Wednesday, June 11, 2014

June 11 (Day 162) - Aaaaannnnnddddd the legs officially give out.......

Those of you who have played any form of sport know that on some days you have it, and some days you don't. California Chrome didn't have it on Saturday, and I didn't have it today. Yesterday's ride took more out of me than I realized; I had a hard time just moving the bike forward on flat ground today. After 5 consecutive days of hard riding and climbing, my legs feel very weak at the moment. This is the most fatigued my legs have felt all year. I am going to take a rest day tomorrow in preparation for what I figure will be the hardest ride of the year on Friday (I may take 2, we'll see). On that day I will climb more than a mile as I cross a mountain pass at 11,000 feet to reach Silverton, CO. That's more than 4 Empire State Buildings worth of climbing! The air will be thin at that elevation, so even though the ride will only be 37 miles, I know it is going to push my body to the limits of its capabilities.  I will say that despite the physical outlay that these Colorado rides will require, they are certainly visually spectacular! Here is a snapshot of today's ride.

47 miles today

I tried to do some roadside birding today, but since the biking was such a struggle, most of my focus was on pedaling. I did add Mountain bluebird (#470) early this morning. There were many magpies and meadowlarks, and I had a great look at a beautiful Virginia's warbler on my descent. This view made up for the very brief view I had of the lone bird that I saw in Arizona. I also had a great view of a Lewis's woodpecker as it briefly perched on a roadside fencepost. My Durango hosts, although not hard-core birders, do have a feeder out back that has had at least 3-4 visits from Pine siskens since my arrival. However, the big find from their porch this afternoon were 3 flyby Evening grosbeaks for year bird #471! I am slowly picking birds off my Colorado species list, so I feel good about the pace of bird finding at the moment. I will try to find a local spot in in/round Durango where I can do a bit of birding tomorrow on my down time. 


  1. Dorian, I'm really enjoying your blog. I look forward to each day's entry...How about a little info on how you are documenting each bird species you identify?

  2. I try to photograph each species but sometimes this is not possible. Many birds are seen as flybys or from a distance where photos are impossible. Photos are most important for had-to-find or rare species; no one is ever going to question if I saw a Herring gull or a Red-tailed hawk. I have managed to photograph nearly every rare bird I have seen. For others, I was birding with people so I have witnesses. At the end of the day though its an honor system, and I think I have a good reputation in the community.

  3. Good luck on the journey,. I have crossed Colorado 10+ times on a bicycle. Keep in mind that the mountains are as much a psychological challenge as a physical challenge. Don't get daunted by the elevation profiles...just one pedal-stroke at a time and you will get through it. I bicycled and birded through Alaska and the Yukon Territory last year - it is a spectacular way to go! Thanks for keeping the blog going!