We started with beautiful weather in Boulder as we climbed Boulder Canyon. The beautiful scenery of the canyon makes the steep (8-10% grade) in the middle worth it! Rolling into Nederland I ran into my RTR friend and yoga instructor Gillian. Always good to see her.
From Nederland turned south to see ominous dark clouds in the direction we were heading. Grinding through a series of sharp, steep climbs and descents we neared Aid Station Two at Gilpin School when a lighting strike lit up the sky. I didn't even get to one second before the thunder crack shook me. It was close!
I picked up the pace with no where to shelter except the aid station ahead. Just as I arrived at Gilpin School the hail started pelting us. I made it under an eave and shelters in place for about 30 mins as the storm passed. Whew. Thinking the worst was over I got back on the bike and headed down the short, steep descent to Black Hawk. The wet roads made for a cold, tense ride.
I ran into Flip Flop Jenny in Black Hawk. She didn't look happy. Jenny rides in dime store rubber flip flops on flat pedals. I kid you not. Woody told me later that he rode that stretch with her and she was shaking.
And that's when it got crazy.
|It never looks as steep in a picture but this climb was sick.|
Arriving in Empire (after grinding 10 miles uphill into the wind) we checked again and the weather was now showing 30F and heavy thundersnow at the summit. It was then we were told by staff that we could ride to the summit but they had closed the downhill into Winter Park. Regardless, we decided to press on.
|It was sleeting/snowing in Winter Park as we headed to dinner last night.|
Woody had ridden ahead of me so when the Trooper went ahead to turn other riders back I waited for Woody. That's when, like manna from heaven, I saw a SAG vehicle coming up the pass with two empty spots on the rack. Unheard of at this point. So I loaded up and as we headed up the pass I kept a close eye out for Wordy coming down. Sure enough we spotted him and were able to give him a lift over the mountain, too. Hailing that van had saved us hours of waiting and a bus ride. We were happy, to say the least.
|At dinner last night a Beefman Blodgett reader stopped me and said, "Beefman?" We had never met each other but he recognized my from these pages. Thanks, Tom from New York, for introducing yourself. Good to know somebody actual reads my blog!|
Today is a 95-mile ride to Steamboat Springs. The weather forecast is for sunshine all day. Hallelujah.