|BICYCLE TOUR OF COLORADO||bear|
Feb 10, 2002 7:01 AM
|I am looking into going on this tour. Please any feed back from riders who been there. Weather? climbs? support and accommodations? thanks|
|re: BICYCLE TOUR OF COLORADO||Steve Bailey|
Feb 11, 2002 4:16 PM
|This question was asked on R.B.R in January so I'm copying my post from then.
Support is very good. Good food stops, although in '99 the lunch was an option, which I don't think it is now. I opted to not eat the big lunch, which was as well as I was often riding thru before they had set up. I also didn't feel like a big meal in the middle of the day. The food stop selections were outstanding. Breakfast and dinners were available at the local school/campsite and were sponsered by local volunteer groups, for a modest fee. Or you could eat in town. I found it easier to eat the breakfast at the local campsite/school as I could get a earler start. I'm not sure how they're doing it for '02.
1) Tent camping in fields. It's free, most of the riders are doing this, so you meet more folks this way. It takes a bit to get going the next day as it's colder outside/harder to motivate, you have to break down and pack the tent, and you need to have a bit more room in your luggage for the tent.
You also want to get in early enough to find a spot on the "high" side of the field to avoid getting swamped in the rain (it's happened), plus you risk setting up/breaking camp in the rain (or snow).
2) Gym camping - I.E. on a good quality, THICK air pad, with 200 or so others on a crowded floor. Only available to early registrants. It pays to get in even earlier to avoid bad location such as next to the bathrooms. I sleep very soundly and was never bothered by others snoring, etc... Your choice. It's drier and warmer and easier to get going in the AM. My choice for convenience.
3) Motel. Plush. Also a bit slower getting to and from the hotel. Private too, but you also don't meet as many fellow riders. A bit more involved logistically, what with waiting for the shuttle to make the rounds of the hotel, etc...
Mark your luggage with something very different and obvious like "Police Line - Do Not Cross" tape or something. Everybody buys the same big black duffel bags and it's impossible to locate your own amidst 70-80 others in a
row of luggage. Some folks used those big plastic 32 gallon rolling garbage cans with lids. Holds almost everything, easy to move around from truck to camp, etc... Waterproof when it's out in the rain all morning after getting dropped off. Just find a way to secure the lid. The garbage can method only work if your driving to and from the start point.
Bring rain gear. Full suit, plus full tights, polypro top, warm hat, full finger gloves. It may be 75 and sunny and you'll feel stupid carrying all that crap along, but it can also turn to rain/sleet/snow at 30 degrees on top of a pass. Makes for a very cold and difficult downhill. In '99 the State Police cancelled the ride on top of Coal Bank due to the bad weather. That trapped something like 900 riders in Silverton. Another 300 or so got thru, mostly as they left early and were well dressed and could keep riding. That was the singularly most miserable riding day I've experienced. I carried everything in a Camelback Mule and some items (hat and polypro glove liners) in a waterbottle.
If you're solo, and you've no experience at multi-day long distance rides, my advice is to overtrain, do a 100 miler each week for 3-4 weeks, plus whatever mileage and hills you can manage. I averaged 250 per week for 6 weeks (4 weeks at altitude), plus another 2000 or so spring miles prior. I had no difficulties, even though I live at sea level. Overtraining makes the actual ride easier then the training. Except if you already live at altitude and are Cat III then just ignore any training.
Bike: I used a tourer with skinny tires. I needed the triple on occasion. Many locals ride regular road racers with a rear mt. derailer mated to a 12-34 cassette to get the range. I'm a heavy but strong AA rider at sea level, but still needed a low gear of 35 inches to get up Wolf Creek and Slumgullion. I don't remember Red Mt, Molas and Coal Bank as it was raining and 35 degrees, so "how hard is it" wasn't the question of the day.
The BTC web site has a forum where you can gain very good advice.
Feel free to e-mail directly with any questions.
|re: BICYCLE TOUR OF COLORADO||bear|
Feb 11, 2002 6:41 PM
|THANKS A MILLION FOR TAKING THE TIME TO ANSWER! I REALLY APPRECIATED IT. ONE THING THAT IS CLEAR TO ME IS THAT IF I GO IT WOULD HAVE TO BE WITH GROUP. MAYBE SOME OF THE GUYS AT MY LOCAL CLUB. HAVE TO ASK AT THE NEXT MEETING. IAM NEW IN THE CLUB BUT I BET SOME OF THE GUYS ARE GOING. I AM ONLY A (B) RIDER.SURULY WILL HAVE TO GET AT LEAST 3 CENTURIES UNDER MY BELT TO FEEL CONFI.|| |