Monthly Archives: August 2011

Mt. Evans the Long Way

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Yesterday was one of those memorable days we’re all striving for. It was on the top 10 list of all time best rides I’ve ever done. And that means something. At least to me.

I know I can’t come close to expressing how beautiful the loop we did yesterday was. The day almost turned epic. It was epic for Sue, but that was just because of the miles and the elevation/elevation change. And because it was off the scale pretty.

We didn’t start out until 10:30. We drove to Kittredge and started at Mike and Judy Hudson’s new cabin there. Judy is on Bromont’s top 5 favorite people list. Starting this late, I always had a small worry in the back of my mind that the weather was going to catch up with us.

I had some navigation issues, which made the ride a hour longer than it needed to be, but, I don’t regret the miles we rode because of the views. One downer of the ride was stopping to ask directions up by Mount Evans Elk Preserve and nearly getting mugged by a couple retarded/hillbilly/redneck construction workers. I rode down a driveway to ask where the split in a gravel road went and before I said a word, they started verbally attacking me. Something like, “You fuckin’ cycling pricks have a lot of nerve.” I was quite and then just said, you guys don’t even know me, I’ve from Kansas. That didn’t get me anywhere. They both just keep going about my nerve of riding down a private drive and wearing faggy clothing. Whatever. It was kind of funny thinking about it. But, I’ve never encountered such pent up angry without any altercation.

Anyway, we ended up climbing up to Squaw Pass from Upper Bear Mountain Road on gravel. Then the rest of the ride was normal. 103 to Mt. Evans, up to the top, back down to 103 to Evergreeen Parkway and back to Kittredge. It was nearly 90 miles all said and done. It took nearly 6 hours. When we got to the top, we only had a 10.2 mph average, but that was after making a few U-turns and climbing on some super steep gravel for 5 miles. That doesn’t seem so bad considering that the winning average this past year from Idaho Springs up is only 14 mph.

We managed to skirt lots of isolated storms the whole day. We got some rain just before the entrance on the way down, but that was the full extent of it. Sue was pretty dizzy once we got to the top and all the way back down to 103. I think it made her more fearless and was descending much quicker than normal. Big plus for lack of oxygen there.

So, if you have a chance to ride Mt. Evans, I suggest you do it from the Evergreen side. There isn’t a time when you’re not overwhelmed by beauty.

So now I’m sitting in Boulder at Chautauga Dining Hall eating breakfast. I haven’t been here in ages. When I had an apartment here in the 90’s, I used to eat breakfast here all the time. It is great. Outdoor seating on a wrap around porch. It is definitely on my top 5 breakfast experience place list.

We can’t mess around that long this morning. Trudi is flying back from Santa Rosa a little after noon and we heading up to Steamboat Springs.

Towards the top the sheep weren't shy.

Sue digging the views from up high.

Soome goofy German guy, that was spewing American politics at the top took this photo. He was railing about the American taxation system, Warren Buffet and Obama.

Sqaw Pass was a bonus. Sue is collecting passes on this trip.

You would of thought you were in Switzerland riding up the gravel to 103.

Chautauqua dining hall. Awesome breakfast and views.

Mt. Evans Assault Today

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Yesterday was a wash for riding up Mt. Evans. It was already super cloudy in the morning, thus not conducive for riding up to 14,000 feet. So we decided to ride over toward Boulder and do a lap of the Morgal-Bismark course from the Coor’s Classic.

I haven’t ridden it recently and couldn’t believe that I couldn’t recognize the bottom of the hump. There is a Whole Foods and Apple Store where there was a field. I was so mixed up riding over there that I took us down the Wall and Hump before realizing that we needed to turn around and ride back up them. I was surprised how hard the Wall really is. I thought it was pretty short in the race, but the lead up to the climb is all uphill, making the climb much longer than I remembered.

Then last night we went over to Pearl Street and people watched for awhile. That place is a gathering spot for a large variety of eclectic people. It is great just strolling.

