A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Ride the Rockies 2013 Preview Day One - Telluride to Cortez

Ride the Rockies 2013 starts seven weeks from today! Today and each Sunday until the start of the ride I will preview one day of the sevevn-day, 513-mile, ride from Telluride, Colorado, to Colorado Springs. Here is my preview of day one, Sunday, June 8...

With fresh legs and a mild hangover from the opening night party in Telluride, we'll ride 75 miles from Telluride to Cortez. We rode this route in the opposite direction on day two of Ride the Rockies 2008, from Cortez to Telluride. That day the ride began with a 62-mile climb to the summit of Lizard Head Pass. I posted from the summit that day looking forward to the 15-mile downhill slide into Telluride to Smuggler's Brew Pub, the official Team Bar2Bar finish line for the day.

The Ride the Rockies 2013 route travels 513 miles from Telluride to Colorado Springs
Telluride is a laid-back mountain town offering some of the most stunning vistas in Colorado. In 2008 we ended the evening at Poacher's Pub in the Mountain Village where I left my debit card at the bar. But that's a whole 'nother story. I look forward to returning to Telluride for the start of the 2013 ride. We may even try to go up Friday night to enjoy the sites before we meet up with old friends and make some new ones.

Sunday morning the ride will start in Telluride at an elevation of 8,750 ft. and ascend to 10,222 at the Lizard Head Summit, climbing approximately 1500 ft. in 15 miles. That'll be a good wakeup call! But then it's practically all downhill through Rico, Stoner and beautiful Dolores to Cortez, in the southwestern corner of Colorado near Mesa Verde National Park and Four Corners (the only spot in the U.S. where four states meet in one spot.

Ralph Dinosaur
Cortez is a historic mountain desert town founded in 1886 (the same year my great, great grandfather homesteaded in western Kansas. As I recall, I met up with Team Bar2Bar and Team DFL at the Mainstreet Brewery in 2008 then we went to see Ralph Dinosaur and the Fabulous Volcanoes at the street party (there is a party in every host town on Ride the Rockies!). Ralph Dinosaur also played when Cortez kicked off Ride the Rockies in 2006. No word yet on whether he will make an appearance in Cortez this year.

I am looking forward to returning to Cortez for the third time on Ride the Rockies. Day Two of Ride the Rockies 2013 will take us from Cortez to Durango. Check back in next Sunday for a preview.

Ride on!


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