Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Tour of Colorado: Day 7

Saturday. Last day of the tour. Kind of a weird feeling, relief that it was over, but kind of sad that it was ending. Everyone knew that this would be an easy day. Only 39 miles, no serious climbs. It was all uphill for the last 34 miles, but none of it difficult. The weather that morning was ideal. Not too cold, but not warm enough to indicate that it would be super hot at the finish. We ate breakfast at the motel. There were several other riders eating. Somebody noticed that the BTC had made the cover of the local newspaper. It was a funny article, referring to the tour riders like a swarm of hungry insects, swooping into town and devouring all of the food in sight.

We rolled along through mostly back roads until we reached the second aid station. After that we started riding on the highway shoulder back up to Snowmass Village. At one point Kurt started riding pretty fast. I decided that I was going to take it easy on our last day, and made no effort to keep up. Hey, if the last day of the Tour de France is an easy one, why should ours be any different?

Most of the ride was spent speculating on the outcome of the Tour de France, which had started that morning. We all made bets on what position Lance was going to finish in that mornings time trial. Rick was the closest with a vote of 3rd place. Lance ended up with a close 2nd. Way to go!

The last few miles up to Snowmass Village do get a little steep, but we held our group together well. As we got close to the top, Kurt told me to ride ahead to get a picture of Rick and him crossing the finish line. I rode hard up the hill to the finish, and snapped a picture of the "Woo Hoo!" lady as I crossed the line. This lady had been at most of the important aid stations, congratulating the riders. You could hear her shouting "Woo Hoo, Woo Hoo!" from a long distance. It was always good to see her; you knew a hard part of the ride was over.

Finishing the ride was bittersweet. It was a huge accomplishment for all of us. A lot of training went into making it a successful and fun ride. But now that it was over, I had to wonder what would be next? I'm probably in the best shape I've ever been in, but without a goal to shoot for, it will be hard to maintain. It's back to the real world, trying to make some money and take care of the house. It was great to see Sarah and Maggie when I got back to the house. But now I have to make time to ride, when previously I did other things when I wasn't riding. Well, I guess that's the way it goes. I'm trying to decide whether to do another BTC next year, or try something different. Whatever it is, it will be on my bike. It will be hard to match the memories of this summer, though.

Thanks to Kurt and the Lesters for making this possible. And special thanks to Sarah for supporting this adventure. Love you!

(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:39.79 miles (64.04 km)
Total Time:3:09:10 (2:33:24 moving time)
Total Climbing:9488 feet (2892 m)
Average Speed:15.56 mph (25.05 kph)


Post a Comment

<< Home