On my way out of Vail today, I looked over at the wonderful bike path I had ridden up just two days before. It was totally impassable, covered with snow. Despite the short stretches where I had carried my bike through the drifts on Friday, I realized that I had really gotten in my ride on the best day possible. May is simply too unpredictable for cycling up this high in the mountains. After being here for two full days and two half days, I really only got in one good day of riding. Maybe I can head back in July or August to try this again.
Yesterday, the day after my long loop over the three mountain passes, it was snowy and cold. I put my feet up in front of the fire, ran on the treadmill in the Sheraton Mountain Vista rooftop gym and soaked in the outdoor hot tub overlooking the snow-dusted mountains. This morning, although it was sunny and bright, the temperature came close to breaking records for this time in May... it was -2 degrees and only about 4 degrees when I tried to ride up towards Vail Pass into a stiff wind. With frozen fingers, I retreated to Starbucks in Avon to thaw and throw back some caffeine. Cutting my losses, I rode some steep hills around Avon and packed for my trip to San Francisco. Tomorrow is another day and with luck it will be 17 degrees going across the Golden Gate and up into the mountains of Marin County.