Alice, Dean, Don, and Tom left Granby this morning at 5:30a, well ahead of the 6:30a
target defined by the RTR folks. The first 25-mile portion of the ride was a slow,
uphill climb. After that, there was a 12-mile climb that took them from 9,000 feet to
12,200. There was an aid station along that portion of the climb, and another one at the
top. As he was leaving, Tom saw Greg entering the aid station, and they got to chat for
a few minutes. Greg, looking up the hill in front of them, remarked that he thought that
he had already reached the top. Fortunately, the climb that loomed ahead was a short
Tom was able to communicate with Mike in Steamboat Springs from the
37-mile aid station.
Their chat was brief, as the summit provided a 'hot spot' for their ham radio
communication, and it was quickly lost once Tom left the station.
>From mile marker 40, it was mostly downhill into Estes Park.
Sadly, the descent was
slowed by an ambulance carrying one of the riders who was involved in an accident along
the route. Interestingly, the riders around Tom all slowed their descent by about 10 mph
after the ambulance passed. Seeing something like that and realizing that you could be
the person in the ambulance really gets your attention!
Just before getting into Estes Park, the route took a 'rude' turn
that had our riders
climbing one more hill rather than heading directly into town. Although a short
distance, the climb was steep. Once they got to the top of that hill, it was a five-mile
descent into Estes Park.
Tom said that the scenery was spectacular along the ride. At
one point he saw an elk in
a meadow near the road. The weather gods shined kindly on the troops yet again, with dry
skies and not-too-hot temperatures.
Here are Tom's statistics for the day: 65.32 miles today; 379
miles cumulative; average
speed 11.1 mph (the hills took their toll); maximum speed 38 mph; time in the saddle 5
hours, 51 minutes, 34 seconds; total time on the road 8 hours.
After completing the ride, Alice headed back to Boulder. Sadly,
she will not be able to
complete the ride tomorrow. She mentioned something about trying to get ready for the
move east next month, selling a house, buying a house, and planning her daughter's
wedding. The others will definitely miss her, especially her 'riding buddy.'