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Old 04-04-12, 01:08 PM   #1
jppe
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My Annual Anyone Else Doing RtR in June?

Ride the Rockies June 9-15 with stops in Gunnison, Hotchkiss, Carbondale, Leadville, Grandby, Estes Park and Ft Collins.

After doing RtR the past 2 years and Bicycle Tour of Colorado last year many of these towns are becoming much more familiar. If Leadville is over 10,000 ft it could be a pretty chilly night in the tent.....

I'm looking forward to Independence Pass and Trail Ridge Rd from the Granby side. Please tell me Trail Ridge Rd will not be the adventure we got ourselves into last year.....

I would have liked to have done back to back weeks again this year but commitments back home got in the way.
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Old 04-04-12, 04:29 PM   #2
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I am planning on doing the Colorado Rocky Mtn Bike Tour in August. It starts and ends in Pagosa Springs. That is a good time to ride the San Juans.
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Old 04-04-12, 05:45 PM   #3
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We made a stop in Pagosa Springs in 2010-lovely place. There was a pretty long screaming descent coming into town. Nice river running through the town as well.
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Old 04-05-12, 03:23 AM   #4
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After a couple of lean years at work, we're stacked up this year with projects, so I'll be staying close to home this summer I was hoping to take a week in your area on the BRP in NC this summer, but that's not going to happen now.

Enjoy the trip and stay warm when you're camping up there in the thin air!
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Old 04-05-12, 09:09 AM   #5
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I am riding the 2012 RTR on a team with buelito. He is also a veteran RTR rider. He indicates he will be riding a Dahon Folder this year.

I have made my hotel reservations and will be in Denver the week before the event for work. I hope this will help me acclimate to the higher altitude.

I am from Houston and don't get to ride many hills. I experienced several climbs in the Cape Argus Cycle Tour. Those were the first climbs that I have experienced in a long time. I got to experience some more hills on Sunday when I rode the Gran Fondo Texas. I avg 13.8 in the King of the Mountain stage.

I will be riding a Specialized Roubaix Expert with a compact and 11-28 cassette. I hope this will be gearing I can live with.

If you have any advice for a very old rookie, please provide your expertise.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:57 AM   #6
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I've been on all those roads and have ridden many of the route over the years. It looks to be a nice course though a couple roads could be a bit busy in places. Indy Pass from the Aspen side is a Co. standard. Lots of great scenery as always along the way. Have a great ride everyone!
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Old 04-05-12, 10:05 AM   #7
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Not doing RtR but welcome back JPPE!
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Old 04-05-12, 10:39 AM   #8
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I am riding the 2012 RTR on a team with buelito. He is also a veteran RTR rider. He indicates he will be riding a Dahon Folder this year.

I have made my hotel reservations and will be in Denver the week before the event for work. I hope this will help me acclimate to the higher altitude.

I am from Houston and don't get to ride many hills. I experienced several climbs in the Cape Argus Cycle Tour. Those were the first climbs that I have experienced in a long time. I got to experience some more hills on Sunday when I rode the Gran Fondo Texas. I avg 13.8 in the King of the Mountain stage.

I will be riding a Specialized Roubaix Expert with a compact and 11-28 cassette. I hope this will be gearing I can live with.

If you have any advice for a very old rookie, please provide your expertise.
Glad you're doing it! You will love it! For me it's a greataway to get away for a week.

Your gearing is perfect. I have not experienced any steep hills in the routes I've done in Colorado so the 34/28 is perfect for the longer 6-8% climbs. You'll also enjoy the 50/11 for the downhills if you'd like to spin up to increase speed a little. I have not experienced acclimation issues in the past at the moderate speeds I ride. I always fly in the day before the riding starts and have never noticed any altitude issues riding the next day or days to follow. However I cannot generate the top end power I normally would back home but the week is just about cruising and seeing the sights anyway.

While there are several tours in Colorado I like many of the small touches RtR does-like making sure the transportation to get to restaurants and hotels is well managed. It is definitely a pretty festive atmosphere.

Seems like Buelito did RtR on a fixie one year??

We did Trail Ridge Rd last year on BTC from Estes Park to Granby (opposite direction from this year). I'm hoping we don't have the same experience as last year. Only about 150 out of 1500 of us made it all the way up and over. Blinding sleet, snow, winds howling, etc. But that is the Rockies! Unpredictable at the higher elevations so be prepared for anything.

Enjoy the hotels as we wake up to chilly temps every morning! Hope to see you there. I'll probably wear my 50+ Jersey one day.
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Old 04-05-12, 10:44 AM   #9
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Not doing RtR but welcome back JPPE!
Thanks for the kind words. Seems like the economic recovery hit my line of work early and I've never been busier both at and away from work. Plus I just didn't think I had as much to contribute here so I used my time putting on unwanted weight. If anyone is ever tempted to do the same avoid it at all costs. It just doesn't come off like it used to. BTW, we have a new Velodrome just south of Charlotte in Rock Hill and our TT series at Charlotte Motor Speedway starts back up next week.
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Old 04-05-12, 10:58 AM   #10
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Thanks for the kind words. Seems like the economic recovery hit my line of work early and I've never been busier both at and away from work. Plus I just didn't think I had as much to contribute here so I used my time putting on unwanted weight. If anyone is ever tempted to do the same avoid it at all costs. It just doesn't come off like it used to. BTW, we have a new Velodrome just south of Charlotte in Rock Hill and our TT series at Charlotte Motor Speedway starts back up next week.
Well, now is the time to rev up the red bike and TT bike and buy a new track bike for the velodrome. The weight will come off.
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Old 04-05-12, 12:50 PM   #11
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Buelito did mention he rode it on a fixie. That amazes me. Buelito also indicated he would do the indoor camping.

