Monday, October 25, 2010


The first multi-day bike tour I did was the Tour de Kota around the eastern half of South Dakota. When my brother-in-law, Bruce, started talking about going to Colorado to do a tour, I was intrigued. Kind of the way I feel as the roller-coaster slowly climbs that first section; scared, but pretty sure it'll be fun. We tried unsucessfully to get into Ride the Rockies, and were lucky enough to discover the Colorado Rocky Mountain Bike Tour. CRMBT had it's inaugural running in August of 2007. So, late in the summer of '08 we headed for Gunnison, and had the hardest, best week on a bike you can imagine. We got a couple buddies to join us in Montrose to start the '09 tour. And this August I went on my own to kick off CRMBT 2010 in Edwards, CO. I owe a debt of gratitude to the organizers and volunteers who make this tour so special. Thanks to them I've come to think of Colorado as a part of me. I've experienced:

C     Cerro Summit, Coal Bank Pass, and every mile of the Copper Triangle
R     Redstone and Red Mountain Pass
M     Monarch Pass, Molas Pass, McClure Pass and Mount Evans
B     Black Canyon and Battle Hill Summit
T     Tennessee Pass and Trail Ridge Road
Thanks! Let's do it again!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

16 of 17

By the time I returned from Colorado in August I had climbed 16 of the 17 highest paved passes in the state. Hoosier Pass on CO 9 between Breckenridge and Fairplay, 11,539 feet, has eluded me to this point. If I can get to Colorado again in the near future I'll try to make a point of completing this climb. If I get to ride the CRMBT next summer I would also add Cottonwood Pass, west of Buena Vista, 12,126 feet. Cottonwood is only paved on the east side, but it sounds as if the climb on hard-packed dirt up the west side would make for a great descent into Buena Vista.
There are other mountains to climb, passes to ride, and tours I would like to try, but I wouldn't mind revisiting some of the places I've been. There is a loop from Durango to Ouray to Telluride to Cortez to Durango which would be part old, part new, and all spectacular. If I can find the time and the money, I'm full of ideas.

In order of elevation, these are the passes I've ridden to date:

Trail Ridge Road- 12,180 feet
Independence Pass- 12,095 feet
 Loveland Pass- 11,990 feet
Slumgullion Pass- 11,530 feet
Fremont Pass- 11,318 feet
Berthoud Pass- 11,307 feet
Monarch Pass- 11,312 feet
Juniper Pass- 11,160 feet
Red Mountain Pass- 11,018 feet
Spring Creek Pass- 10,898 feet
Molas Pass- 10,910 feet
Wolf Creek Pass- 10,850 feet
Grand Mesa- 10,839 feet
Coal Bank Summit- 10,640 feet
Vail Pass- 10,554 feet
Tennessee Pass- 10,424 feet

Monday, October 11, 2010

ennui off the mountain

I can feel winter
Though the skies outside are blue
Discontent is near