The Ride the Rockies (RTR) tour went from Telluride, CO to
Colorado Springs on June
9th through 15th.
Total distance was 540 miles and total climb was 22k feet.
I drove to
Springs early on the 9th to catch a bus to
Telluride. The bus ride was 7 hours but
the time went fast. The bus stopped
twice for breaks. It only took a few
minutes to register and my hotel room at the Hotel Telluride was right next
door. It was quite nice.
Day 1. Telluride to Cortez.
The first day ride was up Lizard Head Pass and then a long descent to Cortez. I arrived in Cortez at 11:30 and was challenged to find a place to eat and get out of the sun. Most of the vendors were not set up yet. So I ate a gyro and had a beer from the beer tent and waited until 1 for my room to be ready.
Day 2. Cortez to
I expected there to be a lot of wind so I was on route by 6:15 and finished at 11. The route at a silly loop going back to Mancos (probably to get enough mileage in for the day). I pulled a man and a woman for several miles. Then, going up Mancos Hill I popped my right pedal out of the crank. Very fortunately Chris from Sports Garage stopped and get my pedal installed well enough that it would hold for the rest of the ride. It would cost me $400 to replace the crankset.
Went to hear Bob Roll and it was a bust. Listened to a lot of uninteresting talk before Bob and then all Bob did was tell stories. I was hoping to hear something about cycling technique or strategy.
Durango to Pagosa
On route at 6am planning to be done by 12:30. The wind did not come up until late afternoon and the wind was favorable. I completed the ride by noon.
But my hotel was far back on the route and up a large hill into the wind. So I put my bike in the corral and rode the bus. Cancelled dinner with Kay since I was far west and she was far east.
Day 4. Pagosa Springs to Alamosa.
It was a lucky break that I had to leave my bike in the corral. I was up at 4:45 and caught a 5am bus. Had breakfast and started riding at 5:50. If I had stopped at my hotel on the way into Pagosa Springs I still could not have started before 5:50 (first good light) and would have had an extra 5 miles to go.
It was cold at the start—37 degrees in the valley. But again another fortunate mistake. I should have taken a wind breaker but I didn’t and would have loved to have it the first 14 miles but after that it would have been just weight.
The big climb of the tour was today over Wolf Creek Pass. I had hoped to get over it by 9am (3 hours) and I was about 20 minutes faster. I was on the downhill by 8:50.
The farmers in Monte Vista had a potato tent and were giving away baked potatoes with all the fixings. I had a purple potato. Wonderful. Ride time 6:18.
Day 5. Alamosa to Salida
Pretty flat ride with a good tail wind. Climb up
wasn’t really much. Poncha Pass
Day 6. Salida to
Fires at the
forced a reroute. The route now comes
down Hwy 50 to Cotopaxi and then Hwy 69 Westcliff and then Hwy 96 to Wetmore
and then Hwy 67 to Florence and finally, roughly, Hwy 115 to Canon City. And extra 33 miles and 2K’. But it was worth it. It really was a nice route; very pretty and
the climbs were, with one exception at the start, not steep at all. The climb over
was quite reasonable. Hardscrabble Pass
The descent of Hardscrabble was steep with switch backs. One rider at least didn’t make one of the turns and crashed into the guardrail. The descent was also hot. It went from cool to 105 and then settled in the 90’s.
Finally had dinner with Kay and her friend.
to Colorado Springs
Cruised this 46 miles and got to
about 10am. My luggage arrived shortly
afterwards, changed and headed home. I
saw no need to stay around for the closing events and raffles at 1:30. Home by 1pm.