When I rode the Gran Fondo Texas, I did a century; so, I am not so worried about the distance each day.

Thanks for encouraging me about the gearing.

I will send a PM so you will have my contact info. I want to get together with you as well as Buelito.
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Old 04-08-12, 10:28 AM   #12
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I forgot to ask about how often I should ride longer distances in preparation. I did a Century last week and have ridden my age at least once every week for the last 8 weeks. The Saturday before the century I rode 81 mi. I think I need to have 2 consecutive 90 mi rides the weekend before I go to Denver. I will be in Denver the Monday before the event and have heard I should not exercise the first few days while my blood is getting thicker.
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Old 04-09-12, 02:30 PM   #13
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If you're already doing those distances you're good to go. If you did want to do some back to back longer days I'd do it 2 weekend prior to the start of RtR and then do some moderate riding the weekend before. Just ride your pace and enjoy the scenary. Let' just hope the winds are helping us.....
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Old 04-09-12, 08:05 PM   #14
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Thanks for the encouragement. I was worried that if I stopped riding the longer distances, I would lose my endurance. I was thinking that I should ride a long ride (more than 60 mi) at least every other weekend before the event. Do you think every other week is often enough for a long ride?

I had made my own hotel reservations. I inquired with Alpine cycles about their packages. They are very flexible and let me mix and match. I kept a couple of my previous reservations and will go with their choices for the other nights.

A big advantage is they provide transport between hotels and the ride locations. It takes the complications out of logistics.
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Old 04-10-12, 02:46 PM   #15
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From my experience, once you've built up some base miles and have done some longer rides, you'll be surprised about how quickly you can jump back up to the longer distances. So, I wouldn't worry about losing the endurance. The thing that helps more than anything else is just "saddle time". On RtR you'll be on the bike for 4-6 hours every day during RtR so you just want to make sure you're riding muscles and body parts are okay for consecutive long days on the bike. The thing you might want to prepare for is just longer climbs. It's more mental that anything---just going pretty slow for longer durations than you're probably accustomed to. Don't worry about speed-just do your thing. You'll be faster than a lot of the group but slower than some and nothing we can do it going to change that. The main thing is to just soak it all in. They try and make it as festive as they can. If the weather is agreeable doing these rides in Colorado is about as fun as it gets.

While I have camped every year, I think that the buses run around to all the hotels that folks stay at but I could be mistaken.

If you like hotcakes, you have to stop at the first rest stop every day and enjoy Dan's Flippin Flapjacks. $5 for all the pancakes and sausage you can eat. Incredibly good eatin.
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Old 04-11-12, 06:46 PM   #16
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glad you are coming jppe! I have done 3 RtR...2003, 2007 and 2008. In 2007 I did it on the fixie, and we went up Indy pass from Aspen-- but the best ride that year was not on the route, but an 'extra' we tacked on-- going from Aspen to Maroon bells-- absolutely beautiful (and all uphill...) We slept in Leadville that year- it was cold. But we had good weather. Hopefully it will be the same this year.

Let us know your travel plans and we can try to get together. I will ride Indy with the 50+ jersey

I am planning on riding on a dahon speed p8--a little slower than my regular bikes, but it will be different I have already done 85+ miles on it (in a single ride) and it's not too bad. i can't match the high speed downhills, but that's OK. I am also riding with a friend from high school whom I have seen twice in 40 years...
Indoor camping has worked well on all 3 occasions, and is what I am planning this year too--don't want the hassle of setting up and pulling down a tent every morning.

Look forward to meeting you and gtragitt.

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Old 04-11-12, 07:06 PM   #17
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Our mountain snowpack is at 46% of normal. Don't expect the rivers to be too rushing, and we are having nasty March and April fires. Including in the higher country.

Have fun. My singing group will be presenting a program at Hotchkiss United Methodist Church in July.
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Old 04-11-12, 07:08 PM   #18
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While I have camped every year, I think that the buses run around to all the hotels that folks stay at but I could be mistaken.
They did the two years I rode - a long time ago - 1998 and 1999.
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Old 04-11-12, 07:27 PM   #19
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http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ed-ride-report

(link to my ride report of the 2007 RtR on the fixie)

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Old 04-11-12, 08:00 PM   #20
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Thanks for the ride report buelito! I am amazed by your performance. I don't expect to come close to that on a road bike with a compact crankset. Our Independence Pass day will be longer than the route from Aspen to Leadville. We gain ab out 1900 ft before we get to Aspen then we have another 4000 ft of climmbing to reach the summit. Obviously I won't be riding with you because you are a much stronger rider. I do look forward to getting to know you as well as jppe.

I experienced similar issues with my hands and neck on long downhills when I rode the Cape Argus in March. These mountains have much longer descents.

I expect to be at the Doubletree at Stapleton on Monday through Friday before the event. My wife and I plan to drive to Gunnison on Saturday. We will stay in Crested Butte Saturday night.
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Old 04-25-12, 04:19 PM   #21
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I made my airline and rental car reservations. I will be at the Doubletree On Quebec from Monday evening until Friday morning. Friday evening we will be staying in the Hilton Garden Inn south of Denver.
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