I was offline all of last week, busy riding my bikes (yes road and mountain) around Colorado. While I was gone, Hunter Kemper and Sarah Haskins claimed the final spots on the USA Triathlon Olympic team with solid performances at the Des Moines race. Congratulations to both of them.
Since 1999, I've been doing a week-long bike tour to boost my fitness and mostly because it's great fun. (The fitness boost is just a handy excuse to ride my bike for a week - as if I need an excuse.)
The plan came together last summer when Del, my husband, suggested that some of us that ride together a lot do our own tour. He said, "Why don't you do a road and mountain bike week and I'll sag for you?" (You've got to love this guy, don't you?)
Over the winter the plan was hatched, Bicycle Tour of Colorado a la Del, known as BTC a la Del:
Day 1: Road bike ride from Loveland to Central City. Overnight in Central City. (80 miles)
Day 2: Road bike ride from Central City to the top of Mt. Evans and back. (56 to 80 miles depending where we start) Overnight in Central City.
Day 3: Mountain bike from Central City over Rollins Pass to Winter Park (Estimated 20-25 miles). Overnight in Winter Park.
Day 4: Mountain bike ride in Winter Park, overnight there as well.
Day 5: Mountain bike ride in Winter Park and drive to Grand Lake or road bike to Grand Lake (40 miles) or some combination. Overnight in Grand Lake.
Day 6: Mountain bike ride around Grand Lake or road bike around Grand Lake.
Day 7: Road bike ride from Grand Lake back to Loveland over Trail Ridge Road (78 miles).
Because my internet access was quite limited last week, I'll give you a recap of what happened in this week's blog. I will tell you that the tour had to be modified due to lodging issues, snow issues (Day 6 in the photo below) and some road issues. More on those issues as the story unfolds...
For Day 1, we rode the back roads from Loveland to Lyons. After a refueling stop in Lyons, we traveled south on Highway 36 towards Boulder. Before hitting Boulder, we headed west on the Lefthand Canyon Road to Ward. This section of road is one of the classic rides out of Boulder. Just west of Ward, we caught the Peak to Peak Highway (72) just past Central City and Black Hawk to stay at a hotel that allowed dogs.
Ride time was 5:44 and "out" time was 7:00, a long day in the saddle; but fun.
I don't have photos from the Day 1 ride, but look forward to Day 2 - Mount Evans, "North America's Highest Auto Road" where we climbed 28 miles from Idaho Springs (7,524 feet) to the top of the pavement of Mount Evans at 14,130 feet. This route hosts one of the classic Colorado races, the Bob Cook Memorial Mount Evans Hill Climb. The route and profile can be found here.
Day 2 next...