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Ride The Rockies Days 1-5

Posted Jun 20 2013 11:51am
ride

Wow!

That’s all I can say.

Wow!

What an amazing experience. (ok..blog post done….ha!)

So how did this whole journey start?  I guess it started with me signing up for Ironman Lake Tahoe knowing that I basically sucked at climbing on my bike.  That’s when I came up with the idea of doing Ride The Rockies where I would have the chance to ride for 7 days straight and be able to get in plenty of climbing!  I applied for the lottery, got in and signed up for lodging rather than camping.

Fast forward to the Thursday night before I was going to leave on Saturday.  My ride out to Telluride caught a cold and there was NWIH I was going to get in the car with a cold!  I began to call around to figure out how to get myself and Jean (my roadie) out to the West Side of Colorado.

That’s how I met Ron (who’s trip partner crashed bad a few days before).  We rented a SUV one way to Telluride and began our journey which would result in an amazing friendship.  (Ron is 74 yrs old and ROCKED the Rockies!).

ron

This is at the end of Day 6. Just love this guy!!!

I settled into the condo with 4 other people I had never met and was going to be sharing accommodations with the next 7 days.  I took it easy, as I was a bit nervous since I had never done anything like this before (well I have done backpacking trips for 10 days…but that’s different).

The Gang

The Gang

Sunday morning we all woke up at 4:30, ate breakfast and proceeded to get ready for the day.  I think we were out the door by 6:30 ready to ride!

The first bit out of Telluride was a little climb.  OK about 2k of climbing.  Felt pretty good.  Especially since I was not pushing at all.  I got to the first Aide Station and immediately saw that these guys knew how to throw one heck of a party!  The aide stations on this ride are amazing!  Vendors galore with any food you can imagine.  I stuck with my own nutrition of Amrita Bars , Just Plain GU, Peach Tea GU Chomps and PBJ Bonk Bars for the whole ride.  On occasion I would partake in a smoothie.  YES!  There where smoothie vendors!!!!!

Each day was amazing.  And they were all pretty similar in one way and different in another.

Basically I’d wake up at 4:30 every morning.  I’d make my tea and breakfast of cream of rice, protein powder and a packet of Justin’s Almond Nut Butter .  I’d put on my kit for the day, slather myself with sunscreen, make sure all my nutrition was loaded into my pockets and that Jean had everything on her, slam down a Vanilla Core Power , and I’d be out the door by 6:15, ready to hit the road.

Then it was time to ride, and ride….and ride!  The part that was different was that each day I got to meet new people.  I rode with some wonderful people who let me join them whether it was for 1 hr or the whole day.  Here’s some pics from different days with different folks!

kim

My Sista Endurance Girl Kim

a2

One of many aide stations…there’s Smoothie Man!

aide

One of the more beautiful aide stations

me 2

Day 3 I think…first stop in the morning. That’s the Pancake Line behind me.

ps

Wolf Creek Pass looms ahead!

guys

The Boys at the top of Wolf Creek Pass

l

Villa Grove Inn- Awesome coffee!

On the major climbs I rode by myself. On the flats I usually found some folks to get in a paceline with.  Every single person I met was gracious and kind.  I don’t know if it is the fact that we are all out there riding and suffering as a mutual experience or if this type of event just attracts certain type of people.  Either way, I feel very, very fortunate to have met everyone that I did.  They each enriched my experience.

Even the group I was riding with in a paceline to the top of Poncha Pass, where the leader kinda goofed and sent us all into each other.  Of course, I was the only one who ended up on the ground.  BAM!  Just like that! Luckily we were going uphill and so my fall just resulted in a large bruise on my right thigh/hip and no abrasions.  I did learn a lesson from this.  No more drafting with over-lapping wheels.  It didn’t leave me with any time to respond.  Lesson learned and filed away for future rides!

Top of Poncha Pass on Day 5!

Top of Poncha Pass on Day 5!

From the top of Poncha Pass it was a mad descent into Salida.  I was still a little shock-up and after a few minutes descending I was back in my groove.

When I got to our hotel I did my usual routine-drink some UCAN, unload the pockets, get cleaned up, layout everything for the following day, plug-in the Garmin, download my data to TrainingPeaks  and go out to EAT lunch! I found I could only eat about half my lunch so it’d come back to the room with me to chow on for dinner. I’d go to sleep around 8pm, get up, and repeat!

Although I must admit in Salida we all went out to dinner at the River’s Edge and partook in the festivities.  And…this is when I evaluated the situation for Days 6 and 7 as our next destination, Canon City, had a forest fire happening, which burned the bridge we were scheduled to ride over…..

(stay tuned for blog post Days 6 and 7)

 

 

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