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Active Expert: Gale Bernhardt

1 Post tagged with the estes_ride tag

Last Saturday I rode to Estes Park. I’ve written about this silly monthly ride to Estes goal in past blogs. We're still going at it.




Most of the time, this ride is no big deal – but – some days it’s tougher to pull off than other days.


One of the marker points for successful goal completion is to make it past the Estes Park city limit sign. Last week I couldn’t see the sign – without some digging.




I’m assuming that high winds earlier in the week blew the sign down. Some Colorado locations clocked wind speeds in excess of 115mph.Estes recorded 77mph on November 12th and several other days between the 12thand the 19th had gusty winds in the 50mph range.




Though we had an early morning snow in Loveland, the roads were mostly dry by about 1:00pm. Since my husband Del volunteered to drive upto Estes and pick me up (so I wouldn’t have to worry about staying warm on the 30-mile descent and darkness) I decided to bag my November Estes ride.


There was around four to six inches of snow on the ground for a good part of the ride - but the roads were mostly dry or just a little wet. Though the air temperature was 35 degrees, I was able to dress so I didn’t get cold. Having the right gear is essential for a ride like this one. Additionally, because it is basically a 30-mile climb I can stay pretty warm on the ride. My toes got a little chilly at the end, but not bad.


I have to say it’s one of the best rides I’ve done to Estes because I got to see two big horn sheep rams up close. I saw one on a rock ledge about 12 yards above the road. The second one broke away from his herd and came trotting towards me while we were both on the road side of a guard rail. I stopped, not knowing if he was angry or not.


He came trotting toward me and jumped across the rail about 4 yards in front of me. He proceeded to dance up the rocks next to the road. He stopped about 4 yards to my right, above the road. WOW!


A car watched the whole thing unfold. The driver rolled down the window and said, “Wow that was something!”


All I could manage was “WOW!” followed by a wide-open mouth and then a big smile on my face. 


If it wasn’t for that seemingly insignificant goal, I wouldn’t have ridden at all that day. I just needed that goal to get me out the door and on one of the coolest rides I’ve had in awhile.





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