Birds flying high, you know how I feel
|Paul Brasby and Craig Groseth enjoying the descent of Ten Sleep Canyon on Day 5.
At the end of our Cloud Peak 500, I felt good about the experience. Now, with all of our daily ride and logistics reports posted, the Cloud Peak 500 is finally over for me. And I'm still feeling good.
My tale clearly was of two rides. The first ride was Day 1, which launched from sky high expectations to plummet into a barren ditch of doubt and despair, far deeper than my worst physical bonk. Emerging from that abyss, I rode stronger and smarter each of the next 6 days to work through another 300 miles of difficult, rugged, remote roads. That second ride reaffirmed my faith in the healing power of a loving God.
Several folks have asked whether I'm going back to the Cloud Peak 500 to complete some notion of "unfinished business." No. I rode the Cloud Peak 500 route as I rode it. I'm good with the experience.
For Paul, I would write his Cloud Peak 500 story as a trilogy. Part 1 recounts the excitement of Day 1 dominated by successfully riding the rugged foothills and massive climb up Red Grade Road and then the turmoil of my collapse throwing the entire enterprise into jeopardy. Part 2 features our hard, hot, rewarding rides on the next four days that each covered about 50 miles/5,000 feet of elevation gain on challenging roads through unique, remote backcountry. Part 3 shifts to the big chain ring for his race to beat the clock by hammering the final 250 miles in about 2 1/2 days. Paul rose to meet every challenge and obstacle, whether physical, mental or emotional. What a ride.
Of course, Paul would probably say that it was all just one awesome adventure. And let's do it again.
|Screen shot of digital map of Cloud Peak 500 route from ridewithgps.com.