Day One of Ride the Rockies 2015 began with waking up in a tent city. Not that unusual expect we were at the Bluegrass Festival in Palisade, not Colorado Mesa University, where the ride starts. After enjoying a few too many Dirty Hippies the night before we decided to forego the mandate from the ride director to be at the entrance to the Colorado National Monument by 9:00 a.m. and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. We figured if they tried to stop us from going we'd just pay the entrance fee and ride as "just two American citizens exercising our right to visit our national monument!"
When we finally hit the road at 9:45 a.m. and found our way onto the course we were definitely DFL. We hit the park entrance around 10:15 and the ranger let us through with our Ride the Rockies wrist bands (foregoing the $5 fee for cyclists). We caught another rider shortly after Aid Station 1 and eventually overtook a dozen or so more before the first Team Bar2Bar Aid Station in Fruita -- the Suds Brothers Brewery.
Riding the Monument is an experience. The views are amazing but there are places where one wrong move could send you off a 1,000 Ft. cliff. It made my knees week to even look at times. Eyes on the road!
|Team Bar2Bar, from left: Woody, Hankster, Beefman, Flip Flop Jenny, Pam the Pilot and Paul the Pilot.|
Today's ride is a brutal 94-mile excursion featuring more than 7,000 feet of climbing over Grand Mesa, ending in Hotchkiss. But the reward will be worth it as we enjoying our home-grilled steaks at my friend Robbie LaValley's ranch near Hotchkiss!