July 10, 2001 - Mike and Marilyn's 2001 TranAmerican Bike Tour

Mike and Marilyn's
2001 TransAm Bike Trip
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July 10, 2001

TRANSAM 2001 > Colorado

Fairplay to Frisco, Colorado. (36 mi.) Mile 2468

Rocky Mountain Highest

We couldn't have hit a better weather window to pedal up over Hoosier Pass. The only minor wrinkle in the ride was our second flat of the trip about 1/2 mile from the summit, but we had a wide shoulder at that point, and a gorgeous view. What an exhilarating ride down the other side of Hoosier - a nearly traffic-free 10 miles of sunshine and alpine air into Breckenridge. This was one of the trip's best memories, both for the scenery and for the impact of finally crossing the Rockies at the trip's highest point.

Heading up the 6 mile bike path from Fairplay to Hoosier Pass and the Continental Divide

Flat tire just east of 11,000+ ft Hoosier Pass

The obligatory summit picture.

We had been to Breckenridge before, but were shocked at the development of high rise condos and tourism that have been engulfing what was once a quaint little ski town just a few years ago. It was not a welcome surprise.

A break in the SUV traffic in Breckenridge

Mike decided to have his rear wheel completely re-spoked by Jared at Great Adventures bike shop, since the "Internationally Famous Bike Surgeon of Carbondale" had used the old spokes on the new rim, and we think that has been part of our problem. I also bought a new Conti Top Touring tire. We left our bikes at the shop and headed to lunch at a sports bar, Downstairs at Eric's.*

*About 8 years ago, Mike and I were bicycle touring around the Big Island of Hawaii. We had rented a cabin at Volcano which had more room than we needed. Late in the day we noticed a lone bicycle tourist pedaling up to Volcano and, knowing there was no place left to stay in Volcano, and also, knowing the rule of thumb about hosting bicycle tourists, we invited the cyclist to share our cabin. Lucky for us, he was not a homicidal, psychomaniac, but Ian Hamilton, a nice guy, good company, and part owner of Downstairs at Eric's in Breckenridge. It was good to see Ian again, and he treated us to lunch.

Downstairs at Erics

By the time our bikes were ready, we had figured out that Breckenridge didn't have a thing we couldn't live without so we gladly hit the paved bike trail out of town and sailed downhill with a tailwind for 7 miles to Frisco, where the afternoon thunderstorms finally caught us. While we were huddled over a pay phone trying to stay dry and find a place to stay, another couple, who also knew the rule of thumb about hosting bicycle tourists, noticed our plight and invited us to share their condo with them. It was Mike and Jan Lewallen from Denver, returning the hospitality shown to them when they spent 10 months bicycle touring around the southern U.S. years ago.

Lucky for us, Mike and Jan weren't homicidal psychomaniacs either, because we took them up on their offer. They went out of their way to make us comfortable, and we thoroughly enjoyed their company, staying up late to talk about bicycle trips.

Marilyn's infatuation with a particular chainsaw bear

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