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 7, 2014

Ride the Rockies 2014: Day Zero is Here!

It's June 7. Day Zero. Time to pack up and head to Boulder for the start of Ride the Rockies 2014!

I like it when the start (and finish) are somewhere along the Front Range. It makes the logistics of the ride a lot easier. Last year involved a 6+ hour drive to Telluride, Colorado (getting to Telluride is not easy but worth every minute of the ride). This year Woody and Mrs. Woody are picking me up in Castle Rock as they head North from Colorado Springs (45 minutes south of here) and transporting me about an hour to Boulder -- a much easier journey.

Leslie and me at the street party at the start of Ride the Rockies 2013 in Telluride.
This Ride the Rockies may be the easiest logistically of the eight I have done (over the past 10 years). My first RTR in 2005 involved flying from Kansas City and driving 4+ hours to Grand Junction. Others have included long bus rides to start on the Western Slope. RTR14 starts and ends within an hour of my home. I could easily ride to start!

Team DFL friends Kris and Dave on the long bus ride from DIA to Cortez on Ride the Rockies 2006. 
I'm also packing a lot lighter this year with no tent, sleeping bag, pillow or towel. That's right, for the first time I caved in and booked hotel rooms along the route. In the past I have camped most nights on the ride, occasionally booking a room in the middle of the week for a nice respite from the routine of setting up and tearing down camp every day. But this year I decided to give myself a 50th birthday present and go for the comforts of a soft bed and hot shower every night. Given the ridiculous amount of climbing we will be doing every day I think it will be well-earned!

Camping on RTR is a great way to experience Ride the Rockies on days like this. But it also has it's drawbacks: weathering a storm in a tent and setting up/tearing down camp every day certainly adds a little adventure to the ride!
One of the reasons I have preferred to camp is avoiding depending on buses to transport you around town to your hotel, then to the beer garden, then back to your hotel at night (if you don't miss the last bus!). It's a lot of waiting and sitting and I like to keep moving.

In talking it over with Woody last night we decided to go pack Team Bar2Bar "old school" style. Given no need for all the accessories of camping we can pack a bag small enough to carry on our bike (after picking it up from the late truck*) so we can ride to our hotel and around town, if necessary. No buses, no lines, just more miles in the saddle :)

My friend Woody is the son-in-law of Team Bar2Bar's founder and keeps many of the old traditions alive. 
So here's my packing list:
  • flip flops
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 6 shirts (2Ts, 1 short sleeve button down, and 1 long sleeve)
  • swim suit (for the hot springs in Steamboat!)
  • 2 pairs of cycling shorts
  • 3 jerseys (TEAM BEEF, just plain BEEF, and Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here**)
  • helmet
  • cycling shoes/socks/gloves
  • toiletries
Well, I'd better get packing. Looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones at the start party in Central Park in downtown Boulder. But I'm thinking I might take it a little easy at this year's start party. Day 1 is an 88-mile ride to Winter Park with 8,800 feet of elevation gain! According to the article in yesterday's Denver Post, it will be "one of the toughest day's in tour history." Yikes.

Ride The Rockies Day 1 Profile

Ride on!


*Ride the Rockies transports one bag from stop to stop on three 18-wheelers: the early truck, middle truck and late truck (for late risers like me!).

**My girls gave my this jersey for Father's Day at the start of Ride the Rockies in 2005. I have worn it on every ride.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please share your comment or question here!