Saturday, January 25, 2014

bicycle tour of colorado 2014 route

I love cycling in Colorado! Big surprise, right? As such, even though CRMBT is my favorite tour, I'm still curious about where Ride The Rockies and Bicycle Tour of Colorado will go. The Denver Post Ride The Rockies will host a route announcement party in 2 weeks. The route for BTC has been out for a while and I have a few thoughts.
First, this southwest Colorado loop is one of my favorites. I've ridden every mile of this route, some sections more than once. And, with the exception of the 80+ mile stretch from Durango to Ridgway, I've ridden this route going both directions. I know where the climbing is tough, and the descents are awesome.
The first day isn't too long, the climbing not that tough, and it's scenic in it's own special way. It passes Blue Mesa Reservoir, goes over Cerro Summit, and has a nice downhill run into Montrose.

The second day is a 34 mile ride to Ouray that could go from being just a ride, to a great day, by turning at Ridgway and climbing Dallas Divide. I hope BTC will support that up and back with an aid station at the summit.
Ouray to Durango would be a new adventure for me. CRMBT did Durango to Ouray in 2009, and it was one of the best days on a bike I've ever had. Climbing Purgatory Hill, Coal Bank Pass, Molas Divide, and Red Mountain Pass led a to a steep, technical, winding descent into Ouray. I can't quite imagine climbing Red Mountain Pass out of Ouray, but I guess that will be payment for the right to climb Slumgullion, later in the week, from the "easy" side.
The ride from Durango features nice scenery, a little climbing, and a great place for a rest day in Pagosa Springs.
After the rest day, the route heads over beautiful Wolf Creek Pass to Creede. It's definitely worth a stop at the scenic overlook a couple miles up.
The final day features a century that lets riders climb Spring Creek Pass and Slumgullion Pass from the more manageable side. Shortly before Spring Creek is the headwaters of the Rio Grande. It's worth a stop for the view.
After a crazy descent off of Slumgullion into Lake City, riders will still have more than 50 miles to the finish line. A lot of up and down through some beautiful, rugged terrain for the first part of the afternoon. Then you hit your last obstacles of the week. No Name Hill and Nine Mile Hill are nice little warm-ups when you ride out of Gunnison and head south. After several hours and a lot of miles, these hills can jump up and bite you in the butt. Get over those and it's back to Blue Mesa, head east and work your way back to Gunnison.
Hopefully you'll have the wind at your back for that last bit.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

you might be a vegan

If you've made cheese from almonds, you might be a vegan.
If you have quinoa, lentils, and flax seed in your cupboard, you might be a vegan.
If you've liked Peta on Facebook, you might be a vegan.
If you know what tempeh, seitan, and mochi are, you might be a vegan.
If you have a Happy Cow app on your phone, you might be vegan.
If you've bought shoes and a belt because they weren't leather, you might be a vegan.
If you've watched Forks Over Knives, Vegucated, and Food, Inc., you might be a vegan

p.s. I finally got out for a short ride, maybe an hour. The temps are in the 50s and I think the wind may be too. Holy smokes! I hope the next ride is a little calmer, and soon.

Friday, January 10, 2014

copper triangle 2014

Registration is now open for the 2014 Copper Triangle.  This classic Colorado ride features 6000 feet of elevation gain over 78 miles including 3 mountain passes.
The first year I went to Colorado to ride the CRMBT the tour director, Peter, told us about this ride, and said that by the end of the week we would have ridden the entire Copper Triangle course. Day 2 ended in Leadville, and the next morning we left town heading northwest toward Minturn. It was fascinating for this flatlander to leave town at over 10,000 feet and have some of Colorado's famous "14ers" rising far above me. We rode through Vail and after Vail Pass stayed on the bike path through Copper Village all the way to Frisco. After a rest day we backtracked and headed south through Leadville on our way to Salida. The route provided plenty of challenge, but incredible scenery and great descents too.
So the following year we signed up to ride the Copper Triangle before hopping back in the van and driving to Montrose for the start of that year's CRMBT. I can say that it's an awesome ride to do with 2999 of your closest friends, but it would have been so much better to spend the weekend at Copper Village enjoying the post-ride festivities. I would encourage anyone who would like to try riding in Colorado, but not ready to commit to a week-long tour, to give this a try. It's a blast!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

still here

It was November when I lasted posted here, and October when I wrote something about cycling. I read about other people's adventures on fat-tire bikes in the snow and wonder if I should get one. But I hate the snow. And the cold. And I don't like riding on my trainer. I want to be outside, on a dry road, sweating as I pedal the miles away. Is that too much too ask?

Many of the blogs I followed when I first started this one have gone away, morphed into something else, or have just been relegated to very infrequent posting. I started this blog to share my adventures on bike tours. I still hope to do a lot of that in the future. But, maybe my posts would be more frequent if I broadened the scope.

I have written about trying to eat better, which led to my veganism. That has led to becoming much more aware of animal cruelty that seems to be commonplace on factory farms. I don't know exactly what I'm going to do about it, but opting out of that particular food chain is a good first step. And I'd like to spread the word so others can take steps to help. Even baby steps.

Another thing I like to share on this blog is music. It started with adding just the right song to a particular post. Reading about a ride in the mountains begs for accompaniment like "Elevation" by U2, or "Middle of the Road" by The Pretenders. But I also love a lot of new "adult alternative" music by artists like Brandi Carlile and The Shins. And I enjoy finding old songs by well known artists that I haven't heard in years, or have never heard.

So, it's not really a resolution, but in 2014 I'm going to try to post more about things that matter to me, including cycling, training and touring. But also some other stuff. If any of that sounds interesting, or if you just want to see what comes next, stick around.