Eagle-Wolcott and back - Colorado Colors Tour 2021 - CycleBlaze

September 20, 2021

Eagle-Wolcott and back

This is the route I rode. Jim and Genny rode from Eagle to Vail, 30 miles.
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We had a hell of a start to our morning. I will lay the abbreviated version out to dry. Jim and Genny arrived by car from California and spent a few days acclimating in Glenwood Springs. The plan was to use my van as a SAG vehicle and take turns driving. This was MY suggestion. I anticipated finding more participants and not taking many shifts driving. It turns out, only Jim and Genny, our bicycle buddies of 12 years, agreed to go.

 We have nine riding days, but each of us has to sacrifice three of those days driving. I floated the idea of ditching the SAG and going self contained. No, the SAG was in the equation from the beginning and they were planning on it.

I pouted and sulked. I wanted to be like Alison and ride every mile! Jim asked me which days were most important to ride and arranged the schedule around my preferences. Was I happy? Not deep down. Add in some space issues with my big bicycle and my smaller than expected Town and Country van, plus their luggage for a car vacation in addition to a bicycle tour. 

Suffice it to say it came to an ugly head this morning. We managed to talk through it. I wanted to ride at least a few miles every day. They rearranged their luggage so I could get my bike in and out alone. I was now capable of riding every day. I did not  express my desires in a reasonable fashion. My apology was accepted and  we have moved on. Thankfully.

The Best Western had a good, hot breakfast with meat, eggs, potatoes, and the usual other items. We agreed to meet outside and 10:30. I planned to ride 10 miles to the end of the bike path, or Wolcott, whichever came first. 

If you decide to stay at the Best Western in Eagle, ask for a room in the 130's. My room was 136 - it was huge. Two beds. Sofa, coffee table. Small bar area. It was very nice. 

The start of the path was around the corner from the motel. It was rough and bumpy with cracks and heaves. Fortunately, that surface lasted perhaps a mile. Then we moved out of town and the path smoothed out. We could see colors on the mountainsides around us. The air was brisk and cool. It was a mighty fine day to be on the bike! I hope the rest of the trip is similar.

At mile 7.8 we came to what Jacinto described as the end of the path, but there was a one mile extension. We had a nice little tailwind at that point, which would be against me on the return. At the point we got on the highway, I told Jim I was turning around at mile 10 or Wolcott. The town sign was at mile 9.7, what the heck, I will keep going. Traffic picked up at the intersection of Highway 131 to Steamboat Springs. The adjacent CDOT facility was being expanded. I looked longingly at their porta potty. There was far too much construction for me to cross the yard. 

We saw 6-8 riders on the path. Perhaps half were on E bikes.

We stopped to say goodbye. We speculated as to how easy of a trip back I would have. I was going downhill, into a headwind.  In this case, downhill beat the headwind. My ears were a little chilly, but it was a good  ride back.   Jim said he saw a sign with 56 degrees posted. We agreed it felt far warmer than 56.

We saw 6-8 bicycle riders, perhaps half on E bikes.  Many of them were also doing a round trip, I saw them twice.

I also passed a picnic area that had a vault toilet, which was inconveniently located enough that I didn't detour. 

My bladder didn't appreciate repeating the damaged bike path neat the motel. It took me no time at all to load the bike, swap shoes, and hurry in to use the lobby restrooms.

I set the GPS for the motel in Vail, and drove onto the interstate. Vail is a confusing town with a lot of construction. I hoped it wasn't difficult to find the lodging.

No - it was conveniently located next to the hospital - and through road construction. I had hardly checked in when Jim texted they were five minutes out. It wasn't necessary to ask if bikes were allowed in the room - there was a large sign on the door, saying no bicycles, skis, snowboards, etc. There was a bicycle parking area right across the lobby from the office. It wasn't very large. I left my poor bicycle in the van. Jim and Genny locked their bikes up in the lobby. I was happy this is a regular lodge and not a fancy place. My room is better than average. My bicycle would have fit just fine.  There's a notice with directions for the shower. I can turn on a shower. I didn't bother reading the directions. Guess what? Perhaps I should have read them! There's a refrigerator in the room. I saw two microwaves in the lobby, but there was also a sign saying no outside food allowed in the lobby. I'm not sure how that works with the microwaves. I speculate that they want people to keep masks on in the lobby. Except, no one had masks. We did see a few as we walked to lunch. Not many.

The desk clerk had recommended a breakfast spot, The Little Diner, which was said to be within walking distance. I managed a quick shower. Jim and Genny were hungry enough to skip the shower and head straight to lunch. We wandered around for far too long, trying to find it. We asked directions, and looked at a map. The phone had the Diner in completely the wrong spot. 

After a frustrating amount of time, and consulting a second map, we discovered that the Diner was right next to Moe's BBQ, where we had turned around, thinking it was a dead end. 

Irony - we got to the Diner after 2 PM and they were closing . . . we ended up eating at Moe's and sitting in their outdoor dining area.

It sounds like dinner is at the Indian restaurant here inside of the lodge. This is how you end up with a late dinner every evening - you eat lunch, so you aren't hungry for dinner!

Our first day had crisp air and Colorado blue skies.
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Does this say Colorado, or what?
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Looking towards one of the bike path bridges. At this point, I was on the Highway.
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Look carefully for the fly fisherman in the center of the photo. We saw several. The same bridge is in the background.
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Today's ride: 20 miles (32 km)
Total: 169 miles (272 km)

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