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Day 27: Steamboat Springs, CO June 11, 2007

Posted by jonpierson in Uncategorized.

Wooo hoooo, my first day off and it could not have been better. Woke up in a real bed, took a hot shower, enjoyed a motel breakfast, cleaned the bike, and then I headed up to Mount Werner to check out the end of the annual “The Rio 24 Hours of Steamboat.”

Basically, the event consisted of the most insane mountain bikers EVER riding an 11 mile lap gaining 2500 feet over and over and over for 24 hours. The rider with the most laps wins. The winner (don’t remember his name but he won it last year too) rode 16 laps. Thats 172 miles and over 30,000 feet of climbing, the verticle equivalent of climbing Mount Everest from sea level and then some. Needless to say I was very impressed. The event attracted a very unique crowd, the common thread being everyone’s love for riding. No one does these to make money or get famous. I am adding more links to the right side of the page to highlight some of the coolest people I have met so far on my ride. Steamboat gets my vote for “best place to take a rest day.” It just happens that my choice of location for a rest day coincided with such an epic event! Having so many bike fanatics around was inspiring. I had lots of open ears interested in my ride. I also had a chance to learn some new tricks while maintaining my bike at the Yeti bike tent. I have so mention Joe from Yeti who gave me free reign on his bike stand and tool set. The whole Yeti crew was awesome, do yourself a favor and buy one of their bikes. They are sweet and all the rage in Colorado. Tons of racers were riding Yeti bikes. My buddy Topher actually took one on our ride from Crested Butte. Other highlights from the race event were free riding socks and bright orange hat (great for visibility) from Smartwool (thanks Rob!) and also not one but 2 free tubes from Wheels, which is a local bike shop (thanks Chris!) Another thanks goes to Rio Grande for my first food donation of the trip. We’re talking chicken and steak tacos, beans and rice, chips and salsa. The works. They are huge promoters of the Steamboat biking scene. Way to go! Final shoutout goes to Gary with Stinger Bars. He is going to be riding 100 miles, every day, for 50 days, in 50 states. It is a logistical giant and he is tackling his pregame with grace. This has NEVER been done before, and not only will he be making history, he will also be raising money for cancer research and families of cancer victims. He will be doing a century ride (100 miles) in Flagstaff, AZ on Friday September 28th. I have offered to be his logistical coordinator for that day. I will be helping to promote the ride and do everything I can to make it a success. Good luck Gary. Please visit his link on the right and support him somehow, whether it’s riding with him, donating, etc. This is a very worthy cause!

OK, back to highlights of my day off. So after the event, I rode down the mountain on my freshly tuned up bike (cost of tuneup $0.00) and headed back to the motel for more r and r. Pool, hot tub, shower, tv. PERFECT. Later on I caught up with Topher and Laura and we headed out to dinner at Mahogonys Brewery. Lots of laughs, lots of delicious food. And desert. Yum. After dinner we immediately headed up to the Strawberry Park hot springs. Arriving at 9:30 gave us just enough time for a one hour soak before closing time. After a quick mention of the charity ride I’m doing, I was offered free admission into the pools! Maybe I can make a career of this? Anyhow, the hot springs were absolutely heavenly. Feeling refreshed and revived, I took time to reflect. I feel blessed to be experiencing everything that comes with this ride. The people, places, struggle, acheivement, suffering, and satisfaction that each day brings. To every yin, there is a yang. To ever climb there is a decent. As I dug my toes into the hot earth below me, I remembered how just 3 days before that I was soaking wet and cold and covered in mud. I thought of that storm coming down from Grand Mesa, the impassable road, the bikes which were covered in so much mud that they could not roll and needed to be carried. That storm, and this trail tests who you are on a daily basis. Every once in a while when it’s not sunny skies and downhill with a tailwind, the trail punishes you. But, through perseverance, you reap the many rewards this trail has to offer ie; STEAMBOAT SPRINGS!

My original reasons for this tour were simple. It’s been 5 years since my TransAmerica tour. I like bike touring and wanted to travel this summer. I wanted to raise money for the Yoder Foundation. Now that I am nearly one month into my tour I am finding that there are many, many more reasons for what I am doing. That is my inspiration. Every day is a new lesson, a new challenge, a new reward, and another fine memory. They are all adding up. Being one third done, I feel physically and emotionally ready to continue towards my goal. Let’s roll baby!



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