The objective for arriving three days early was twofold, get acclimated to high elevation and ride the beautiful curvy roads. It was 45 degrees upon waking, glad I brought my electric heated vest. I checked out routes to RMNP and the Peak to Peak highway. Hmmm, seems a little longer ride than I had anticipated, better get rolling. The route took me into Kremling, a

stop on the bike ride well be seeing in a few days. I stopped for a fritter and some random gas station conversation with the locals. The high school kids were holding football practice on the school fields next to a mounted attack helicopter. You just don’t see that kind of monument at Hopkins schools…

It was something over 50 miles to the entrance of the park. Flash the card and smile… The road through the park is a slow, winding road, but 35 mph. Relax and enjoy the journey. It was a little sad to see all the brown pines being devastated by the beetles. Another park to visit before environmental issues change it ( a la Glacier). I stopped at the peak for a short hike and the view… 12,000+ feet, this should test my breathing.

The wonder turned to another test of my patience as immediately after the summit there was road construction and a 30-40 minute wait, while dark clouds moved over us. A little sneet but no real rain. It seemed everyone from Denver was heading up the mountain.

Down into Estes Park for lunch and gas (I’m 150 miles into the ride…). This was the start of the P to P highway. The first is Long’s Peak, a fourteener. Pretty impressive. The route takes me another 50 miles south to Central City. By now it is afternoon and there are random dark clouds with rain falling. Fortunately, I was able to navigate between the patches of rain onto I-70 and a 70mph sprint up through the tunnel at Loveland Pass. What a spectacular interstate! Well, except for the smell of burning brakes on the drop into Silverthorn (another stop on our ride).

Off the freeway and back on the two lane roads back to steamboat. All told, another 350+ day on the bike but I wouldn’t take it back.

Bus to town for pizza and beer with Sid. Tomorrow, everyone shows up and a tour of the Moots bike factory.


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