Saturday, October 29, 2011


I was looking through some pictures from rides through the Colorado Rockies and was struck by how one's perspective changes how you see something. There was a picture of the elevation sign on McClure Pass that read 8755 feet. When you live at something just over 1000 feet that seems like a respectable elevation. And the ride up McClure though short, can be a little steep. I remember on a Bicycle Tour of Colorado a few years ago, seeing folks walking their bikes through the steepest portions. And while I didn't think it was that steep, it was work. So I have a respect for McClure Pass even though it "only" takes you to 8755 feet.
When McClure Pass was announced as part of the Colorado Rocky Mountain Bike Tour for 2011, I looked forward to a short, challenging climb, followed by a pretty amazing descent on the way to Hotchkiss. I wasn't disappointed. The climb features some of the best scenery around, and I took advantage of several photo opportunities.  And as is the case with many rides for me, the descent was better than I remembered.
But, the fact that McClure Pass was on the fifth day of riding, and after back-to-back days where we climbed  Cottonwood Pass and Independence Pass, 8755 feet seemed a lot less difficult. It's all about perspective, how you look at things. I like the view from a bicycle.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Late last week, the Bicyle Tour of Colorado announced their route for 2012. The tour runs from June 17-23 and starts and finishes in Fort Collins, CO. I've never ridden in this part of Colorado, so I know nothing about the route except what BTC tells me, and what I can find on the web. Another interesting feature of this route is that one whole day, and parts of two others are spent in Wyoming! I'm sure that those will be beautiful days, so that's not a deal breaker.
This isn't the epic, many hard days with great climbs kind of route that BTC has used in years past. From Fort Collins to Laramie, WY features some climbing, but no high passes. Laramie to Saratoga goes over Snowy Range Pass at 10,840 feet. Before heading back into Colorado riders will climb Battle Pass at 9,955 feet. The day before the rest day in Steamboat Springs features 44 miles and gains only slightly more than 500 feet. From Steamboat Springs riders will tackle Rabbit Ears Pass at 9,426 feet, and the last day features a small climb over Cameron Pass at 10,276 feet before a long downhill into Fort Collins.