Wednesday, September 28, 2011

colorado bike racing

My buddy, Clay, got to be in Colorado during the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and posted about it with some great action shots at Clay's Cycling Blog. Go check out the action. I've got to see that myself one of these years.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

biking around kansas

Quite different from Biking Across Kansas. I had a couple hours to ride today and headed for one of my new favorites routes. It's a favorite because it offers bike lanes where the traffic is higher, and gets me to a spot about 10 miles from home in a roundabout fashion. Out and back ends up at a little more than 23 miles, and there are a few opportunities for side loops or figure-eights that can add some scenic miles fro a 25-30 miles loop if you have the time and are in the mood.
 After only 5 miles I can stop to admire this girl on her rural oasis in the middle of dozens of new subdivisions. If you're looking for a garage sale or a giant kid, this area is for you. After going west about 4 miles, I spend the next 6 miles going north, then west, then north, then west.....
This guy has startled me before. He's kind of cute, but makes a big noise. He was very cooperative today though,  as I tried to get a good picture. Maybe our relationship is growing.
I've driven by the intersection of two highways several times and never knew Honeywell was there, but if you get on the road less traveled, especially on a bike, you get to see so much more.
The roundabout ahead is the point where I turn around and head back the way I came, or take a right, head east, and make it a loop. If I have the time and the weather is good, I throw in one of those loops, and keep on riding. I've also used part of this route to get farther west or south to make it an even longer ride.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Thanks to CRMBT, and a few side trips on my own, I've now climbed the 17 highest paved passes in Colorado. And that's not counting Mt Evans or Cottonwood Pass. I've been checking them off on a list that I printed from here. Half a dozen more and I could have everything over 10,000 feet. I notice that Lizard Head Pass might be on the agenda for CRMBT next year. Hmmm.....

I put a few shots from those 17 passes into a slideshow. Check it out if you're interested:


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

feels like frisco

Barely into September, and when I went out for a ride yesterday morning, I wore a jacket! It was a cool, crisp autumn kind of morning. I love that kind of weather, except for the fact that it's followed by winter. The cool air reminded me of Frisco, CO and the times I've stayed there, before, during or after a Colorado bike tour. Heading out on the bike paths around town, up to Breckenridge, or over to Copper Mountain usually calls for a light jacket for the cool, and possibly rain protection for the afternoon showers that are common at 9,075 feet, surrounded by mountains.
The ride yesterday was pleasant enough, made all the more so by the memories of the cool, crisp air of Frisco.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

crmbt 2012 proposed route

CRMBT, the Colorado Rocky Mountain Bike Tour has announced their proposed route for August, 2012. After two years that had riders scaling the heights of central Colorado, including Mt Evans and Trail Ridge Road, and riding a route that stretched from the Grand Mesa to Cottonwood Pass and Independence Pass, CRMBT is heading back to the San Juan Mountains in the southwest part of the state. The overnight towns include Pagosa Springs, Creede, Gunnison and Montrose. The rest day would be in the resort town of Telluride before moving on to Mancos, and back to Pagosa Springs.
On a scenic route that was used by BTC in 2006 , the first day will feature a beautiful, but challenging ride over Wolf Creek Pass on the way to Creede. This climb will offer numerous photo opportunities, especially looking back to the west as you near the summit.
After a nice descent, and ride through parts of the beautiful San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests, it's on to Creede. The last time I was in Creede, Slumgullion Pass had just kicked my butt, so my opinion is tarnished. But, I've heard others talk of what a great little town Creede is. The next morning the route would head for Gunnison over Spring Creek Pass and the infamous Slumgullion.
                                                                           Bicycle Tour of Colorado 2006

The good news is that the elevation of Creede and the elevation of Lake City are roughly the same, almost 8800 feet. And climbing from the south it takes about 40 miles from Creede to reach Slumgullion Pass at 11,530 feet, whereas climbing from Lake City to the summit takes 7 miles. I know that the switchbacks off of Slumgullion into Lake City won't be conducive to great speed, but I also know you won't have to pedal at all!
After a couple small climbs the tour will roll into Gunnison for a cool night in the mountain air. The next day's ride takes you on US 50 to Montrose. The ride would run the entire length of the Blue Mesa Reservoir and through the Curecanti National Recreation Area.
The next day the route takes riders from Montrose to Telluride. From Montrose to Ridgway is high plains desert with mesas all around. But when you turn right at Ridgway, it gets special. You're climbing towards the Sneffels range and the views are spectacular.
When I rode the Dallas Divide out of Ridgway, it was up and back. So I don't know what it's like to go down the other side and wind into Telluride. But I bet it's amazing! Telluride looks like a fantastic palce for a rest day. And the one real climb the following day is Lizard Head Pass. A nice account of that ride can be found here. From Mancos to Pagosa Springs has a little climbing, including Yellow Jacket Pass, which we rode on the way to Durango  few years ago. But it should be a relatively easy day, and a very scenic way to finish the tour.