I did take a short ride (~10 miles) by some feeders that some folks recommended, but those turned out to be largely uninteresting. On this ride, my go-to, thread-bare pair of shorts finally bit the dust; A huge rip along the leg basically splayed them fully open and non-funtional. I managed to find a new pair (and some ice cream) at the Silverthorne/Dillion factory outlets on my way back from the feeders. This ride also served to get my blood moving a bit, and afterwards I sat in the hotel hot tub to help soothe my aching legs. They do feel better tonight, so I guess that bodes well for tomorrow.
The entire ride for tomorrow is scheduled for ~34 miles. The first 16 are uphill, and miles 9-16 will the incredibly challenging. I will gain over 2,600 feet during these 8-miles. This will be very similar to the Monarch Pass climb I did the other day. I will pass by both the Keystone and Arapahoe Basin ski areas as I climb, so readers who have visited these areas will understand the challenge that I face. Loveland Pass is basically at 12,000' (11,991, officially), and this will be the highest elevation that I have reached on the bike this year. I will surely be puffin' when I finally reach the pass. Luckily, I have just to roll the 18 miles down the hill on the other side of the pass to reach my place of refuge for tomorrow night. I hope to spend the middle part of the day birding the pass for ptarmigan and rosy-finch. A big issue is that I will have the fully loaded bike with me. I am hoping I can find somewhere to hide the bike, or I will be stuck birding from the road. Walking far away from the bike and all my stuff for extended periods of time is only possible when I can find a really good hiding spot. Another major headache I face that car-based birders do not........ugh.
I'll be puffin........thank you, thank you, I'll be here all year.
Lastly, someone posted this on my Facebook page the other day and I wanted to share it with you. I have been dreaming about something like this for years! I am so glad it is finally going to happen.....in Germany. I doubt this would ever work in the States since everyone is so unnecessarily hyper-parnoid about cleanliness and sterility, but it is nonetheless encouraging to see that the idea is being tested somewhere. Here you go!