Today was our first full day of riding in Colorado and we experience climbing at elevation. Although we had steeper climbs, we have never been at 9200 feet or climb for over 20 miles. A number of us felt the altitude and we even had to stop a few times to let our legs rid themselves of lactic acid build up. We were fortunate that most of the last 9 miles were downhill into Westcliffe. We will get more acclimated to the altitude tomorrow since it will be a short day with very little climbing and above 6800 feet.
Westcliffe is a nice town with a population of 568. They have a nice city park where we camped for the night. The only shower was the garden hose variety. With the water being extra cold due to the mountain water source and the air temperature in the low 70s, it didn’t take long to shower.
This is a tourist community but it has been inundated with a festival, bluegrass concert and our 20 people. Many of our team went to listen to the live music in the evening.
But before everyone went in their different directions most participated in out secret Santa gift exchange. There was a $5 limit on the gifts so everyone was very creative. This is a great example of how everyone works together to build a stronger team.