Experience is a currency that has worth. Yeah!
I rode the Copper Triangle bike tour on Saturday and, wow, this year was so much easier than last year. I don’t really think its because I’m in any better shape – in fact last year I was in the middle of marathon training and was probably in better condition that this year. I think its because I knew what to expect, and even better, knew that I could finish.
My dear friend and USMA classmate Geoff also registered and we planned to start together. After a restless 5 hours of sleep, we left the condo at 4:30, arriving at the start around 5. We started shortly after, all bundled up (totally learned the hard way last year that it is quite cold in the mountains in the morning). A cop did stop us about 3.5 miles into the ride – Geoff didn’t have tail lights and we had to pull over and wait until daylight to continue. That was kinda funny, and we really didn’t have to wait too long for the sun to come up completely.
The climbs were long and slow. The descents were (still) long and fast. I hit max speed coming down Freemont Pass at 37.5 mph. Yikes. We saw the Best and Cutest Cheer squad + 1 (my good friend Mariko was in town. Yay!) in Minturn (mile 55ish). I got my hug from my little guy. Love that they come to support me.
So, like I remember, going through Vail sucks. Its long. Its hot. And you know that Vail Pass is next.
Here’s Geoff with his “65 miles in and I still have Vail Pass to do?” face.
And me. Super excited, right?
So. Vail Pass. Last year, I stopped at least 3 times, and walked my bike a few yards during the ascent. This year, I just kept going.
We finished strong. We finished happy. We celebrated with beer. Yay!
From the website:
The Colorado Cyclist Copper Triangle course is a spectacular 78-mile loop cresting three Colorado Mountain passes – Fremont Pass (elevation 11,318í), Tennessee Pass (elevation 10,424í) and Vail Pass (elevation 10,666í). The course passes three ski areas and is littered with historic mining outposts and camp Hale, the training ground for the famous 10th Mountain Division. The total elevation gain for the course is 5,981 ft.
5, 981′ elevation gain
6:24 cycling::7:15 total time on the course
13.4 mph average speed
37.5 mph maximum speed