Monday, June 9, 2014

Final Thoughts on Berthoud and Day 2 of the Ride the Rockies

I talked to a lot of cyclist today about what happened to them yesterday on Berthoud Pass.  Without question the CHP made the right decision to close Berthoud for cycling.  If anything, they didn't close it soon enough.  I talked to a few of the cyclists who did make the descent and all of them said it was the scariest, coldest descent they have ever made.  The road was wet, heavy snow, thick fog, and very cold.  The wind chill must have been 10 or 15 degrees.

While no numbers have been published, it appears only 200-500 of the 2000 cyclist actually made the descent.  Lots of cyclists were stopped before the Berthoud climb.  Lots of cyclists stopped at the hail storm in Idaho Springs.  And lots of cyclists had their own rides.  So only a few hundred cyclists made it to the top and were stopped.

Finally, the RTR team did a fantastic job with the bikes.  I found mine easily this morning and except for one wheel dragging on a brake--something fixed in 10 seconds--it was perfect--except for being covered with ice.

It was quite cold this morning--well below freezing.  I bundled up, got my bike, and was on the road at 7:40 heading for Steamboat Springs.  Today's ride was 95 miles with 4,200 feet of climbs.  A relatively easy day.  I do this on long training days although I was tired from yesterday.  

The main climb of the day was Rabbit Ears Pass at 9,400'.  It is an interesting pass in that it has an east crest and a west crest.  This picture is from the east crest.
Rabbit Ears is not an intimidating climb--Berthoud is.  The 75 miles and 9,900 feet of climbs yesterday took 8 hours of riding and burned 3600 calories.  The 95 miles and 4,200 today took 6:40 riding and burned 2500 calories.  Huge difference.

Tomorrow is a 54 mile loop back to Steamboat Springs.  On paper, a false recovery day.  Almost as much climbing as today.

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