The sun has set on another great day of Bike For Backpacks, and our Day 2 plan ended up changing just a bit.
The journey from Aspen to Twin Lakes includes the formidable Independence Pass, which is a 20-mile climb to a peak height of 12,095 feet. With the wind blowing hard and the air thinner than ever, it’s an intimidating road to drive, not to mention bike.
On the drive up, we pulled off the road at Devil’s Punchbowl, a swimming hole with gorgeous waters. The riders contemplated hopping in but figured wet shorts wouldn’t be a great way to ride.
Our fearless leader Michael McAllister was the only one brave enough to take our 32-foot RV up those narrow mountain roads. Though the original plan was for our riders to set out from Aspen and the RV to hang out at Independence Pass, it was unanimously decided that Michael should be along for the ascent.
Ultimately, it was decided that everyone would ride to the top of the Pass, then bike 14 miles down toward Aspen, only to turn around, bike the same 14 miles back up to the RV on Independence Pass, then continue a 17-mile descent on the other side of the Pass to Twin Lakes.
One of our riders, Terri Blattenbauer, skipped out on Independence Pass last year but tackled it with ease yesterday. Even those extra 14 miles did nothing to slow her as she flew in to Twin Lakes.
At the stopping point, everyone piled into the RV and Amanda had snacks ready to go. After lounging at the Columbine Inn in Leadville and taking in the beautiful view of the setting sun over Turquoise Lake, the crew had pizza at Mountain Pies, where we’d recommend the Carnivore pizza.
After a great night’s sleep, Breckenridge awaits us! Stay tuned here for more updates.