Day #58 – Thompson, UT to Green River, UT – 56 miles / 90 km

We exchanged a couple of text messages with the boys early afternoon. They were taking a break in Green River and mentioned that from that point the next town will be in 105 miles (167 km).

Then Peter wrote: “I just watched a replay of Marti Malloy winning the Bronze medal this morning.”

They rode 20 more miles (36 km) until they settled down for the night, but the title still shows Green River, as that is still the closest town to their current location.

In the evening we were only able to talk for a few minutes, because the phone call kept being dropped. Janos talked about the strong storm they were experiencing as we spoke. Heavy rain, a lightning in every 10-15 seconds, and wind so strong, they had to tie out the tent to the bicycles. A flash flood warning was issued for the area, expiring late night.

USGS reported a M3.7 earthquake at around 4:30 am, about 40 miles (64 km) from the brothers. They could feel it, but that is all. Maybe one of the safest place during an earthquake is under a tent… On the map below, the star shows the epicenter of the quake, and the red arrow shows the boys’ location.

States: 11   Total: 2941 miles / 4733 km

Day #57 – Grand Junction, CO to Thompson, UT – 68 miles / 109 km

Arriving to Utah!

The day started with some tiring up-and-down riding, the boys felt as if it would never end. After that the terrain became more pleasant. The brothers are in an area where they have been before; they have visited the Arches N.P., the Dinosaur National Monument, Mesa Verde, etc. back in 2006.

Below see pictures we got from Janos. He documented what he is seeing several hours long every day: when he is looking ahead, when he is looking down, and a picture of the two bikes.

States: 11    Total: 2885 miles / 4643 km

Day #56 – Montrose, CO to Grand Junction, CO – 66 miles / 106 km

The day started with some not very good news: Peter found that his phone can not be charged. This is reason to worry. One time they already lost each other during the trip, and  called each other to reunite, so it is necessary that each of them carry a working mobile phone. Also, most of the pictures posted on this blog are taken by Peter and we would miss these photos.

The day started with some downhill riding, followed by not too difficult up-and-down for the rest of the day. The brothers enjoyed the terrain today. They even had time (and the opportunity) to visit an REI store and buy some necessities. They bought even bigger (2.5G / 10L) water bags, since they expect to ride 60 mile long legs without any services. These tanks will come in handy later in the Nevadan deserts as well. Janos says a water bag is much easier to carry on a bike, since it conforms to the shape of the other bags, unlike a rigid container.

They also bought some tablets that will hopefully remove the slimy layer that covers the inside of their current water tanks. They also got new water bottles because, though the previous ones were insulated, they were of bad quality: the water seeped in between the two layers of plastic, and their water started smelling and tasting of mold. They bought bike-mirrors as well.

When they settled down for the night, Peter tried to charge his phone once again – and this time it worked!

As of today, this blog has had 100 comments. A big THANK YOU to everybody who contributed.

States: 10   Total: 2817 miles / 4534 km

Day #55 – Gunnison, CO to Montrose, CO – 67 miles / 108 km

The brothers had to “dig deep into the side bags” to get out the sweaters – they had not used them since leaving the Appalachians. But in the Rockies the nights are cool.The days are still warm, but not as hot as they were all the way since Virginia. The boys don’t even mind the rain – they had more than they wished for, of riding in burning hot and dry weather, and they can expect more of that later in Nevada.

Sometimes they get steady rain, sometimes just a quick shower. The first time they stopped to cover the side bags and to get out the rain coats, but by then the shower was gone. Next time they knew better, they just rode on, enjoying the refreshing gust of rain.

Uphill they can do 5 mph, but they got rewarded with a 35 mph downhill section.

They rode along the beautiful Blue Mesa Reservoir. Of course they went for a dip.

States: 10    Total: 2751 miles / 4427 km

Day #54 – Salida, CO to Gunnison, CO – 55 miles / 88 km

– Monarch Pass! 11312

– Very hard, very beautiful

These were text messages we received around noon. The brothers have reached the highest point of their cross-country journey. Monarch Pass is located on the continental divide, at 11,312 ft (3448 m).

Passing the highest point by no means equals to being halfway. Janos and Peter still have the major part of the Rocky Mountains ahead of them, including sections that are more steep and more difficult than today’s leg. And today’s ride was hard, they could ride at an average of 5 mph on the way up. They started the day at 7080 ft (2158 m), rode to the 11K peak, then descended back to 7683 ft (2342 m).  Breathing is definitely harder, they say.

States: 10   Total: 2684 miles / 4319 km

Day #52 – Pueblo, CO to Westcliffe, CO – 56 miles / 90 km

Today the brothers crossed the first mountain of the Rockies, one which has many names: Wet Mountains, Cuerno Verde, Greenhorn Mountains, and Sierra Mojadas. They gained a total elevation of 4600 ft (1402 m) and lost 1300 ft (396 m) during the day.

They already feel that they need to breathe deeper.

The town where they spend the night, celebrates it’s 125th birthday on this day.

Elevation: 7888 feet (2404 m)      Elevation gained since Pueblo: 3196 ft (974 m)      States: 10   Total: 2570 miles / 4136 km

Day #51 – Pueblo, CO

Peter and Janos spent the day preparing for the ride through the Rocky Mountains. In the coming weeks they expect to find stores less often, which means they will need to carry more food and especially water. They prepared the bikes, purchased  and changed some tires, break pads, handle bar tape, chain lube, more spokes, 3 L water tanks and more spare parts. Tomorrow they will continue riding home.

Please see the updated Overall Progress page.

States: 10    Total: 2514 miles / 4046 km

Day #50 – Haswell, CO to Pueblo, CO – 83 miles /134 km

The brothers’ trip consists of three major sections: The Appalachians, the flat part in the middle of the country, and the Rockies. When the boys finished the first section, they calculated that by day #50 they would need to finish the second section and arrive to Pueblo, CO. They did.

After yesterday’s little progress Peter and Janos started very early today. They wanted to finish yesterday’s leg before the strong headwind and the heat really kicks in. Then they rested until late afternoon, and arrived to their destination by 8pm.

The Rocky Mountains already appeared in the distance: see the last picture.

States: 10    Total: 2514 miles / 4046 km

Day #49 – Eads, CO to Haswell, CO – 29 miles / 47 km

Peter and Janos enjoy the night riding so much, (especially compared to day riding), that they planned to do the next leg all in the night. Today they slept a few hours in the afternoon, and started riding at 8:15 pm (MT). It started out well, but before midnight their bodies just started objecting. The brothers know that riding is not very safe when you keep falling asleep – they just had to stop.

The title says Haswell, CO, but there was actually no populated place near where they spent the night. When you search for the coordinates, the map will give you the name of the closest town – even if the road actually doesn’t go through the town. This was often the case in the Appalachians, and will probably be in the Rockies.

States: 10   Total: 2431 miles / 3912 km