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  1. #1
    Mountain Goat dark13star's Avatar
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    Finally Rode St. Vrain

    Yesterday was supposed to be a rest day for me. My legs are sore from a lot of cycling and hiking last week and we are doing several summits (hiking) this week as well.

    So much for that plan. My buddy convinced me to join him on the Left Hand-St. Vrain loop. The last two times we tried it, we turned around at Ward because of lightning. Well, yesterday was perfect and I got my first descent down the St. Vrain. It is a great road for descending. Aside from one area of damaged shoulder, I think it is probably the best descent on the front range. It is smooth and gentle. No braking and I don't think we went over 35.

    Well, we did lock our brakes up once when a bighorn sheep jumped in front of us. We were going about 30 and it was separated from its herd on the other side of the road. We both saw it coming and started to brake, and a good thing. It jumped right in front of us. We managed to avoid it and each other, but the skid wore through my tire (no threads showing before the ride) which led to a flat later on.

    Before the Vrain, we did a real fast descent on the Peak to Peak. Hit 47 MPH. I think that is the fastest I have ever gone on my bike. I am just glad I didn't look at my speed during the descent.

    Great ride, but I didn't have the legs for it. I was chasing my buddy the whole way and we are usually equal.

    Can't wait to hit that one again!
    "I would be an historian as Herodotus was." Charles Olson
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  2. #2
    ( 8n(|) DOH!! Pwnt's Avatar
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    Nice job dude! Now reverse it.
    _____________________________________________

    I love noodles.

  3. #3
    Mountain Goat dark13star's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pwnt View Post
    Nice job dude! Now reverse it.
    If I do, I am parking in Lyons. Having the car in Lyons would make the stop at the brew pub easier. I wasn't looking forward to the 7 miles back to Lefthand after two pints, and it was less fun when I got a flat.
    "I would be an historian as Herodotus was." Charles Olson
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  4. #4
    impressive member badhat's Avatar
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    ykow i dont think i've ever descended left hand OR st vrain.

    ive always gone up one of those two and then either down to blackhawk or up to estes.

  5. #5
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    Oh... memories... In 1970 I was going to school in Boulder. I had a nice yellow Schwinn Super Sport. Lousy bike but it was yellow... and it got stolen. The insurance money allowed me to walk into The Spoke and buy a shiny new Gitane Model 585 from Jim Carley. What a difference.

    I rode it up Flagstaff Road (I think that's what it's called. Goes up behind the Flatirons.) Coming down was interesting. I had very little long distance experience.

    I rode up Boulder Canyon and then the side road to Crisman. Up the dirt and eventually made it to Nederland and then about killed myself coming down Boulder Canyon.

    Anyway, one day I got the idea to ride a loop: north to Lyons, up the South St. Vrain to the Peak-to-Peak, and then Nederland and home. Not knowing anything about what I was doing, I didn't even get close; ran out of fuel a few miles up the South St Vrain. Getting back was slow. One interesting aspect of the ride was that the chain came apart a few miles north of Boulder. Of course I had no chain tool nor knowledge, but I just pushed the ends together, and they joined. It never broke again.

    Here it is 39 years later... and I still want to make that loop. I have a better idea of what I'm doing, but the Gitane is long gone; I upgraded various parts to Campangnolo and then it got stolen. Actually... I want to ride the whole Peak-to-Peak. Estes, Allenspark, Ward, Nederland, Blackhawk and onward.

  6. #6
    impressive member badhat's Avatar
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    i said this recently in another thread but i've done most of the really hard colorado area routes, and certainly the really tough ones like loveland, evans, cottonwood, trail ridge, lefthand, and i definitely think peak to peak is mile for mile the hardest stretch of road ive done.

    its not that any one stretch is steep or long but its so variable and so up and down that when you get from one end to the other youre so exhausted... really draining.

    when they talk about doing a pro Tour of Colorado again, i think having a stage that starts in blackhawk, follows P2P to estes, then climbs trail ridge for a summit finish just before the rock cut would be as spectacular as any stage in europe.

  7. #7
    Mountain Goat dark13star's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badhat View Post

    when they talk about doing a pro Tour of Colorado again, i think having a stage that starts in blackhawk, follows P2P to estes, then climbs trail ridge for a summit finish just before the rock cut would be as spectacular as any stage in europe.
    That would be an awesome route. In fact, I may need to do it.
    "I would be an historian as Herodotus was." Charles Olson
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    I rode up Trail Ridge with some friends. That was one fantastic ride.

  9. #9
    So it is LAJ's Avatar
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    Lyons, Carter Lake, Big Thompson, Devils Gulch, Estes, CO-7 to St. Vrains on Saturday. It was a blast, even though it was raining during the descent.

  10. #10
    Senior Member UGASkiDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LAJ View Post
    Lyons, Carter Lake, Big Thompson, Devils Gulch, Estes, CO-7 to St. Vrains on Saturday. It was a blast, even though it was raining during the descent.

    Ouch....that one hurts
    Quote Originally Posted by kimconyc View Post
    He's not mother Teresa. He's a friggin cyclist for crying out loud. Why is this so hard to understand for so many people?

    Think of it like the WWE but on bikes; it's just a big show with real-live suffering and soul crushing.

  11. #11
    Mountain Goat dark13star's Avatar
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    Never ridden Devil's Gulch. I guess I need to add it to the list.
    "I would be an historian as Herodotus was." Charles Olson
    http://herodot.us

  12. #12
    impressive member badhat's Avatar
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    the crew i ride with does loveland to estes via devils gulch once a month.

    i missed the august ride so i actually did it solo last night after work.

    the air is so weird right now, supposedly from the cali fires, but it waseerie and beautiful.

    afterwards i rode home via masonville and watched the sunset over horsetooth res. really gorgeous night.

