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.


  1. I always feel that the gradient is more crucial on a ride than the overall height....
    I would really like to ride in Colorado and it is on my list of places to ride.....!!


  2. As always, I love seeing your pictures. Thanks!

  3. All I can say is "Wow, that's a lotta climbing".

    Paz :)

  4. McClure Pass from the Hotchkiss side is tough as you seem to have a headwind out of Hotchkiss forever and then the pass.
    Haven't ridden it from the other side, but hope to eventually.

  5. Makes me tired just to look at it but amazing scenery!
    Buster would like to go for a walk there!

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