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!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Ride the Rockies 2013 Preview Day Five: Alamosa to Salida

I'm looking forward to a return visit to The Victoria Bar for the fifth time on Ride the Rockies!
Day 5 of Ride the Rockies 2013 (June 13) ends in my favorite RTR city of all time, Salida, home of The Victoria Bar (known simply as The Vic). We have stopped in Salida on 4 of the 6 Ride the Rockies I've completed. In fact, it was in Salida on my first RTR, after a late night at The Vic, that I learned one of the most important lessons I have learned about riding at altitude: staying hydrated is one of the keys to avoiding altitude sickness!

Relaxing at Riverside Park in Salida is the reward for the long slog from Alamosa!
There's just something about Salida that brings out the party in a lot of riders. The beer tent location in Riverside Park is just a great place to hang out, drink beer and listen to music. After the sun goes down the party at the The Vic will pick up quickly. After all, it's just across the street! Just remember: beer, water, beer, water, beer...!

The ride from Alamosa to Salida begins with a long, flat, straight shot due North before the climb to Poncha Pass begins. Other than the views of the surrounding mountain peaks there's not much to get excited about along this stretch. The elevation stays between 7,500 and 7,600 the first 43 miles! We do ride past the Great San Dunes National Park but we don't really get a good view of it from Colorado Highway 17.

Team DFL President Kris Cambria and her friend Karen made a new friend at The Vic on the 2006 ride.
From mile 43 to 70 we climb steadily from 7,600 to 9,019 ft. at the summit of Poncha Pass. Then it's all downhill the final 13 miles to Salida and a cold beer and good friends at The Vic. It just doesn't get any better!

Ride on!


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