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!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ride the Rockies 2014 Day Two: From Snow to Steam (from the Hot Springs!)

Day Two of Ride the Rockies 2014 was another challenging day in a very different way than Day One. After the weather on Day One we were rewarded with a beautiful, cool but sunny day on the ride from Winter Park to Steamboat Springs. Best of all, we woke up to snow on the ground and ended up soaking in the sun in Steamboat.

Woody always says if we have to wear a jacket we're leaving too early but with a 95-mile day ahead we had no choice but to hit the road in Winter Park with temps in the 30s.
The ride from WP to Kremmling was brisk, both in pace and temperature. We were averaging 19 mph into Aid Station Three (45 miles in). But knowing the downhill start would soon turn into a climb, I knew I needed some real food. While the rest of the guys went for the loaded baked potatoes for $5 in the park, I walked across the street to the Rocky Mountain Bar and Grill for a burger.

In spite of the cool weather it was a beautiful day in the Fraser Valley, leaving Winter Park.
While sitting at the bar with several other cyclists waiting for my burger I ordered a wheat beer (believe it or not, beer is actually a good way to hydrate and get some carbs -- I call it liquid carbo-loading). Anyway, the guy next to me orders a second beer so I call him out. "You're going for two?" His response became a new Team Bar2Bar slogan today: "You can't fly with just one wing, can you?" So I ordered another beer and saved half my burger for later (it made a great protein snack when we arrived in Steamboat!).

No, I'm not saying, "I'm number one." I'm pointing at the rock formation they call "Rabbit arks," after which the pass is named. Can you see it?
I'm not sure my climb up Rabbit Ears Pass could be called flying, but I made it. And at one point near the top the was a blessed tail wind, which I think of as flying on Angelo's wings. It was the only tailwind we had all day and it was wonderful. All that time riding into the headwind all I could think was, "wind blows!"

The Old Town Pub was a welcome site at the end of the ride. After a few beers and some food we rode back up to our hotels, completing a century (100 mile) ride.
We turned the 95-mile ride into a full century riding to and from the Old Town Pub in Steamboat to our hotels. I lucked out and ended up booking a room at the Steamboat Grand hotel, right across the street from the luggage trucks and beer garden. Accutonic, the band that played tonight was an amazing reggae ensemble. I think dancing to their music helped loosen up my shoulders!

Today's ride is a "short" 53-mile loop ending up back in Steamboat. I'm looking forward to sitting by the pool this afternoon and enjoying another night in Steamboat before heading out tomorrow for Avon.

Ride on!


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