OK, here's what I want to do this summer, bikewise. There's a ride from Neosho, MO on the 18th of April called the Tour de Tick. There are 3 mileage options; the deer tick tour at 26.5 miles, wood tick tour at 62 miles, and the century option, the dog tick tour. Riding the century in the Ozark foothills presents enough of a challenge to inspire me to get some good training in over the next 6-7 weeks. Highlights of the route include a road built by the WPA during the depression (the last one), and crossing the Reddings Mill bridge, said to have bullet holes from the MO Highway Patrol shooting at Bonnie & Clyde.
At the end of May there is another century ride sponsored by the Johnson County Bicycle Club that covers the same roads I ride on each summer on my own, only this ride goes a little further west than I normally make it. The Lone Star Century (lone star lake is south of Lawrence, KS) should be another good tune-up for the main events.
The first of those is the Bicycle Tour of Colorado, June 21-27. This is the 15th year for this tour and the loop they have planned looked to good to resist. A couple days the route will follow roads I did last summer, but most of it will be new to me. The loop starts in Glenwood Springs, goes south to Hotchkiss, west to Grand Junction, continues on to Montrose, then east to Crested Butte for a rest day. Refreshed riders then head to Buena Vista before heading back to Glenwood Springs.
Highlights include an option through the Colorado National Monument on day 3, Cottonwood Pass after the rest day in Crest Butte, and Independence Pass on the way home on the last day. Including the optional loop the mileage is more than 550 miles in 6 days of riding, with more than 40,000 feet of climbing.
I'm planning on going out to CO a couple days early and I hope to camp at Echo Lake campground at the start of Mt. Evans road. From the campground there's about 14.5 miles and 3700' to the summit. This is the highest pave road in America topping out at 14,260 feet. More than 2000' higher than Independence Pass!
Assuming I can still ride after that week, I'll keep riding through July to be ready for August. My brother-in-law, Bruce and I are meeting my buddy, Pat, and his friend, Rick from CA to ride the Colorado Rocky Mountain Bike Tour. Bruce and I are stopping at Copper Mountain to do the Copper Triangle on Saturday, August 1. Then we're onto to Montrose. This tour also includes over 40,000' of climbing in about 440 miles. The route heads out of Montrose to Gunnison, then south to Creede, and on to Pagosa Springs, before going west to Durango for a rest day. Then north to Ouray, and back to Montrose, with a left turn thrown in to ride up the Dallas Divide.
I don't know if I'll be able to do anything like this in 2010, so I'm going to enjoy every mile, every minute, every pedal stroke of this summer. I'll keep you updated along the way.