After the mad dash from the top of Mt. Ventoux on Monday to the train station in Avignon, back to Paris, flight to New York (unpack, repack) and into Colorado on Wednesday, I’ve had my feet up for a few days in Breckenridge.
The Adventure Cycling Association tour, Colorado Classic High Country Loop begins tomorrow, Sunday 12 July in Frisco. In order to get used to life at 3000 meters, I’ve rented a condo for four nights before the trip begins. Breckenridge sits at just about 2926 meters (9600 feet for metric-challenged American friends) and is located on one of the spurs of the world-class bicycle path network in Eagle and Summit counties, that links Avon/Vail, Copper Mountain, Breckenridge and other cities in the region. In short, these spectacular bike paths and the high elevation, make this place a great spot to train and generally recreate on two wheels during July.
I’d offered space in the condo to any of the others planning to take the ACA tour and Roy arrived on Wednesday afternoon. Dan got in on Friday and Ralph pulled in this morning. The place is full of bikes, gear and guys watching the Tour de France before and after going on ride.
This morning, Ralph, Dan and I took off for pre-tour ride as soon as the day warmed up enough for shorts and sleeves. We rode north, down towards Frisco, cutting over to Keystone on Swan Mountain and rode to the top of Loveland Pass.
Today was the first half of “The Triple Bypass” 3000 person ride from Evergreen to Avon. As we were climbing the pass the first riders were descending in the other direction.
To our advantage, Loveland Pass Highway 9 was closed to traffic and we had the road to ourselves.
No doubt, the day was tough. The first real climb over Swan Pass made me remember that there is 71% of the oxygen at sea level available at 3000 meters. But after feeling a bit under-water for that climb, I settled down and the feeling of hypoxia vanished on the big climb up Loveland.
Dan, on the left below, and Ralph were the two guys staying at our condo who joined me for the ride.
At the top there were a lot of the Triple Bypass riders at the top and bottom of Loveland Pass:
One of my best days on two wheels! But, I’m thinking that tomorrow, Sunday, will be best spent with my feet on the divan, watching the TdF and the men’s Wimbledon final, letting my body get used to being at altitude before our big ride begins on Monday morning.