Blue Mesa Lake (west end) to Gunnison
Distance: 31.2 miles
Avg Speed: 11.0 mph
Terrain: Rolling Along a Large Body of Water
Location: 38˚ 31’ 45.67” N, 106˚ 56’ 47.33” W
The ride to Gunnison today gave me cause for celebration. In honor of Colorado Bike Month, I have ridden my bicycle everyday in June. Yehaw – it was definitely a challenge.
We arrived in “Gunny” around noon today and it was h-o-t-t. It was quite a contrast from the average January temperatures of -7. The town is known for very cold winters and it’s never surprising to see -40 on the news. Western State College has nickname of “Wasted State” for a reason.
After setting up camp at the KOA we pedaled into town for some lunch. To our surprise we spotted a few streets with dedicated bike lanes! I guess it just caught us off guard. Cycling is very much part of the culture in this part of Colorado. The town boasts three awesome bike shops – we visited two of them after lunch. Rock and Roll had a decent section dedicated to climbing – I’m guessing it was Chris’ personal favorite.
Gunnison is the county seat for its namesake county and is located 200 miles from Denver. It lies at the confluence of the Gunnison and Tomichi Rivers and sits at an elevation of 7,700 ft. Sagebrush covered hills surround the town and you can’t miss the big white “W” to the southeast. Gunnison is the largest town in a county that is comprised of 78% federal land. Tourism, education, and ranching provide the economic bases for the area. Crested Butte is next in line according to population and provides a whole pile of snow in the winter for skiers and snowboarders. The resort also provides a lot of tax revenue in terms of real estate with a (2005) median home price of $830,000 – wow! As in most resort towns in Colorado, Gunnison is at or above the national average when it comes to cost of living. As we know, it’s usually more about quality of life than dollars and cents.
Tomorrow we’re off to Hartman Rocks and another round of sweet singletrack. We’re looking forward to crossing another great place to ride off the list. Stay tuned for details.
Hope everything is well and good in your part of the world,
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