The long car ride out to Colorado woke up my RA. I started my bike and just checked out the area around our cabin on our first day there. We had a nice 2 bedroom cabin with air, full kitchen, wifi, satellite tv (like either one of us were going to watch tv) and you could step out our front porch and see the Arkansas River.
I rode 153 miles on the second day (first full day of riding). But my RA was making itself known on the ride back to the cabin. I stopped twice to get off of the bike and walk around for a while. This helps when my hips, knees and shoulders are hurting. A quick 5 minutes off of the bike works wonders for a few miles before the pain start creeping back in. I pulled back in to our cabin fully expecting to get back out and go for a short night ride but that didn't happen. I did sit out on the front porch and eat a sandwich as the sun went down. I just didn't feel up to getting back out tonight. It was soon cool enough that I had to put a sweatshirt on. I could have listened to the river running all night but retired back inside shortly.
After a good nights sleep, I was ready for another full day of riding. The only problem was my jackass friend RA was also. I headed south to photograph two old iron bridges I had spotted on our way to the cabin. I looked it up on the internet and it was on County Road 6. I found it quite easily and as I turned onto the road, I was greeted with a Private Property sign. I knew it was a county road so I thought the sign was just telling you to stay on the road and not get off onto the land. I found the bridges and had taken a few pictures when a truck pulls up behind me and instructs me to leave. I was not happy ... I know this is a county road but I also know I am in the middle of no where by myself with an angry man and Donna has no idea where I was riding today. I decided it was best to not push the situation, turned around and left. Up til now everyone in Colorado had been super nice and friendly. I wasn't about to let one jackass ruin my ride today though. I jumped on some dirt roads and at one point rode next to the Arkansas River for miles.
I rode back around town and came in the back way (one day of riding through the chaos was enough) and rode up to the old smelter. They had chain link around it with no trespassing signs but it was pushed over. I wanted to go around back and see if you could get inside. I was sure all of the old equipment was gone but I still would like to have seen inside. The problem was there were 3 guys working in a field next to it and one kept watching me. Again, I didn't push my luck. Actually my luck is the guy watching me was the police chiefs brother! After leaving here I wound up above the tree line and had a great day riding again.
I finished the day with a little over 100 miles but major league pain from my RA. I went back early and took a hydrocodone and a hot shower. I don't normally take anything for pain unless it's severe. After the second day, it was severe. I don't honestly know how much longer I can ride but I'm not planning on giving it up any time soon. If I can just ride 50 miles a ride before hurting, I will still ride 50 miles. Sure it hurt me but looking back on these moments, on my bad days, is what keeps me going. I have said it before ... riding is my therapy. The day I can no longer ride and get rid of my bikes is the day RA has beat me.
|Pair of bridges south of Salida.|
|Bridge that I was run off from. Note Private Property sign attached to bridge on CR6.|
|Old smelter just outside of Salida.|
|Smelter that I wanted to get inside of but decided against.|
|Smelter stack is 365 feet tall.|
|Abandoned cabin by Cumberland Pass.|
|The railway up Pikes Peak.|
|Bighorn Sheep on Pikes Peak.|
|Royal Gorge view riding the gondola across.|
|Above the tree line around the Alpine Tunnel.|