|The 2002 tour began in Gunnison with Team Swill drinking beer (what did you expect?) while the zipperheads wrote in their journals, oiled their chains, and studied the map book.
Ron handed out some very cool Team Swill bottle openers to help with the "I can't find the opener" syndrome that plagued us last year.
In spite of drinking all of Tom's fine homebrew, some of the Breckenridge Brewery beer, and anything else we could find we managed to get out of camp and start riding the next day. Scary and John left around 8:30 under a clear blue sky. This was to be a day of many firsts for John. First ride in Colorado, first mountain pass, first bike ride over the Continental Divide, and his first century ride.
We caught up with Rebecca just before Lake City and helped her with a minor mechanical issue. We lunched together in Lake City at Poker Alice's. I got to fix another minor mechanical on Rebecca's bike after lunch.
Rebecca left lunch first to get a head start on the climb. I dropped John when the going got steep and caught Rebecca near the top. We got some photos and munchies for the downhill. Then up Spring Creek Pass and on to the fun downhill. That's Rebecca smokin' along at 50mph or so. Creede was a welcome sight and after some discussion with the BTC staff it was concluded that our cooler was on the beer truck, and the beer truck had broken down. So there we were on a Sunday with no beer when the Swillmeister showed up with our cooler in his car. All was well with the world.
Day 2 started in Creede with a hearty breakfast that was bigger than most of us could eat. After downsizing our order we eventually got out of town. This seemed to be construction day, with a one lane stretch before we got to Aid #1. Aid #1 to Aid #2 was smooth sailing. We passed the north edge of the Million Fire area, although the picture doesn't really show it. Then at Aid #2 there was a Hawaiian Luau with friendly hula dancers. Tom got laid by Kelly the Summit Slut. Just after Aid #2 the climb was to begin, except there was another section of one lane road. Everyone waited patiently and we eventually got through. (click here for the helmet story). Then on through more construction, dirt lanes, to the top of the divide and the downhill.
We finally made it to Pagosa Springs where beer and shelter were waiting. We used a secret method to get a good camping spot.
|Day #3, Pagosa Springs to Durango|
|Day #5, Durango to Ouray was an eventful day. The weather out of Durango was postcard perfect with blue skies. Jimmy drove past us yelling all kinds of obscenities, then stopped and handed out beers. Sometimes it pays to leave town late. Then the climbing started up Coal Bank Pass and the skies darkened. By the time most of the swillers got up Molas Divide it was raining. The weak and ill prepared took shelter wherever they could. Tom donned his traditional rain gear and ate lunch. I ate quickly and enjoyed the rainy descent to Silverton. At the top of Red Mountain Pass I ran into a local sleeping at the sign. Oh wait, that's Van wrapped up in that blanket. The descent was interesting with two mudslides. The upper mudslide only blocked one lane so they were allowing bikers to pass. The lower mudslide had the whole road blocked. I hung out and drank a beer with the Trek mechanic. A front end loader showed up from the highway department and cleared part of the slide. They let the bikes go through and I enjoyed a wet and wild descent into Ouray. Rocks falling, gravel on the road, and water everywhere. Although camping was tight in Ouray I was happy to arrive. Much to my surprise the EZUp was erected already so I could enjoy cold beer without getting rained on.|
|Day #6, Ouray to Montrose was a beautiful day. We ambled out of town around 10am, stopped at the Orvis Hot Spring, then meandered to Montrose. Some of us stuck together for the ride, making a stop for a beer along the way.|
|Day #7, Montrose to Gunnison, the final day. I started out in a local restaurant eating a peaceful breakfast. Peaceful until I was interrupted by these two lowlife SAG wagon drivers. I was also welcomed by one local who told me he would run me over if I was on HIS road. I laughed and headed out to the pedals. I ran into Phil on his Stingray. He even let me take it out for a cruise. Cool bike, cool dude. Phil rode the Triple Bypass on this rig!|