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, November 3, 2013

Ride the Rockies 2013 Recap Part III: The Lost Day

As the days get shorter and the weather turns colder in Colorado, the memories of Ride the Rockies 2013 are fading. Apparently so much so that after taking the summer off from blogging between part 1 and part 2 of my recap of the ride, I seem to have forgotten an entire day! The funny thing is that it was probably my best day ever on a bike and my favorite day of the ride

The Lost Day (day 5) was a long, flat, straight ride north out of Alamosa through the San Luis Valley with a modest climb over Poncha Pass before dropping into Salida. With the possibility of headwinds being the only real challenge, Woody, The Hankster and I decided this would be a good day to ride together as Team BEEF. And we were right.

Woody (left), Hankster (right) and the REAL BEEFMAN
I began the day feeling strong. I seem to do best on the flats and was feeling it this morning, pulling the first 21 miles with Woody, Hank and various other riders who hopped on for a ride along the way. We rolled into the first aid station in Hooper, Colorado, averaging 23 miles per hour!

Feeling cocky, we just had to get a Team BEEF photo op with the giant rooster at Miss Deb's Sand Castle Café in Hooper :)
Team BEEF kept up this pace over the next 30 or so miles until we started the climb over Poncha Pass. Although this little bump in the road (about a 1,000 ft. climb to just over 9,000 ft. elevation) slowed us down a little, we still managed to average just over 20 mph for the day. I'm fairly certain that's the only time I've ever averaged 20+ on an 80+ mile ride!

A number of riders chose to stop at Elevation Beer Co. in Poncha Springs, about 10 miles from the day's end.
It didn't hurt that the final 15 miles were all downhill, dropping nearly 2,000 ft. That also made it an easy decision to stop at the Elevation Beer Co. for a refreshing 8 Second Kolsch (or 2!) before the official Team Bar2Bar rendezvous stop at The Vic (for the rest of that story read last week's post).

But one of the best stories of the entire week happened when we got to the campsite in Salida and every available inch was taken. Or so it seemed. After circling the school and seeing few chances of finding a spot where we could camp together, I noticed 2 young kids selling popsicles right across the street from the luggage and shower trucks.

When I went over to buy a popsicle I (half-jokingly) asked their father, who was working in the yard, "How much to camp in your yard?"

"No charge," he said, "You are welcome to camp here." When I protested and cautioned that we had four tents, he insisted. "No charge. I would love for you to camp here!"

Tune back in next week for the final day of the epic adventure that was Ride the Rockies 2013.

Ride on!


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