Today’s Ride started out surprisingly chilly. It was 52 degrees with a fast slight downhill for the first 33 miles which caused my fingers to go numb. Once we started climbing everyone was warm. It was a pretty ride running thru Byers Canyon.
We also had a 13 mile dirt section going up Ute Pass. On the dirt I kept my max speed to under 25 mph.
Once we made the top of the pass it started to get windy and it looked like it might rain. The last aid station was moved up 10 miles to keep it out of the smoke area from the wild fires.
The last 37 miles where uphill with the last 17 miles on trails which were pretty. Today’s ride was 88 miles with 5,200 miles of climb. It felt good to finish the ride before 2pm.
Today’s route was a rerun of yesterday’s route except in the opposite direction for the first 14 miles back to Granby. The total distance to Winter Park was about 31 miles and 1,800 feet of climb. Except for the scenery it is like my normally training ride but with double the climb. I left at 8am and it was almost 60 degrees which was very nice. Sixty degrees is a lot better than forty degrees for biking. My ride time was a little over two hours.
The first half of the ride was at a slight downhill to the aid station shown above. The second half of the ride was at a slight uphill. We turned off of Route 40 onto C.R.5 which was a very nice low volume road.
I got into Winter Park around 10:30 and set my tent up at the school.
I decided to bike up to Berthoud Pass which was an option for today. Most people looked like they were taking a pass on the Pass. There were a few dark clouds and it looked like it might rain. I started riding up Berthoud Pass but decided to turn around after the first 10 miles of the 15 mile climb. I got a flavor of the mountain and did two of the switch back.
I stopped off for some ice cream on the ride. After my shower I went to the music venue which was very nice.
I had a pork belly to eat at the concert as well as a second ice cream cone.
Tomorrow will be a long day to get to our cars in Breckinridge. It is hard to believe this 6 day Tour is almost over.
It was a chilly start but a hot afternoon. I love how clear the Colorado skies are. Today will probably be the most difficult day with 95 miles and 6,000 feet of climb. I started riding at 6:30am and was planning on having breakfast at the first aid station at mile 13 most of the way up rabbit ear pass. The aid station was moved 2 miles further up the mountain to the first summit. I was running on empty when I reached the aid station. The pancakes tasted good. the second summit was at the Continental divide.
Riding thru the canyon was beautiful
The steep short climb before the last aid stop took a lot out of me. I forgot to eat lunch and was on empty for the last 10 miles . When I got in I had a stuff potato and later in the evening I had spaghetti with meatballs.
this was the worse camping stop so far but only one night.
I went into Grand Lake to watch the concert with some snow showing on the mountain in the background. This was a nice venue for the music and dinner.
Tomorrow should be an easier day to Winter Park.
Today’s ride was 49 miles with 3800 feet of climb and many are calling it a rest day even if they rode the ride. I started riding a little after 8am when the sun was starting to warm things up. It was nice not wearing all the cold weather gear. For the first 9 miles we retraced yesterday’s route in the opposite direction. Even with the slight uphill grade my speed was a little above 16 mph to the aid station at mile 20. The DJ was at the rest area and I tried to win another T Shirt with the orange toss but failed again. This time was my fault I had a bad throw.
Here is a picture of the food at the rest stop. After the rest stop we had our first major climb of the day. It was short 2 miles but had grades that varied from 5 to 9%.
The steep climbs were followed by steep and fast downhills. I limited my speed to 40 mph but heard one person said he got up to 60 mph.
The second rest stop was at mile 35 and someone said their was a steep uphill again and he was right. I saw grades on my gps that varied from 5% to 11%. I needed 4 more teeth on my rear cassette to make it up these hills.
The last 8 miles had some ups and downs but were mainly downhill back into town.
I stopped at a bike store before I made it to my rent. They carried Moots bicycles that were made in USA right in Steamboat and they had a rear cassette that had 34 teeth instead of the 28 my bike has. I just looked and smiled. I cleaned my chain after the ride and looking at going to the hot springs in town to take a dip.
I chose the hot spring over the cold river.Then Dinner.
Tomorrow will be our most difficult day to Grand Lake
Today’s ride was 80 miles with 5,040 feet of climb. I was hoping to get on the road a few minutes early but it ended up being a few minutes later at 6:50. It was cold like yesterday but not quite as bad. We had a nice downhill for the first 9 miles which was nice. We then had our first of the two major climbs today up to Walcott Gap at elevation 8,256. We then had a nice downhill and did the second climb which ended at mile 38. We had most of today’s climb in the first half oh the ride which made for a nice second half of the ride.
