Ride The Rockies 2011

Crested Butte to Georgetown - June 12 - 17, 2011

This year's route covered 414 miles and 25,000' of climbing; much of it over new roads for me. Our route went from Crested Butte to Buena Vista, Edwards, Steamboat Springs, Granby and finally Georgetown. We crossed the Continental Divide four times, on Cottonwood Pass, Tennessee Pass, Rabbit Ears Pass and Berthoud Pass. Day 1 (Sunday) was a great start from Crested Butte with good weather. I rode 42 miles out to the start of the Cottonwood Pass climb with Chas Ryan, Steve Porter and Mark Schwarzman. From there we all climbed our own pace up Cottonwood Pass on 14 miles of dirt road; followed by a roaring descent down into Buena Vista, during which Chas and I were caught and passed by a petite gal who became known in our group as "The Fast Woman" after she blew by several others the next couple days. 

Monday started with a strong headwind for the first 20+ miles out of Buena Vista but it soon calmed down and was a nice ride from Leadville over Tennessee Pass and Battle Mountain to Edwards. Tuesday from Edwards to Steamboat Springs turned into a strong ride with a couple good climbs and a strong headwind the last 40 miles from Toponas to Steamboat. Fortunately, I rode with a strong group made up at various times of Chas, Eric Voelker (aka The Diesel), Robin Waterman, Dan Knauss, Ron Kiefeland occasionally others to help share the work. We had a very organized paceline but were tired when we arrived. Nevertheless, it was a great day with a great group and lots of intensity. Wednesday (Day 4) was an option for a rest day or a 50 mile loop south & west of Steamboat. Of course we did the loop and it was worth it. We had great weather, great scenery and a good group of riders.

Thursday started out with a climb up Rabbit Ears Pass from Steamboat. This is a really nice climb of about 7 miles and 2,400' of elevation gain. Chas and I pushed ourselves a bit and rode at a nice tempo pace all the way up. The descent into Kremmling was plauged by yet another headwind and a busy road, but once again there were several of us to share the work. We turned east at Kremmling and had a wonderful 30 mile run to Granby, including a nice ride through Byers Canyon, a surprise gem, and a short but steep bump up to a "mountaintop finish" at the high school. Friday, our last day, started out damp and gloomy with a report of snow in Georgetown. Welcome to the Colorado high country! It remained cloudy and damp off & on, and was very chilly at the top of Berthoud Pass; however, we didn't encounter any rain or snowfall. Overall it was a nice ride with another long rollicking descent off of Berthoud and great weather for the finish in Georgetown. 

Daily route plots and elevation profiles shown below are from my Garmin Edge 800 using  Ascent on my Mac. 

Click on any photo to open a gallery of larger images.

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