from denver post
Gov. Bill Ritter survived a triple bypass over the weekend.
So did about 3,500 others participating in the 21st annual Triple Bypass bike race that begins in Evergreen, ends in Avon and goes over three mountain passes: Squaw, 11,140 feet above sea level; Loveland, 11,900 feet; and Vail, 10,560 feet.
The passes weren't the hard part, Ritter said. It was the stretch between Idaho Springs and the base of Loveland.
"It's straight uphill. It's unrelenting. You really have had to have eaten your oatmeal that day," he said.
Ritter began at 5:30 a.m. Saturday and finished the 120-mile race about 6:30 p.m. after several rest stops and enduring some rain.
He rode with the Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center's "Champions for Children" cycling team. The center helps arrange for pro bono legal services for abused and neglected children. The biking team helps raise money for the group.
Ritter knows the group from his days as Denver district attorney.
The governor said he agreed to the race in April and started training by trying to ride a couple of mornings a week and logging one long weekend ride.
It was Ritter's first attempt at the race and probably his last. " 'Check it off' is what I said when I finished," Ritter recalled, with a laugh.