We followed a river along most of the second half of the ride.
This was another beautiful day on a bicycle and Steamboat Springs should be a fun town. Tomorrow a short 50 loop day.
I started the ride at 6:45am and it was cold last night. I think the temperature was around 40 degrees when I started but it dropped to 36 by the time I got to copper. It was a pretty ride.
The first 7 miles was on the road then we switched to bike path all the way to copper.
Then we started the climb up to climax pass at elevation 11335 feet above sea level. I have done this climb two years ago and it was a lot easier then since it was on the 4 day instead of the 1st day. We then had a long downhill into Leadville which was slowed because of a 14 mph headwind.
The temps started to warm up and I was glad I got in before 2 pm to set the tent up and take a shower.
There is still snow in Colorado. Had a nice one hour car ride to Breckinridge. Got there an Hour before the opened up of registration so did a 21 mile bike ride back to Frisco. It was only 900 feet of climb but at 9,500 feet it wasn’t easy. Tomorrow’s ride to elevation 11,300 will be difficult for a first day.
Got everything in my one bag. Didn’t know if most things would fit
Got my tent set up and going to have a beer and listen to some live music.
Think I will be ready to ride tomorrow at 6am for opening ceremony.
I must not have been ready to go last night. I almost forgot to charge my bike battery and I called my post 2 days to go instead of 3 days to go. This year my wife Pam and Dog Brandy ate not going with so I am driving alone and won’t have the van to sleep in along the way, I will be tenting it. I am hoping this will be my most difficult day driving 1080 miles to get 30 miles past Denver. I want to get past Denver so I will be sleeping above elevation 6,000 to get use to elevation. They are being hard on the flat landers by biking up to elevation 11,200 feet above sea level on the first day.
Crossing The Mississippi River
After I got to DeKalb it started to rain on and off to about the Mississippi River. It was cool with a tail wind. If it wasn’t for the rain it would be good bicycling weather. While crossing Iowa I always think of the Ragbrai which will be my 20th year of doing that bicycle ride. I think of all the places and people I have met over the years. Oh yes and Iowa isn’t flat.
Around 40 miles from Denver I could start seeing the mountains.
I pulled into Idaho Springs about 30 miles past Denver just after dark and got a motel room. This was the longest day of driving alone that I have done. I drove 1080 miles in one day and and made it to elevation 7,500 and felt pretty good about it.
I am almost all packed and will start driving in 8 hours the 1120 miles to Breckenridge. I hope I am ready. Almost forgot to recharge the bike for the electronic shifting. Looking forward to the ride.
There are a lot of memories packed into a short amount of time. The memories that stand out for me are as follows:
- The riders and staff. I will always remember.
- Fantastic weather with only 10 minutes of rain. How did we manage to miss all the hurricanes?
- Twelve days of headwinds.
- Swimming in both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
- The first day ride up the mountains to the gold mining town of Julian.
- The second day the rough pavement going into ElCentro. My butt was bruised for the rest of the trip.
- Seeing many good riders succumb to the 107 degrees of heat coming into ElCentro.
- The beauty of Day 5 with 3 major passes including Mingus Mountain. On one of the steep 180 degree switchback the headwind stopped me dead and I had to hold on to the guardrail so I didn’t fall over.
- The last 40 mile ride going 30 mph with tailwind riding into Winslow Arizona with that Eagle’s song playing in my head.
- Staying at the historic LaPosada Hotel.
- Day 10 from Ruidoso to Roswell with tailwind on beautiful low volumes roads. One of the easiest and best days.
- Dinner at the Big Texas Steak Ranch home of the famous 72 oz Steakhouse.
- Riding parts of Route 66.
- Finding out Oklahoma has 12-15% grade Ouachita Mountains. Beautiful but painful.
- Riding over the Mississippi River bridge.
- Many loose dogs. One even followed us for over a mile. He wanted to be part of the ice cream gang.
- Speaking of ice cream the ice cream gang had ice cream almost everyday and I only gained one pound on the trip.
- The ups and down of the rollers of the south.
- The last dinner at the Pond House in Metter to have our last regular meal together and to reflex on the trip.
- The group ride in together for the last 5 miles on Tybee Island.
- A fantastic journey with fantastic people.
Thanks for viewing my blog. I hope to publish a YouTube video of the trip in a month.