Breckenridge CO to Guffy CO - 44 miles
By Dave Hardy
I'll admit I was nervous about Hoosier Pass.
It was going to be the highest altitude climb of the trip-just under 12,000 feet- and Ed and I were both worried about the effect of all that rare air on the boys. And especially two old men in their 50's!
On top of that, we were aiming for a 90 mile day to Canon City. Ambitious.
I grew even more nervous when Alex, a strong rider, came out on the porch looking pale. He had a little nausea and a headache-sure signs of altitude sickness and we hadn't started climbing. But he was determined to soldier on.
We got off to our typical slow start. We rode into Breckenridge and swarmed into Dayligt Donuts. Drop what you're doing and go there. Cinnamon buns as big as your head.
We gorged there and soon our 7:30am departure was edging to 9:30.
Off we went for the biggest climb of the trip.
Two miles out of town we started gaining altitude. But the boys were riding great. We just dropped in our lower gear and started spinning and eating up the miles.
The boys naturally split into clusters based on their speed, and I found myself right behind the three leaders: Brian, Will, and Andrew.
With about 7 miles to go, we pulled over and gathered everyone. Word has trickled up the mountain that Alex was struggling.
I had never seen him so gassed. When he and Ed caught up with us at the break, he sat down and began cramming donut holes down his mouth.
Ed and I conferred.
"He says he can do it," Ed told me. "We'll just take it slow and see you at the top."
If anyone could do it, it would be Alex, so we headed on.
You know what? It wasn't that hard. Our training ride up Mount Mitchell was much harder. The boys literally swarmed up the pass and within an hour, we had reached the summit.
Hoosier Pass. This was a big deal. The boys were now officially half way home and they had conquered the Rockies.
Alex and Ed made it up about ten minutes later; we shot a thank you video, took a bunch of pictures and started our descent.
Now that was fun! We easily topped 40 mph and ate up the miles.