Steve & Georgia Carter

Our Notebook

Page 5 of 19

Mini Tour


Saturday early in August.  Not the traditional day or time for the Tour of the Valley, which has been held on the last Sunday in the month.  Not sure why they changed it, and the turnout wasn’t as great as in prior years.   I picked and chose from the 75 mile tour by cutting off the Palisade segment which we rode two days ago.  Met several cycling friends along the way, mostly when they passed me…  The temperature was wonderful and the lunch/party was also enjoyable.  Two brewpubs and a local winery were handing out free samples, and the food was exceptional.  If the barbecue and salad are typical of Community Hospital’s cuisine, I want to go there next time I have to visit a hospital!  The only sour note was when it was time to come home and the rear tire was completely flat.  The guy from the local bike shop had left about a half hour earlier, and I wasn’t in the mood to fix it right there; the good news is that Georgia drove over and brought me home.

Total distance: 39.37 mi
Max elevation: 4698 ft
Min elevation: 4318 ft
Total climbing: 1788 ft
Total descent: -1476 ft
Average speed: 11.71 mi/h


Allen and I rode on part of the 75 mile route for the Tour of the Valley on Saturday:

Total distance: 38.36 mi
Max elevation: 4879 ft
Min elevation: 4298 ft
Total climbing: 2031 ft
Total descent: -1690 ft
Average speed: 10.38 mi/h

I’ll be taking my much lighter weight/faster Bianchi road bike, but thought it might be fun to take the REI Hybrid.  We didn’t set any speed records – well, actually, I did set one, but it was along Fifth Street in front of the high school.  Before starting up the dreaded 38 Road hill, I saw a couple of interesting sights.  The first was a roadside sign that advertised that they had eggs, bunnies and garlic for sale.  The eggs were apparently sold out, but the bunnies and garlic were still there.  I should have asked the lady if the bunnies were for eating or petting.

Eggs, Bunnies & Garlic

Palisade had a very European looking charging station for electric vehicles.  I don’t know how much a charge would cost, but you can pay with your credit card – if it’s equipped with wireless encoding, which few are.

Electric Vehicle Charging Station

We then proceeded up the 38 Road Hill, commonly known among cyclists as Puke Hill.  It’s a 7-8% grade, and I made a discovery.  My hybrid has such low gears that I can be pedaling like crazy and still going less than 3 miles per hour.  Which isn’t fast enough for me to keep the bike upright.  Which means that I crashed.  No permanent damage to the bike or me, just my ego.

Later, we passed by several orchards and wineries.  We followed a tractor pulling a trailer carrying about eight Hispanic (probably Mexican) farm workers to pick the Palisade peach crop.  They were friendly and waved at us.  Very much unlike some of the impatient Anglos who couldn’t wait to pass our caravan (the Mexicans, me and Allen).

There is one spot where the owner has spent a lot of effort on some very whimsical sculptures.  He has a sense of humor, too.

And some interesting sculptures

In case you were wondering, no, there isn’t a nudist colony one mile ahead.


More homemade sculptures


Gas plant

Allen was busy this morning, the group going to Highline Lake was leaving too late for my tastes, so I rode out to the well known but isolated gas plant and back home.

Total distance: 40.91 mi
Max elevation: 4859 ft
Min elevation: 4488 ft
Total climbing: 1493 ft
Total descent: -1535 ft
Average speed: 10.98 mi/h

The gas plant is located in the desert north of Fruita.  Since there’s no irrigation water, it’s dry but beautiful.

Gas plant road

On the way home, though, I texted Georgia and she met me for stomboli at Fruita’s Hot Tomato.



There’s a great coffee shop in Fruita, Bestslope Coffee Company, backed by the Hot Tomato ladies.  It’s well worth a trip from Grand Junction:

Total distance: 27.42 mi
Max elevation: 4695 ft
Min elevation: 4446 ft
Total climbing: 1076 ft
Total descent: -879 ft
Average speed: 11.23 mi/h



A nice trip with Allen to Highline Lake. Made 50 miles in intense (95-100 degree) heat with lots of stops for water and stromboli!

Total distance: 50.83 mi
Max elevation: 4711 ft
Min elevation: 4469 ft
Total climbing: 1499 ft
Total descent: -1512 ft
Average speed: 11.42 mi/h

No, I don’t belong to the Salem Bike Club; the jersey was a gift from my sister:

Highline Lake State Park

Tour of the Moon at Half Speed

I last did this ride 20 years ago.  It was much, much easier then…..

Total distance: 37.42 mi
Max elevation: 6614 ft
Min elevation: 4459 ft
Total climbing: 3169 ft
Total descent: -3074 ft
Average speed: 10.89 mi/h

This is me wishing that we had turned around at the Monument visitors’ center


This is Allen, ready to do another 50 miles…
Tour of the half(speed) moon

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