Sunday, June 25, 2017

Steamboat Springs to Frisco, Great Divide Mountainbike Route

Departing Steamboat. 

We left Steamboat Springs, rested, repaired, and refueled.  The road out of town slowly went from busy to less so to a bike path to a dirt road to Lynx Pass (8,937 feet).  There was a campground at the top but it was too early in the day to stop.  Further down the mountain the rain started and the clouds were so dark we decided to stop when we saw a likely spot. 

For a couple hours we debated moving on but there always appeared to be more rain imminent.  Finally, we decided to stay the night.  It was okay, rain and thunder and wind kept us from sleeping well but at least it wasn't wide open like the Great Basin.  

The next morning we waited a long time for the sun to clear a mountain and melt the ice off our tents.  It's bad for them to be packed when frozen.   We hit the road and a half mile away discovered a historical landmark: a two story building used as a stage coach stop by Wells Fargo.  We could have slept in a building instead of frozen tents!!

From there it was some steep climbing to the "town" of Radium, population 1 or so.  But the river guide that was painting window trim was willing to sell us Snickers bars so on we went, mostly uphill, to the town of Kremmling.  

Resupply at a gas station and we're on the road, the dirt road, heading up to Ute Pass (9524 ft). The ride down was "exhilarating."  I worked to keep my speed down around 30 mph.  

In town (Silverthorne) we passed on the cheapest motel in town ($79 and it was full) and stayed at a Super 8 (a mere $140 including a $20 charge for checking in early).  

It took us two days to get there, what we'd hope to do in one. But from Silverthorne, only two more days, 60 miles each, would be a lot of progress south.  If only...   If you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans.  

From Silverthorne, we headed south along a nice paved bicycle path.  Through the town of Frisco, past a large medical center, down a slight hill....

I was in front, moving at about 20 mph, slight right turn, when my rear tire let go with a load bang.  Steering into the skid did little for the metal rim on pavement. In a split second I was turned 180 degrees and landing on my back.  My head hit last and lightest, my ample crashing experience coming in handy. 

Why did my tire blow?  I wish I knew. Even now I wonder, but the answer is missing.  

Damage to my bike was minimal but critical.  A derailleur hanger, a part meant to break in such a case, broke.  A new one is a day away, but today is Sunday, so two days.  

The rim has some damage but will survive.  I have some aches but will carry on.  Otherwise, things are rosy.  Paul went down in avoiding me, but at such a slow speed as to be a none issue. 

We'll be back on our way, maybe Tuesday, no later than Wednesday.   

I still wonder why the back tire blew.   It was new, installed in Atlantic City by myself.  It was upgraded to tubeless in Steamboat Springs, and the pressure was checked by me this morning, set to a reasonable 45 psi.  Both the tire and rim are rated for quite a bit more than that (max about 60 psi).  

There are worse places to be stuck than Frisco, though we both would rather be moving south.  As my old friend Mike Tyson said: "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth."  I guess a day or two off here won't be that bad.  


  1. Replies
    1. BTW, glad you weren't hurt. And you'll like Breckenridge down the road too!

    2. My guess on the tire flatting is weight (your 210lbs + 85lb bike) side pressure as you made that turn and inadequate bead strength (tire against rim) possibly due to liquid latex not holding. Just saying...