We welcomed three new riders today. David, who will turn 14 next week, joins his father Steve, who started in San Francisco. They will continue to Pueblo, Colorado over the next 8 days. Jay has ridden part of the Cross Country Challenge before, and he is riding from SLC to Pueblo as well. And Angie is joining her boyfiend (and bike mechanic extraordinaire) Gerard for the next stretch to Pueblo.
Todays route took us closer to the Wasatch Mountains, which border Salt Lake City (and Provo, Utah, where we stay tonight) on the East. These are part of the Rocky Mountains, although people from Colorado hate to hear that! We had a fairly short ride of 66 miles, and did not enter the mountains--we'll do that tomorrow.
About 15 of us stayed together all day, with frequent stops for photos, lunch, flat tires, and just to let some riders catch up. Shown is a photo of the Wasatch Mountains. I stopped to take this picture, and other riders who then passed agreed it was a good idea as well!
We road through several small towns, all with lawns that are irrigated. We especially enjoyed riding through the BYU campus. Note that the snow is mostly off the mountains (a little early this year), and should return by October.
We'll do some real climbing again tomorrow, and people want to last all through the Rockies. I haven't mentioned it yet, but riding these distances and climbing these heights is a strain on the body. We've had riders take part or all of one or more days off (riding in the vans) due to knee pain, Achilles tendonitis, and vomitting. Fortunately we've had no really severe problems. I do occasionally give advice (when I'm asked, or if I see something I'm concerned about). Our AbB staff is concerned about safety first, so it's a pretty good situation--and all riders offer their support if someone is feeling poorly. We really are blessed to have such a good group.