Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Hoosier Pass

June 17 ~ Wednesday
Last night the weather was wretched with wind and rain, but in the morning we awoke to blue skies and no wind. It looked like perfect riding weather. Breakfast was at the Brown Burro Cream and Stream. A cafe and coffee house combo just down the street from the hotel.

Afterwords, we packed up our stuff and headed out of Fairplay. There is a bike path from Fairplay to Alma. Alma is the highest incorporated city in the U.S. The path made this portion of the trip quite enjoyable. Unlike yesterday there were no steep climbs at this point. In Alma we had to rejoin the highway. There is no shoulder and traffic was fairly heavy. The main climb to Hoosier Pass is about 4 miles long. The grade is relatively gentle, about 5 percent for the most part. Climbing was steady, but not strenuous. We took breaks as needed.

We had one portion of road construction to get through. The flagger wasn't sure of the best course for us to take so recommended we stay in the closed lane up to the actual construction site and watch for trucks. This worked well, and we were able to filter up between construction and passing lines of car. The construction zone wasn't long and it didn't take much time to  clear it.  Once past we took another break while several lines of car passed by. We started up again once the line of cars had cleared, and took breaks when the next line appeared behind us. Traffic was pretty calm at this point. There engines were straining to climb in the thin air, and nobody was speeding up the pass.

The first sign we had cleared the pass was the beautiful yellow diamond with a downward facing truck. We found the nice sign for Hoosier Pass and snapped a quick selfie for Facebook. May showed up just as we arrived at the pass summit. Perfect timing.

I hadn't given much thought to the descent into Breckinridge. I wasn't looking forward to it. It's a steep descent with switchbacks and traffic going too fast. Impatient drivers who can't or won't use caution. Sometimes it's bad judgement on their part, sometimes they are malicious. Truly there was only one exceptionally bad driver and that was a person in a dump truck who purposefully passed too close. There was no reason for it. He could have moved over, there was room to do so. I was happy to be off the pass.

I'm glad I rode Hoosier's Pass, but I wouldn't do it again. For epic climbs I'd rather find quieter roads.

Breckenridge is a tourist nightmare. We had lunch there, with a rude waitress. I pitied May who had to drive through that mess. For Roger and I the rest of the trip would be along a wonderful bike path that ran from Breckenridge to the Silverthorne/Dillon area. We had a wonderful descent riding out of Breckenridge, and a few little climbs between the towns, but over all it's a nice pass with great views, and no traffic. We found our way through the town of Frisco and down along the lake front to Silverthorne where we met up with May.

We will have a couple of rest days in Golden CO, with May and Roger's daughter and family. When we resume riding we will have some new riders joining us. Should be a good time.

Leaving FairPlay
Alma CO. Highest incorporated city in the U.S.
Hoosier Pass Summit 4 miles 
Not sure if you can see it, but that diagonal line
crawling up the mountain is the road.
More mountains 
These aren't even the best views just what we saw when we stopped.
Beautiful country. 
May at Hoosier Pass 
Hoosier Pass
Look! More mountains on this side. 
View from the bike path that runs between
Breckenridge and Silverthorne 
Dillon Reservoir

1 comment:

  1. Kudos to climbing that pass, especially with the kind of traffic you experienced. Glad you got through unharmed.

    Love the new header pic!!!