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!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Ride the Rockies 2014 Day Five: Minor Triple Bypass

In Colorado they have a ride called the Triple Bypass ("for those who dare") that traverses three mountain passes in one day. I call yesterday's ride, Day Five on Ride the Rockies, the minor triple bypass, with climbs over Battle Mountain, Tennessee Pass and Fremont Pass. Climbing three passes in one day was tough but Shawn and I think the previous day's ride over the Three Bitches was worse.

Overlooking the site of Camp Hale, training grounds forthe10th Mountain Division in WWII.
Day Five began with a nice steady incline through Minturn, Colorado, before the first climb up Battle Mountain (9,267 Ft.). We were rewarded with a nice downhill and amazing views cross the Red Cliff Bridge before starting the second climb over Tennessee Pass (10,423 Ft.) My favorite part of this stretch was riding through the valley where Camp Hale was located (except for the headwinds) Camp Hale was the training grounds for the famous 10th Mountain Division in WWII, where Senator Bob Dole* and his fellow soldiers learned mountain combat techniques (on skies) before being deployed to the Italian Alps.

At the 10th Mountain Division Memorial on the summit of Tennessee Pass
After submitting Tennessee Pass we dropped down into Leadville, Colorado, the highest incorporated city in the U.S. at 10,200 Ft. above sea level. From there we climbed Fremont Pass (11,319 Ft.), the third and final pass of the day. Official total elevation gain for the day was 5,580 Ft. (which is a little over half of the triple bypass, hence the "minor" part).

Woody donned his traditional Hawaiian shirt for Day Five.
I enjoyed the final descent down Fremont, making an attempt to break my own personal speed record of 50.4 miles per hour on a four mile stretch of -7% grade. But alas, the headwinds held me back and I only reached 48 mph. I did get to ride in the slipstream of Paul (the Pilot) and Leah (his daughter) on their tandem down the pass and along the bike trail into Frisco, where we stopped a the official Team Bar2Bar destination for the day, the Moose Jaw Pub on Main Street.

The BEEFWIFE joined me in Breckenridge for the final night party.
It was a beautiful evening in Breckenridge for the final night party. Hard to believe RTR14 is almost over. Well, when I say almost I mean we have 77 miles to ride, including a massive 3,000 Ft. climb over Loveland Pass (11,991 Ft.) as well as two steep ascents (Floyd Hill and Lookout Mountain) coming late in the day. I'm looking forward to coasting down Lookout Mountain into Golden and crossing the finish line at the Golden Arch sometime around 2:00 this afternoon.

Ride on!


*My father and I both worked for Senator Dole in the 70s and 80s, including his 1980 presidential campaign (my dad) and 1988 presidential bid (me).

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