Ride the Rockies – Day Five

Fresh as daisies. Ready to rumble. left to right: Brent Bruser, Mark Dembosky, Lockett Pitman, Lori Fox, and Mark Stamper

Still fresh at Almont. Left to right: Brent Bruser, Mark Dembosky, Lockett Pitman, Lori Fox, and Mark Stamper

By five this morning, our Ride the Rockies team was chomping at the bit – rarin’ to go. They were antsy – checking and rechecking their watches for departure time. Sipping coffee. Pacing. Layering up to fight the cold.

Taylor Park Reservoir

Taylor Park Reservoir

While they layered up, I scraped ice off the windshield of my car, and finally at 5:45, they were off…    looking forward to pancakes at Almont Aide Station.

Thursday’s route, featuring 103 miles and an elevation gain of nearly 6,000 feet, promised to be the hardest of the tour. Leaving Almont, the team continued east and up, to Taylor Park Reservoir at which point, the pavement ended and the hard-packed dirt began.

2015 06 RTR cotton-pass-signDirt. Thirteen and a half miles of dirt      can be tricky – especially when encountering rain or snow… especially when the ascent climbs a grade that varies between seven and ten percent. The goal was to reach Cottonwood Pass straddling the Continental Divide.

Reaching the pass, they took a deep breath, soaked  up the scenery and screamed down the third highest paved road in Colorado. The descent was more fun than grunting up the unpaved approach from the west but equally challenging in terms of speeding down a ten percent grade with numerous hairpin turns. Speed is addictive and dangerous. It is all too easy to imagine a rider pancaked against a tree on one of the switchbacks.

Reaching Buena Vista, it was a short uphill ride to Mt. Princeton and downhill to Salida.

Families suffering on a three-day ride through Summit and Lake Counties. Remembering and giving thanks.

Families suffering on a three-day ride through Summit and Lake Counties. Remembering and giving thanks.

Comparing Ride the Rockies to the Courage Classic, I find Ride the Rockies to be much more competitive. With Ride the Rockies, I hear more people talking about their strategy, their pacing, and most important… their time – their finish time.

In contrast, because the three-day, Courage Classic supports Childrens’ Hospital – Denver, many of the cyclists are family members whose children have been served at the hospital. A good many of the cyclists are not athletes; they are recreational riders at best.

They ride in memory of a child lost;

they ride in thankfulness for a child saved.

Time – time means nothing to them.

Dewey dives into the ice cream.

Dewey dives into the ice cream.

About timeout2

I have lived 100 lives. I write essays, short stories, poetry, grocery lists and notes to myself. If I am ever lost, look for a paper trail, but be careful not to trip over any books that lie scattered here and there. I am a reader. I am a reader in awe of writers. When I don't live in Westcliffe, Colorado, I live in London where I am a long-time member of Word-for-Word - Crouch End.
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2 Responses to Ride the Rockies – Day Five

  1. PJ Bindley says:

    Ok, now Dewey is doing it right! Ice cream with a real babe. No eyeshadow, just a great smile. Go Cliffies! XOXO

  2. Bbruser says:

    Sweet!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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