Stage 10: Taos, NM - Crested Butte, CO

We woke early and found nose prints and lick marks from a herd of curious cows all over the car. I guess dusty old Simon must have tasted good. We made tea, broke camp, repacked the car and prepared for the drive down the mountain road back to town. Then, we thought, why waste a perfectly good dirt road downhill in a car when we’ve got bikes right here with us? Not only would it be more fun than driving, but having one less body and bike weighing the car down would give us a little more ground clearance. After a little convincing, India was mounted up, and off down the mountain we went.

When we got to what felt like the halfway point to her, India pulled over to let me have a turn. I grabbed my helmet and jumped on her bike, and rode maybe a quarter mile before hitting the bottom at the intersection with the highway. Oh well… Not much of a ride for me, but it was fun driving the car behind. If only we had radios, a crate full of water bottles to hand out and a mechanic to lean out the window and make rolling adjustments.

We hit the highway and headed for Crested Butte, high in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. We crossed over the Rio Grande gorge,

and into Colorado.

We steadily climbed through the foothills, through canyons,

along mountain streams and arrived in Crested Butte right about 3:00. We checked into our room, dropped off our stuff, and headed for Big Al’s bike shop for a trail guidebook, bottle cage, and a pair of gloves. Then it was time to gear up and get out on the trail! We had both been itching to ride for quite some time, feeling a little pudgy after lots of driving and eating, so we dug into the guidebook, found ourselves a short loop from town that looked like a good introduction to Crested Butte singletrack, checked our tire pressure, and rolled out.

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