Colorado Rocky Mountain Bike Tour will have riders heading west from Idaho Springs toward Loveland Pass. On his website, mybicycleroutes, Mark Andrysiak rates the east side ascent of Loveland as moderately difficult based upon altitude and some sections of 9% grade. He also claims it's the "easiest" moderate climb in Colorado. However, he bases that on starting from the Loveland Ski Area parking lot, leaving only 4 miles and about 1000' of elevation gain to the summit. CRMBT's tour director, Peter Duffy, rates the climb from Idaho Springs as a Category 1, based on 4200' of climbing over 28 miles. Only an HC (for the French term: beyond categorization) would be more difficult. What does all of this mean? It means that I'll be climbing all morning, but the first 24 miles will be a more gradual elevation gain, with the real push to the top coming in the last 4 miles. I can do that.
Triple Bypass. Overall I think this is an excellent first day's route on the best bike tour in Colorado. Day 2 will be a little longer, a little less altitude, but containing some of my favorite descents. I have some serious training to do.