  13. #13
    Gilpin County Wheelman SKYLAB's Avatar
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    Just missed you by a week Rich. We rode from here to allenspark and back just this last weekend. Much harder than Trail Ridge and my fitness is still rather early season, but beautiful.
    Sounds as if your TI issues have cleared up.
    And you know that notion just crossed my mind.

  14. #14
    impressive member badhat's Avatar
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    ugh no i'm on my allez for the time being.

    the ti frame is on its way back to litespeed where it will be sitting in thier repar queue for >3 months.

    they did offer me a pretty incredible discount on an archon frame, which i took them up on, so hopefully i'll have that build up with the rival guys from the old ti bike in the next couple of weeks.

    quite a comedy of errors last wek though. i was signed up to race the rist canyon race last weekend and after the ti bike died i considered dropping out but instead decided to try to get the allez raceready. as soon as i decided that, the rear tire had a sidewall blowout, the front shifter failed, the mecanic at the shop where my frame is sitting got a chunk bitten out of his forearm trying to pull the pedals off the ti bike for me... it was just one f-ing thing after another.

    had to swap the seat (not gonna race on a brooks), swap out the front shifter for the one on my cross bike, buy new brake pads, recable the whole bike, play with seat height and shifter position and bar tilt, spent all evening friday night working on it, and got it to a satisfactory fit. not how i was hoping to spend friday night though.

    i think i got it dialed in ok, but i was still not 100% comfortable and had no confidence in fast curves, and definitely felt a lack of zip on accelerations. but i had fun anyway and managed top 10 in the citizen cat. glad i didnt bail.

  15. #15
    Mountain Goat dark13star's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKYLAB View Post
    Just missed you by a week Rich. We rode from here to allenspark and back just this last weekend. Much harder than Trail Ridge and my fitness is still rather early season, but beautiful.
    Sounds as if your TI issues have cleared up.
    Only just getting back in shape and now I have to stay off the bike for hand issues. I just had a big needle in my left hand today for tendinitis and I am not supposed to grip anything with that hand for 1-2 weeks. Doc said handlebars count.

    Focusing on running again to get ready for the winter. I am thinking of a marathon next year, so probably a good idea.
    "I would be an historian as Herodotus was." Charles Olson
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  16. #16
    impressive member badhat's Avatar
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    oh THOSE ti issues

  17. #17
    Gilpin County Wheelman SKYLAB's Avatar
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    oh man rich i am so sorry to hear that.
    I had severe elbow tendonitis for a while before the shoulder surgery and it seemed to have a deleterious effect on my recovery post-op. I've been working the the PT's to strenghten the forearms.
    Is your hand issue related to work? Too much computer time maybe?
    At any rate, best of luck with your recovery. Wouldn't you know, just as I'm beginning to get it together again you've got to back down. Let me know if you feel up to some of the climbs around here (eldora, mtn base etc) in the future. Still some weeks of riding left.
    And you know that notion just crossed my mind.

  18. #18
    Mountain Goat dark13star's Avatar
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    It is known as "trigger finger" and it is a collapse of the sheath around the tendon for the finger. This is my second shot in two years, so next time it is surgery. They put a small cut in the sheath and it is fine. Dr. said probably not work or bike related. Some people just get it. Specifically said that there is no behavior change that will influence it.

    As soon as the inflammation from the shot goes away, I am ok to ride again. I will shoot you an email when I am ready.
    "I would be an historian as Herodotus was." Charles Olson
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  19. #19
    Gilpin County Wheelman SKYLAB's Avatar
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    Trigger finger? you learn something new every day.
    I signed up for the CU Bicycle Classic yesterday by the way. Folsom out to Horsetooth and back for 100 miles on 9.13. Not sure about my fitness yet, but I can always make the turn for the 70 mile ride, which I'm sure I'm good for.
    And you know that notion just crossed my mind.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dark13star View Post
    Before the Vrain, we did a real fast descent on the Peak to Peak. Hit 47 MPH. I think that is the fastest I have ever gone on my bike. I am just glad I didn't look at my speed during the descent.
    !
    Try Carter Lake, north of Berthoud. I hit 59.6mph going down the north side.

  21. #21
    impressive member badhat's Avatar
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    fastest descents i can think of around here

    carter lake north side
    rist canyon highpoint > stove prarie
    horsetooth north dam to bellvue
    devils gulch switchbacks to glen haven

    i think rist is where i got my top speed ever.

  22. #22
    Senior Member UGASkiDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badhat View Post
    fastest descents i can think of around here

    carter lake north side
    rist canyon highpoint > stove prarie
    horsetooth north dam to bellvue
    devils gulch switchbacks to glen haven

    i think rist is where i got my top speed ever.

    Monarch Pass east side
    Quote Originally Posted by kimconyc View Post
    He's not mother Teresa. He's a friggin cyclist for crying out loud. Why is this so hard to understand for so many people?

    Think of it like the WWE but on bikes; it's just a big show with real-live suffering and soul crushing.

  23. #23
    impressive member badhat's Avatar
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    i dunno if i know monarch

    where is it?

  24. #24
    impressive member badhat's Avatar
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    oh thats down south

    i was thinking of NoCo specifically

    only thing i've ridden in that area is cottonwood, which i loved.

  25. #25
    Gilpin County Wheelman SKYLAB's Avatar
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    Friend of mine hit 63 on my Ti bike coming down from eldora ski area two weeks ago.
    with a bad rear tire!
    And you know that notion just crossed my mind.

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