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June 25, 2011 / jslipschultz

Colorado 2011

Day 3:  June 27th

Today was a great roller-coaster ride and a great finish to the Tour de Summit County.  We rode back to Frisco/Copper and climbed up Vail Pass (from an altitude of 8,700 to 10,100-ish).  For an encore, we sailed back to Frisco and went west and up (into the wind) to Breckenridge.  Again, beautiful Colorado weather.  It was a long day with 80 miles of riding with 3,800 ft of climbing (mostly in the big climbs).  My hat (or helmet) is off to the strong riders who come annually to do the Triple Bypass Ride–they climb the Vail Pass, Loveland Pass and one other the same day!

For dinner, Megan and the boys made strip steak tacos.  So good.  I think my caloric burn and intake balanced out on this trip.

I imagine I didn’t fully acclimate to the altitude since that can take days to weeks, but I did not have altitude sickness.  For that I’m grateful.  I was able to do my share of pulling the group and have a safe trip.  Can wait to do it again someday.

Vail Pass:

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Kurt cooling off, Kurt and Brett goofing off, and Don and I just happy to be in Breck:

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Day 2:  June 26th

Today was the tale of two rides.  One up and one mainly down.  Just a quarter-mile from the house, we launched into an “epic climb” of 2,800 feet in just eight miles to the top of Loveland Pass (from an altitude of 9,100 ft to 11,900 ft).  One of the highlights of the climb was passing Araphoe Basin and seeing people SKI down the mountainside.  We worked up a sweat going up, but needed to put on jackets at the top for the screaming decent down.

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There was beautiful scenery in the El Derado Canyon with fast moving rivers (we passed a serious rafting accident where the road was closed as rescuers lifted out injured rafters).  There was long stretch of a brand new bike trail (see pic)–so awesome.  We saw amazing landscape and enjoyed a downhill decent for miles and miles through Georgetown (neat little train loop outside of town) and Idaho Springs.  After the Pass it was downhill for 50 miles (21.5 mph average).

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In the last section of the ride, we went through six tunnels and fortunately Megan drove the SAG vehicle today and got behind us at every tunnel with blinkers on to keep cars away from us.  We were hauling the last 10 or so miles averaging 25 mph cutting through the wind.  I pulled our train to enjoy the view from the front.  Megan got us lunch at Subway and we ate in the park in Golden near the river.  Nice little town (and home of Coors–you can smell the hops all over town).  We ate dinner in town at Grappa.  Great risotto!

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Day 1: June 25th

Great day in Keystone, CO.  Don and I drove up last night to Kurt and Brett’s house.  Brett’s sons Kale and Blake and Kurt’s wife, Megan, and son, Westin are here, too.

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We started the day with something different than the planned cycling:  Don brought mountain-climbing equipment and we all took a shot at a steep two-story cliff (negative angle).  Very tough.  I got a little ways up, but only Weston could scale it.  We hiked on back (nice view of the house and Buffalo Mountains).

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Our ride today took us from Keystone to Dillon/Frisco to Copper Mountain.  Quite a bit of climbing (almost 2,000 ft in 44 miles).  A few little sprints for Kurt and I to “open it up” to 31 mph in the flats.  We had lunch at Copper Mountain (so cool to see these ski resorts in the “summer mode.”  There was a festival going on and a “Tomato Battle.”  Literally hundreds of crazy people were dressed in bathing suits or combat gear and goggles and throwing tomatoes at each other in a fenced in area the size of a football field.

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When we returned, I was “strongly encouraged” to finish my day by biking up to Montazuma.  Brett got me pointed in the right direction and up I went.  About 5 miles up at 5% grade.  Over 700 feet of climbing where the second half was steeper than the first.

So I am tired!  Good day.  Good company.  Good weather.  Perfect day.  Dinner at Dam Brewery in Dillon!


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