Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Tour of Colorado: Day 2

Monday. We started again at 7am. This was a day we were looking forward to. 58 miles, all downhill. From 10,000 ft. to below 7000 ft. and only 2 minor hills. Not much to say about this stage except it was fast. We grouped up with this guy from Texas and his son. The Kid (as we called him) dressed head to toe in matching attire. It would have been funny if he hadn't been so fast! We all took turns leading the group, looking very professional! (This is known as a paceline. The guy in front goes hard and blocks the wind for the guys behind him. This lets the others rest a little, and keeps the speed high. In fact, the guy in the back can go the same speed as the guy in the front without hardly peddling at all).

We stopped at a few rest stops, and then took off again. The only nervous part was right after one of the rest stops. The road had just been repaved with chip-and-seal, which is basically gravel. We had about 5 miles of riding in this stuff, which brought down our average speed. Lots of people were getting flats in this section. Luckily, none of us did. In fact, neither Kurt nor Rick nor I had a flat the whole tour! Good luck was with us.

With about 5 miles to go it was my turn to take a pull at the front. I usually try not to stay in the front for more than about 5 minutes at a time. But when I got up there, I saw another organized group of riders in the distance. I made catching them my goal. I went really hard, but always careful to make sure that I didn't drop anyone from our group. I finally got to within about 50 yards of that other group. They were moving pretty good, too; it took about 3 or 4 miles to catch them. I pulled off the front and let Rick finish the job. I think they were surprised to see us go flying by. They got on to the back of our group just in time to roll into town.

We intended to not go so hard today, with a big day coming up on Tuesday. But when you are having fun, sometimes it's hard not to see what you can do.
(Lots of pictures; you've been warned!)

I don't vouch for the accuracy of the climbing/descending numbers. Trip time, distance, and average speed should be accurate.

Trip Stats:

Total Distance:58.43 miles (94.03 km)
Total Time:3:32:16 (2:37:33 moving time)
Total Climbing:4096 feet (1249 m)
Average Speed:22.25 mph (35.81 kph)


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