it was cheaper than the WTB saddle ($50 instead of $90). Plus it had a warranty so if I didn’t like it I could return it within 60 days. Honestly at this point, *anything* would have been better than what I currently had (Specialized Phenom). A note to anyone who is considering cycle touring, get a saddle that works. Seriously. It makes such a huge difference.

I spent a long time in Breck, mainly because I was debating whether to stay the day (forecast for tomorrow was much better) or keep going. I ultimately decided to keep pedaling, because this town is expensive. Plus it wasn’t raining at the moment. So I rode on towards Boreas Pass. Bye bye Breck!

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The climb up to Boreas Pass was oddly pleasant. It was a railroad grade the entire time, so pretty easy. Plus it was just beautiful. I really like being amongst the trees. And best of all, it wasn’t raining! The entire climb up I was just thinking in my head “please don’t rain!” Because it was COLD. And if it started precipitating, I would be so miserable. The old railroad that went through here connected Breckenridge and Como. It was a special rail line, because it was narrower. Instead of being 4 2/3 feet wide it was 3′ wide.

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The whole climb to Boreas Pass was kind of surreal. It was almost misty, because the water was evaporating off the ground in the form of steam, and the wind was blowing it up the mountain. The whole time up it seemed like it would just dump on me. And right when I got here, the clouds started to part, I saw small patches of blue sky, and it was as if the Hallelujah chorus was about to sound out. Lol!

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The road curved left and then swung right towards that saddle. That was where Boreas Pass was.

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It was so windy at the top! And when yore at over 11k’ elevation, that translates to COLD!! Lol

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There were also remnants of old buildings and cabins up there. Can you believe that at one point there used to be a community of 150 people up there? They were all workers and families that maintained the RR then. This was in the early 1900s. The community included a schoolhouse and post office, which at that time was the highest elevation PO in the USA.

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Coming down the pass was absolutely awesome! Lol! Oh my it was so cold tho. Apparently I missed some great single track opportunity going into Breck, leaving Breck, as well as coming down off Boreas Pass. Bummer! Next time I shall do more research ahead of time! πŸ™‚

But it was a fantastic descent into South Park, Colorado! Haha, sad to find out there isn’t actually a town by that name (I’m a huge fan of the TV show). Rather, it is a region of Colorado. I rode by the old historic town of Como. There’s some houses and old buildings there, and a post office that doubles as a gift shop. Como was an important railroad town back in the day, because it served as an intersection for many narrow gauge rail lines, and connected those with Denver. Narrow gauge rails were used in steep and mountainous parts of Colorado; they had 3′ wide tracks instead of the standard 4 2/3′ wide tracks. Nowadays, it kinda seems like Como is on it’s way to becoming a ghost town.

I didn’t get too many miles in today. I was in Breck for longer than I needed, sitting at a coffee shop watching it rain outside and trying to motivate myself to ride some more. Lol! The sunset was fantastic though!

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I was riding through rolling plains (still at elevation) and so finding a flat spot was actually quite easy. Yay! πŸ™‚ the foliage here is so different than Wyoming. It’s seems like a very similar type of terrain, but with a different type of sage; not so bush like and overall much softer and more forgiving. Which makes for great camping! πŸ™‚ The moon came up and it was beautiful. A tiny yet bright sliver of a crescent moon. Good night! πŸ™‚

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