So, we’re about ready to load up and go over to my friend’s Mike and Judy Hudson’s house, in Kittredge, and ride the 32 miles up to the top of Mt. Evans now. It is completely clear, so weather shouldn’t be an issue hopefully. I’ll take some photos.

I’ve posted this photo before. It is of me winning a $500 preme, from Saronni, in the 1986 Morgal Bismark.

Sue riding up the Wall.

Trudi putting off leaving for Santa Rosa yesterday morning. Bromont in van.

A guy playing a saw on Pearl St. He sounded pretty good.

A copper cowboy. I've seen this in Las Vegas at the Venetian. I've always wondered how long it takes to paint them and how they do it.

Quick Post

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Today has already gotten away for me. Trudi was here, left her stuff and is off driving a BMC team car to back to Santa Rosa, CA. She catching a flight back to Denver on Wednesday. Sue and I are still planning on riding up to the top of Mt. Evans, but it looks pretty cloudy over that direction. We went to Boulder last night to have dinner. That city is so upscale.

Yesterday, Keith, Catherine, Sue and I rode up to Jamestown, Peak to Peak and back down through Ward. There were so many cyclists on those roads. It was nice getting a little wet up high. It was so hot when we got back down to Boulder.

Okay. That’s it for now. More later.

Ward is so much the same as ever. This back drop is everywhere.

Shoe display on Pearl Street mall.

I saw this pristine Peugot U08 on top of a car in Boulder. Cottered cranks are not that commonly seen nowadays.

Sitting at the store in Ward.

Artsy photo Keith took in Ward.

The 2nd Coor's Reunion Pary at Thomas Prehn's house in Boulder went long.

Americans Watching Cycling Live

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I was talking to Dave Chauner at the Coor’s reunion about when the United States is going to fully embrace the sport of cycling. I don’t think the sport can be successful until people that don’t participate in the sport, come out and spectate and acquire knowledge about the riders. The sport can not be economically successful until the masses embrace it.

I’m pretty sure that it is going to be a tough sell trying to convince Americans, year after year, to come back and watch the finishes of these Pro races in the US. Not that the people that were in Breckenridge yesterday didn’t have a great time. But, I did hear, more than once, that it was over so quickly.

And I felt the same way. The last kilometer was completely lined with spectators. It was pretty hard getting somewhere to get a view. When the field came by it was pretty exciting, for 15 seconds, then done. I think if you want to keep American spectators coming back to watch live bike racing, there needs to be finishing circuits at the end. I really don’t think that detracts from the overall race from the riders perspective and it would add a ton to the enjoyment level of the people that are watching. The reason that soccer in the US is having a hard time getting a foothold is because of the low scoring potential of the game. I believe that is the same in cycling, a once and their done finish doesn’t sit that well with non-cycling viewers.

I hate to say it, but there needs to be criteriums in stage races. Americans like to watch the race over and over again. We could lengthen courses to make the races circuits, but there needs to be opportunities to watch the event multiple times. I think the Pro race in Philadelphia has proved that it can be a successful endeavor with non-cycling spectators. So the length of the course can be up to 10 miles, an over 20 minutes span between views, and can still hold the attention of the spectators.

Watching this race, it is easy to get exciting about a resurgence in the popularity of live cycling spectating, but it is going to take a lot of tweaking the European version of road/stage races to keep Americans coming back for more.

It is going to take a lot more people at the event to match the crowds from 1981 at the Coor's Classic.

Trudi hadn't seen Bromont for over two weeks, so they were both happy.

This guy was having a good time.

The top of Swan Mountain climb two hours before the race came by.

The stream in middle of Breckenridge was a kid's paradise.

This is Keith's normal attire once we get to a hotel room.

She was having a great time too. Pretty nice old Trek.

This bike path sign is near Lake Dillon. Nothing like riding straight into a brick/stone wall dead end.

Vail, Avon, Vail Pass, Vail

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Today was a very nice day in Colorado. Last night was a little late. It was nice staying with Trudi in Vail. This morning I met up with the Kansas crowd that had ridden over from Frisco and we went down the valley to the start in Avon. Like I said yesterday, I’m not big on watching bike races, especially the neutral roll out of a point to point road race. But, I saw a few more folks I hadn’t seen for a while. I saw Peter Stetina and he said that he went out way too hot in the TT, so suffered badly at the end. He finished 2:18 back in 38th, which wasn’t that bad.

