When I left Alamosa, there was not a breath of wind. However, it built during the day and became an extremely favorable tailwind that blew me right up La Veta Pass. I never had to use my granny gear.
Ironically, descending from the pass, I had a headwind strong enough at times to almost stop me. It doesn’t get better than tailwind up and headwind down for me!
Crossing La Veta Pass, I transitioned from west of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range to the east, and started to leave mountains behind and head to the plains. One final mountain pass, the Cuchara pass, lies between me and the plains. I will cycle that pass today.
At the end of the descent from La Veta Pass, the Spanish Peaks came into view.
I turned right onto State Road 450 into La Veta, I transitioned from roads I had previewed on the drive to California or had actually cycled to roads I’ve never driven or ridden before. That is how it will be from here until Cumberland MD.
State Road 450 represented another transition, from smooth road to freshly laid chip seal. That short segment of about four miles into the town of La Veta was brutal — extremely rough, steeply downhill, and subject to gusty crosswinds. Pavement changes constantly on the route. It often transitions at county lines, with chip seal, miserable on the bike, as the cheaper option for less prosperous counties. I constantly have to read the pavement as I ride.
This ride day on September 15, my brother Dave transitioned from his fifties into his sixties. He climbed the Great Sand Dunes west of La Veta Pass to celebrate his birthday.
One more significant transition was in progress on this day. My brother Mike was in SAG (support and gear) training under the stellar guidance of Susie, who will now go home to visit her kitty, Precious, and recover so she can return for the final three weeks of the ride. I will miss Susie but I am really lucky to have Mike and his wife, Sandra, step in as SAG in Susie’s absence.
Start location: Alamosa CO
End location: La Veta CO
Distance: 60 miles
Cumulative distance: 1097.2
Elevation gain: 2158.8 feet
Strava track: https://www.strava.com/activities/713649237