Day 23: Granby, CO to Craig, CO

We left Granby  at 6:00 this morning and the temperature was 36 degrees. I was wearing so many different layers that it was hard to ride.  I am not fond of cold weather and 36 degrees on a bike feels really cold. Despite the low temperature and the high altitude, this was the task for today.

The ride to Craig was a long one – nearly 125 miles with a lot of climbing. The first formidable challenge was the climb over Rabbit Ears Pass reaching about 9,500 feet.  The Rabbit Ears Pass is made up of two summits or passes. If you were at the bottom of the mountains and looked up, the two mountains look like a rabbit’s ears.

The climb up was challenging, but the descent was seven miles long with a 7% grade. I reached speeds of about 45 mph without pedaling!  I started to scare myself, so I held on dearly to my brakes.  The decent was certainly an easy, quick way to cover ground.  I noticed something funny on the ride today: in Iowa and Nebraska, every new city or town lists its population on the sign, but in Colorado, every new town’s welcome sign lists its elevation.

After our descent, we rode through Steamboat Springs. It was beautiful – just a quaint little city set up for biking and hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter.

The landscape changed a lot today – from barren desert-like, to green with lots of evergreens in the mountains, to bare rocks, and back to desert-like.

Overall, it was a pretty riding day except for the wind that whipped up to more than 20 mph for the last 30 miles. Everyone told me that most people who undertake a ride across the country go from West to East in order to have the wind at their back – with the winds that we’ve had thus far, I can certainly see the benefit in going the other direction.  More than half of the ride would have been with the wind at my back.

Well, at the end of this windy road, we’ll be at Pebble Beach with Notre Dame alumni and friends for our golf fundraiser for the NPC research.  The wind has definitely added a big extra challenge, but it’s all worth it. I just keep thinking about those NPC kids and families and the Road to Discovery for the cure – that keeps me going!

1 Comment so far

  1.    Karyn Clemmensen on June 13th, 2012

    Hello Dean Crawford, Have enjoyed reading your posts. You are doing amazing. I’d like to treat you and your team to brunch next Tuesday in Carson City, at the best diner in town, The Cracker Box. It’s right on Hwy 50 about 60 miles past Fallon, just before you head up the Sierra’s to Tahoe. If it works in your schedule, let me know.