That’s Val on the way to Independence Pass. Val and I have been hitting the road. For the 3rd straight year, I’ve joined in the fun at the 109 West bicycle tour.

It is a week-long event similar to Ride the Rockies with a few major differences:

    • Hotel-only lodging = no camping
    • A few dozens cyclists – not thousands
    • Aid-stations with multitudes of food choices = YUM

This year the 109 West tour travelled from Telluride through Montrose, Crested Butte, Buena Vista, Aspen and Paonia / Hotchkiss before finishing in Palisade.

Val climbed the Dallas Divide, Cerro Summit, & Blue Mesa Summit on the way to CB; crossed Cottonwood Pass to BV; conquered Independence and McClure Passes (yet again); and summited the Grand Mesa from the south side for the first time.

While he cycled, my bike was off-limits to me by doctor’s orders. So, I had the opportunity to drive our car over all the same terrain AND serve as the official photographer, photo book producer for the tour  and intermittent SAG driver for those needing a boost or not wanting to ride the gravel-side of Cottonwood Pass.
It was the best week in a long time. I was surrounded by friends and acquaintances of like-mind and spirit which lifted my spirits even higher. I was outdoors for long-periods of time, sitting on a rock by the side of the road to capture riders in photos and relishing the breezes, the sun and clouds. I was so pre-occupied with nature, the tour and the group I lost my focus on the neuropathy in my feet and hands.

Realizing a bicycle tour is not the solution for every survivor going through further treatment, I do suggest that continuing to participate in your beloved activities to an extent as much as possible is a rejuvenating, blissful thing. SO GO DO YOUR THING!  And enjoy it. How could it be any better?

Cheers – Daina

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