Day 2 started off with me grabbing breakfast from the hotel I stayed at and feeling like climbing back into bed instead of riding. But I figured I'd at least try to head over to Copper Mountain and see how things felt. I knew it was going to be a rough morning because right off the bat I had to climb up the 10 Mile Range (12,000ish) which meant about 3 hours total moving time to Copper. On the way up I met Ian from Durango, Dominic from Poncha Springs, and Paul from Beaver Creek. Paul was crushing it and Ian and Dominic came by as I was 1.5 miles below the summit and getting ready to rip it back down to Breck and find a bar. Dominic is the one that convinced me to keep climbing so I did. Once above tree line, I started seeing lots of people pushing up the switchbacks. One of those people was my friend Kurt.
Once over the top I started the descent to Copper and found Kurt and about 4 others at the gas station. Soon there was about 12 of us there. We ate, talked and I considered bailing. Kurt wasn't having it. I think he told me to harden the fuck up and then insulted me. So I said what would become a trend over the next week. "I might as well pedal a bit towards X and see what happens." Just going through the motions. Having very little fun. I left Copper first but then almost immediately found my climbing legs. I passed one rider (Paul Bosworth) a few miles up the 12k climb from Copper to Searle and then Kokomo Pass and then caught Paul from Beaver Creek near the top. This is looking down the valley as I climbed up Searle. Paul Bosworth is somewhere down there in the trees.
This is looking east towards 10 Mile Range and the backside of Breckenridge. Weather was an issue almost daily this year and the storms were rough.
Well above tree line I began to see loads of Marmots on the rocks. At one point, I was pushing with my head down and when I looked up to take a rest, this little guy was in the middle of the trail and about 6 feet from my front tire. I whistled at him and he waddled right on over. Then he bit my front tire. I screamed hoping that he didn't puncture the sidewall. Luckily he did not but then he waddled closer to me and then bit my left toe. I went after him with the intent of making a neck warmer and he ran for the rocks.
BC Paul and I went over Searle together and then started towards Kokomo and Elk Ridge. This is on the way.
Eventually we were dropping down towards Camp Hale on the raging and long descent. Paul was a wonderful downhiller while I tend to take my time when in the middle of nowhere. We hooked up again at the bottom. This is Camp Hale. I lost Paul here because some blond headed gal was waiting and he stopped to chat it up with her. I think he knew her but he was pretty smooth so he might not have.
I pushed on by myself and eventually climbed up Tennessee Pass and knocked out about 10 miles of trail before another storm moved in. I had 2 more miles of trail to get through before starting a detour. I Stopped to put on rain gear yet again and started riding in the slop. Soon I popped out on a fire road which leads to a highway which leads to Leadville. It was 9 when I hit the pavement and I was hauling to make it into town as fast as possible. I got a room at the first hotel I saw, and ran across the street to order a pizza and then came back to the room to stuff my face, dry off and get warm. This was the earliest night I had. It rained hard through the night and I was so stoked to be in a warm bed with the heater cranked.