23 July, 2010

An Old Friend and (road) Miles

My old friend Rob, a collegiate cycling teammate of mine and long time friend vacationed in Colorado this past week. We used to hang out a bunch back in Austin and the last time we hung out was in Crested Butte around 1998? He's now married to a pretty cool mate and they have a family with two boys living in the Texas Hill Country, not too far from where we went to University. I met up with him in a tiny town called Empire (elevation 8614', 2685 m) down from Berthoud Pass. We were going to ride up Berthoud Pass, elevation 11, 304' (3445 m) into WinterPark (el 9052', 2780 m) and onto Fraser/Tabernash (el. 8574', 2613 m).

The climb up was sunny, a little windy, slightly chilled, but shaping up to be another perfect Colorado day. Sunny and not HOT.
Here we are, up 11,307'. The sign's right next to the PortaPotty and it was sting-keee!

We blasted the downhill and rode up the rears of some cars and Rob was ready to pass 'em down the middle of the two lanes. We hit 50 mph (80 km/h) on the descent to WinterPark. We were near the last of the switchbacks and we big ringed the ride into WinterPark taking turns drafting. We stopped at Rocky Mountain Roastery for an espresso and a pastry. Talked some and finished the goods and we're off to Fraser/Tabernash. We exit off of Fraser and ride some dirt roads to a nearby po-dunky ski area. We pull a return trip once it starts to climb.

Back in WinterPark we stop at the Cheeky Monk to replace our electrolytes for the climb back up Berthoud, down into Empire. Here's our drinks: non-approved per UCI.

Rob hiding the banned substance(s)...

We were buzzing good from greater than or equal to 8% alcohol contents in our drinks. Chit-chatting up a storm and the buzz slowly evaporating as the climb gets interesting. Rob shows his Cat II form on a climb and dispatches me. He waits at the top and we bomb it back to our cars. Not getting too sentimental but it was great seeing and riding with him again. Trying to talk him and his family to move out here...

So far, here's what I have to show for with all this riding. Don't let the funky tan lines fool you, I still need more miles...

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