Then around Dillon Lake and over Swan Mountain to Keystone before climbing Loveland Pass on the way to Idaho Springs. Loveland reaches 11,990 feet, but the day's ride is only about 50 miles. That's good, because you'll want to save a little for what comes next! From Idaho Springs the route takes you 14 miles up to Echo Lake.
From there, you can head east over Squaw Pass, and eventually down Lookout Mountain into Golden. Or, if you have an itch you need to scratch, you can pay your $3 and head up Mount Evans Road. Highway 5 is the highest paved road in the US, rising from just over 10,000 feet at Echo Lake, to over 14,200 feet at the summit.
When I went to Colorado in June for BTC, I entertained the idea of riding up Mount Evans on my own. But, it was too much. Too cold, too high, too steep, too early in the season. It was an experience just to drive to the top, but I couldn't help but think that I'd like to have someone with me, if for nothing else, than to point to where I went off the road for the search and rescue team. But if it was August, a little warmer, and there were other riders on the road with me....
Anyway, from Echo Lake on will all be new territory for me, on a bike or in a car. From Golden the route follows the Peak-to-Peak Highway to Estes Park for a rest day. Then it's through the Rocky Mountain National Park on Trail Ridge Road. I found this picture on cyclepass.com:
The highest point on Trail Ridge Road is 12,183 feet, and you're above 11,000 feet for over 8 miles!
The last day is a little flatter, a little longer, with a 102 mile century ride to get back to Edwards.
This looks like another fantastic route. I'm especially pleased that some of the tough climbs come on days without brutal mileage. I know I'll have to train hard to be ready for this, but that's one of the advantages to an August tour, you have more of the summer to ride in preparation. I might need to look into a better headlight too, because if I want to make it from Idaho Springs to the top of Mount Evans and be headed down before the afternoon showers move in, I'll need to make that one an early start.
I'm not a fast rider, but the altitude hasn't affected me, and I've been able to climb all the climbs that CRMBT has put in front of me. I would like to be able to climb a little faster. If anyone has any training tips that I can use over the winter on the trainer, or next spring back on the bike, I'm open to suggestions.