The two men were sitting outside Dean's recently-pitched tent in Cortez, Colorado.
Early Saturday morning, the two had boarded a charter bus with scores of bikers for the 372-mile, eight-hour trip to Cortez, Colorado, where they found a pleasant little town abuzz with the activity of 2,000 riders and hundreds of support personnel.
The town of Cortez, located in the southwestern corner of Colorado, was near the only spot in the country where four states converged.
He could have stayed in the gym of Cortez-Montezuma High School but the weather was pleasant and he wanted to try out his newly purchased equipment under the western skies.
If Cortez were an example of what lay ahead, no one would go hungry.
Sunday morning broke with a surge of nervous excitement as 2,000 cyclists oozed out of Cortez, Colorado, bound for their first day's destination 46 miles distant.
Only two communities separated Cortez and Durango; Mancos and Hesperus, and neither were memorable.
Lurking in the back of his mind, however, was the frightening knowledge that later in the week he would have to bike twice the first day's distance on terrain quite unlike the relative level course of the Cortez-to-Durango run.
It seems he was in Europe someplace and didn't sign up for the tour in advance so he stopped by Cortez just to see if he could pick up a last minute cancellation.