5,580’ Elevation Gain
I had such a great time doing Ride the Rockies. Even though I am sore from six days on the bike, I am bummed that I'm not going to be getting back on the bike tomorrow to ride on to a new destination. I actually felt that I was stronger today than I was on Day 1, despite the 460 miles and 30,000 vertical feet that I put on my legs this week.
While no where near as cold as the first morning of camping, there was frost on the tent and grass when I awoke. I decided that I'd wait till the sun was shining on the tent before getting started on my ride. I packed up for the last time, loaded my gear onto the trucks and headed out of Breckenridge for the final day of Ride the Rockies 2014. The first short climb of the day was the very familiar ride up Swan Mountain. After a quick descent, we started the climb up towards Keystone, A-Basin and finally the top of Loveland Pass. I was surprised how great my legs felt and decided to ride past the Keystone aid station and straight up to the top of the pass. In addition to just feeling great, we had a nice tail wind for most of the top part of the climb. Upon reaching the top, I realized that my day was now mostly done even though I still had more than 50 miles left as most of the remaining mileage would be down hill.
My first stop was at the Loveland Valley aid station where the Davis Phinney Foundation folks had set up. I stayed there only a few minutes to refuel and hydrate and then continued the long roll towards Golden. The tailwind stayed at my back and miles quickly ticked away. My next stop was 25 miles later when I rolled into the Idaho Springs aid station. I met up with a bunch of other DPF riders and continue down the road. What I didn't realize was that I was the last rider to pass through the new tunnel area before they closed it for 15 minutes to do blasting. I didn't know this until the finish, but figured we'd somehow gotten separated and chose to press on.
The only part of today's ride that was new to me was the climb up the backside of Floyd Hill. I quickly realized that I wasn't missing much as the climb was hot and not very scenic. After clearing the top of Floyd Hill, I'd only descended about a mile when my back tire blew. It wasn't nearly as scary as I expected a blow out to be as I never came close to losing control. I was mostly just clued in by the loud pop. It was my first flat of the ride and wasn't too upset by it. Besides, I don't want my tire changing skills to get rusty. I was back on my bike in a few minutes and making the last short climb to the top of Lookout Mountain where I recently rode with Owen. From the top of Lookout, I could see Golden just a few miles below.
It was such a bittersweet feeling as I rolled across the finish in Golden. I was sad that the ride had come to and end but was so happy to see Rachel and Owen waiting for me. The first thing I wanted to do was claim the new bike I'd won on the first day. It is sweet. Before heading home, we grabbed lunch on a patio by the finish to cheer in other DPF riders and then headed to the post-ride celebration a few blocks away.
I could not have done this ride with out the help of many people. First, I need to thank Rachel for holding down the home front while I got to enjoy this wonderful week of riding. Second, I am immensely grateful to the amazing staff and volunteers of the Davis Phinney Foundation who took such good care of me over the course of this week. What a first-class organization. Finally, this whole thing never would have happened had John Sladek not given me this opportunity. Thanks, John! You're the best!
My data- http://connect.garmin.com/activity/521386850
|Morning traffic out of Breck|
|Stunning Summit County|
|The climb from Keystone up to A-Basin|
|Still lots of snow as riders approached top of Loveland Pass|
|Top of Loveland Pass|
|DPF aid station at my home away from home- Loveland!|
|Golden! The end is in sight|
|My new bike was waiting for me at the finish|
|Post ride celebrating at the DPF tent|