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!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Ride the Rockies 2013 Preview: Days Six and Seven

We have arrived in Telluride for the start of Ride the Rockies 2013! After a 6-1/2 hour drive we started off Day -1 with a good dinner at Flavor. I had the Snake River Farms Kobe Beef (Wagyu) Eye of Ribeye (the round center portion of the ribeye steak without a cap -- the tender, tasty portion around the edge). Then we headed over to the New Sheridan Hotel and met up with old friends to down a few pints of Telluride Brewing Company Face Down Brown. Day 0 kicks off with the street party in downtown Telluride from 1:00-9:30 p.m. Then, at long last, the ride begins tomorrow!

Leslie and I met up with our old friend Stewart from our days in D.C. (in the late '80s/early '90s), who now lives in Telluride.

Over the past month or so I have been previewing each day's ride but I fell a litle behind, so here are my previews of Day 6 and Day 7.

Day 6 begins in Salida and travels alongside the Arkansas River toward Canon City. The first 45 miles is a gradual descent from about 7,100 to 5,763 ft. Then the ride takes a nasty turn and climbs 1,000 ft. over the next 6 miles to the South Rim of the Royal Gorge. For a two mile stretch the grade bounces between 10-15%. We rode this same stretch in 2006 and, as I recall, it was the toughest 2 miles I have ever ridden.

At the Royal Gorge on RTR 2006
The payoff after the climb is an amazing photo opportunity overlooking the Royal Gorge, then riding across the wooden plank suspension bridge 1,250 above the Arkansas River. After a stopping for a beer at the visitor's center on the North Rim we'll ride on into Canon City for one last night on the town at the Royal Gorge Brewing Company.

Day 7 is a 46.5 mile ride to the finish line in Colorado Springs. I have never ridden this route so have little to offer in the way of a description but my friend Woody from Colorado Springs says we'll hear mortar fire from Fort Carson as ride ride along the western boundary of the masive military base for most of the day.

The finish line in Colorado Springs is at Cheyenne Mountain Resort. The beer will be flowing as they announce the winners of the bike giveaway and other door prizes. But the highlight of the finish line party for me is the parade of State Highway Patrol motorcycle officers, Support and Gear vehicles, and other volunteers who have assisted riders along the route during the week. Riders line up to cheer the folks for helping keep us safe from motorists, repair our bikes and occasionally bandage up our wounds.

Here's hoping for a safe and fun ride for everyone. It's about time to head over to get registered. Stay tuned for updates and pictures throughout the week.

Ride on!


P.S. In case you missed them, here are my previews of Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four, and Day Five.

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