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Today was a scheduled Estes ride because the weather was so darn nice. Estes Park is a 32 mile climb from Loveland, if we go via Devil’s Gulch Road. This route also includes some tough switchbacks. We went back via Highway 34, which is a bit shorter. For 62.83 miles there is 3787 feet of climbing – the majority of the climbing is on the trip up.


It was a good sized group today, with plenty of strong riders. Carl Ciacci (Villanova graduate and cycling team alumni - he can sprint like he was shot from a cannon) shows up with Layla, his nine-year old Jack Russell Terrier. (Apologies to Layla, as I probably spelled your name incorrectly.) His plan was to carry Layla on the ride, unless she became uncomfortable at any point. If she wasn’t having a good time, he’d take her home.


This dog was completely relaxed the entire trip. She sat comfortably in Carl’s messenger bag looking around at the other riders and putting her nose in the wind occasionally. She got a break at the Notchtop Café and a chance to stretch her legs while we snagged something to eat.


I snapped the photo below when we made a stop to try to fix Dave McClure’s broken spoke. Of course Carl is carrying Layla. Dave McClure is left of Carl and Bill Danielson is behind Dave.)


I’d guess Layla weighs some 13 to 15 pounds. If you want to make cycling harder in the off-season, carry your dog or an additional 15 pounds in a backpack.

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