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Ride the Rockies(7 posts)

Ride the RockiesColnagoFE
Jun 25, 2002 8:30 AM
How was your ride? The smoke wasn't too much fun, but I thought all in all it was a good ride--oh yeah the headwinds sucked--especially the last day. I don't think the climbing was as hard as in previous years either, but the overall mileage seemed to be a bit greater.
re: Ride the Rockiesjtolleson
Jun 25, 2002 11:35 AM
I had a great, great week. The smoke was disappointing, not so much for its effects on riding (which weren't too bad except burning eyes on downhills) but because it obscured some of Colorado's most fantastic views. I found myself challenged but not miserable every day.

OK, I was a little miserable on the way back to Alamosa. Thank god for pace lines -- I don't know if I could have fought those headwinds alone. At least I sure didn't want to.

And to think that I carried leg warmers, arm warmers, toe covers, and full fingered gloves to the ride! Ha! Who'd a thunk a week in the high country with no showers or cold weather? Weird.

I had never ridden Monarch or Red Mountain Passes before, and what gems! The crappy pavement on Wolf Creek took a lot of the joy out of descending.

And a good time was had by (almost) all!
Ride the Rockies memoriesStmbtDave
Jun 25, 2002 12:03 PM
I've found that each RTR creates a single memory that becomes that year's ride label. In '99 it was the year of the hail on top of Lizard Head pass. In '00 it was the year of the wind over La Veta pass. I didn't ride last year as I went to Europe. This year I think it will become the year of the fires although the ever present wind comes in a close second.

It was a great ride through some of the most beautiful scenery in the nation - although we couldn't always see it through the haze. Could you possibly beat the view from the aid station at the top of Molas Divide? We were truly on the roof of the Rockies.

Of course we had to deal with the smoke, the wind, and the wind but that is all part of the experience. Except for one rude, obnoxious, inconsiderate volunteer at the Ridgeway aid station, I consider it a great tour.

What I remember this yearColnagoFE
Jun 25, 2002 2:22 PM
I remember Lizard head (it was rain when i went through)--also remember the wind on la veta in '00...that sucked bad.

I also think it's gotta be the smoke from the fires...strange sunrises and sunsets due to the smoke. Also lots of headwinds. Other really screaming descents this year though red mountain was fun (fast and twisty) until i got stuck behind a semi going slow near the bottom. Monarch was uneventful...headwind only permitted 52MPH and I got stung by a bee in the thigh at about 50...ouch! molas divide was spectacular. The last day was kinda boring to be honest...flat roads, scrubbrush, and headwinds that got worse as the day went on. Liked the loop as I didn't have to box my bike this year. One last thought is that I now think I have now ridden every paved pass in colorado except independence pass.
Here is a list of Colorado passes so that you can check.bikedodger
Jun 25, 2002 2:48 PM
Rank Pass Elevation (Ft.) Nearby Town
1 *Mt. Evans 14,130 Bergen Park
2 *Trail Ridge 12,183 Estes Park/ Granby
3 Cottonwood 12,126 Buena Vista
4 Independence 12,095 Aspen
5 Loveland 11,990 Dillon
6 Iceberg 11,827 Estes Park
7 Fall River 11,796 Estes Park
8 Hoosier 11,542 Breckenridge
9 Slumgullion 11,530 Lake City
10 Fremont 11,318 Leadville
11 Monarch 11,312 Poncha Springs
12 Berthoud 11,307 Empire
13 Juniper 11,140 Bergen Park
14 Red Mountain 11,018 Silverton
15 Molas 10,910 Silverton
16 Spring Creek 10,898 Lake City
17 Wolf Creek 10,850 South Fork
18 *Grand Mesa 10,839 Mesa/Delta
19 Milner 10,758 Estes Park
20 Vail 10,666 Vail
21 Coal Bank 10,640 Silverton
22 Tennessee 10,424 Leadville
23 Cameron 10,276 Walden
24 La Manga 10,230 Antonito
25 Lizard Head 10,222 Rico
26 N. Cochetopa 10,149 Saguache
27 Red Hill 10,051 Fairplay
28 Cumbres 10,022 Antonito
29 Kenosha 10,000 Grant
30 Cucharas 9,941 Cuchara
31 Squaw 9,807 Bergen Park
32 Willow Creek 9,683 Granby
33 Ute 9,568 Dillon
34 Gore 9,524 Kremmling
35 Wilkerson 9,507 Hartsel
36 Rabbit Ears 9,401/ 9,426 Steamboat Springs
37 N. La Veta 9,413 La Veta
38 *Golden Gate Canyon 9,357 Golden
39 Trout Creek 9,346 Buena Vista
40 *Lefthand Canyon 9,257 Lyons
41 Ute 9,190 Divide
42 Wind River 9,130 Estes Park
43 *Black Canyon 8,973/ 9,125 Gunnison
44 **Hardscrabble 9,091 Wetmore
45 Poncha 9,010 Poncha Springs
46 Dallas Divide 8,970 Ridgway
47 Muddy 8,772 Steamboat Springs
48 McClure 8,755 Redstone
49 **Cerro Summit/ Blue Mesa Summit 7,983/ 8,704 Montrose
50 *Mesa Verde Natl. Park 8,300 Durango
51 Douglas 8,268 Loma
52 **Stagecoach 8,100 Evergreen
53 Raton 7,830 Trinidad
54 Yellow Jacket 7,780 Chimney Rock
55 Yellow Jacket 7,428 Oak Creek

* Classic ride, not a pass.
** Not a named pass (per USGS 7.5 min. Quad. or Forest Service Map)
re: Ride the Rockiespmf1
Jun 25, 2002 12:17 PM
I did it last year and enjoyed it.

No kidding about the headwinds. I recall riding downhill pedaling like crazy for 15 miles.

The mileage was 70-80 miles per day -- usually 1-2 big climbs.

Was the smoke bad this year?
Great job people!theBreeze
Jun 25, 2002 1:29 PM
I'll be doing nearly the same route with the Bicycle Tour of Colorado (start/end in Gunnison instead of Alamosa) in July. I am hoping the fires will be out, or at least laying down more by the time we get there. I think the San Juans are the most beautiful part of Colorado, and that's saying a lot.

New Mexico air is really bad right now due to the Arizona fires. Now I know what you folks in LA put up with all the time, ha, ha. I'm trying to figure out how to ride and not breath!