We had a big group riding back and Sue and I ended up escorting the Kansas guys back up to the top of Vail Pass. Sue and I ended up with nearly 60 miles that seemed pretty easy even though there was a lot of climbing involved.

We met Keith, Catherine and Jeff Unruh in Frisco and ate at the Blue Spruce. It was definitely in the top 10 of all time best meals I’ve had in my life. And I’ve eaten at some pretty great places. Jeff treated us to dinner, which was not necessary, but super nice. He also hammered Keith and Catherine over Vail Pass, so maybe he felt badly about it.

I took Bromont out for an hour romp when I got back to Silverthorne. He came back happy, but totally covered in burrs. Catherine took her own initiative and decided to cut all the burrs out of his tail with scissors. When means she cut most of his tail hair off. Now it looks like a rat tail. Bad Catherine.

So, today we’re going to go over to Breckenridge and then ride over Loveland Pass and back before the finish of the race. Trudi still hasn’t seen Bromont since she left before Utah, so tomorrow it is a priority. Then we’re heading down to Boulder to a BBQ at my old Wheaties/Schwinn team mate, Thomas Prehn’s house. A lot of the people that were at the Coor’s reunion are coming, so that should be good again.

I’m staying out in Colorado next week and am thinking about racing a stage race in Steamboat Springs over Labor Day. I hate to miss the St. Louis Races, so I’m a bit torn. We’ll see.

Trudi, Keith, Catherine and Jeff at the start by the BMC camp.

This is Gus driving the 2nd team car for one of the Colombian teams. I like the one bike on the rack.

Nice place to dine on the stream heading back up to Vail from Avon.

This is Marianne Martin, who orgainized the Coor's reunion. She won the 1st Tour de France for women. I haven't riden with someone with downtube shifters in a long, long time.

Catherine at the top of Vail Pass, waiting for Keith, in the background.

We saw this partial rainbow coming back from walking Bromont. The photo doesn't do it justice. This might of been the brightest rainbow I've ever seen. I hope my wish comes true.

Vail TT & Coor’s Reunion

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Yesterday was really crammed packed full of things to do. The Vail TT took a ton of energy. The problem was that they pretty much closed the course down over an hour before the start of the race. I was riding up to the finish and when they told the course marshals to close the course, then they tried to make everyone walk their bikes. It was bad planning. There were a ton of people, 1000’s that would have been at the top, but were not allowed to ride up.

Anyway, watching TT’s is not exactly my idea of super bike race spectating. It was amazing to me how many guys were in their TT position at 500 meters to go when they were going less than 15 mph. I guess they were so starved for oxygen, that they forget to get into a more efficient position.

I followed J-Pow down the course. They were making all the riders stay at the top, but Jeremy didn’t feel like spending the extra 2 hours in his chamois.

Then the Coor’s Reuion was at 6 at the Four Season’s. It was pretty good. I hadn’t seen a lot of the people for decades. I see most that are still involved in the sport pretty often, but saw lots of friends I hadn’t seen since they quit racing. Catching up with Davis was good. Marianne Martin was taking photo (professionally) of everyone. They will be tons coming the next few days.

So, Keith and Catherine drove out from Kansas and are riding over to Vail/Avon this morning to watch the start. We’re hopefully meeting up soon for coffee and making our way over there. We staying here for the finish in Breckenridge on Saturday and then heading down to Denver I guess. I need more sleep.

Frank Schleck made a U-turn at 500 meters where I was sitting.

Here's Danny Pate, local favorite.

J-Pow stopping for a few photos on the way down.

Och (BMC czar) and Sue at the TT.

George settling in at the start of the TT.

Me with Jacque Boyer, Team Rwanda, and Dave Chauner.

Alex Osborne, Davis Phinney, me and Calvin Trampleasure.