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Old 02-01-06, 11:13 PM   #1
NM-NewRoadie
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BicycleTour of Colorado?

Hello-

Just bought some stuff from Nashbar, and got a flier for this "tour" don't think it's really what most people in this section of the forum consider "touring" but figured I'ld see if anyone has done it and/or has any experience with similar events? here's a link, http://bicycletourcolorado.com/ but basically it sounds a lot like a mini, amiture? european style tour. They have people that carry all your stuff, and arrange places for you to stay (camping), kind of pricey, but my wife said i should do it! have yet to do any rides nearly this long (460 miles total) but it's a week long, no leg longer than 100 miles.

In perticular I'm interested in anyone who has "toured" with this group before? especially if your from New Mexico (I'm in albuquerque) and would love to find some people to carpool and/or train with.

Thanks in advance for any input. Ben
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Old 02-02-06, 12:53 AM   #2
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I haven't been on this ride. But I checked out your link and it looks..... um..... challenging! The daily altitude profiles are enough to give you a heart attack. Don't let the "no leg longer than 100 miles" fool you.

I much prefer my own self-supported, self-contained tours, but I've had fun on supported ones. However, I don't know if I'd do that route fully loaded -- geez, 5000 feet of climbing on the first day!!! So if you've been dreaming of a week going vertical in the Rockies, this looks like the best way to go. Note: This is one trip I'd train for.

At first glance, it looks cheap (~$300), but then I noticed they charge another $290 for meals. As far as week-long, cross-state supported rides, they're all about this price. But at least with Colorado you can opt for your own food, you could probably save $150 that way. Gotta have a way to carry snacks and lunches, though.

Main reason I wanted to post is to point out that this might be the last year they hold this ride -- check it out here. If you're the kind of guy who kicks himself for missing the fun, go for it this year.

-- Mark
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Old 02-02-06, 06:49 AM   #3
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I have not done this tour. Just a word of advice, however...if you are a flat-lander like I am, you MAY have problems adjusting to the altitude there...especially if you are pushing up to/over 10,000' on day one of the ride!!!

Just a thought. I've heard people having serious health problems before.
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Old 02-02-06, 08:34 AM   #4
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Although I have not been on this tour, I have ridden a similar style tour across Oklahoma several times (www.okfreewheel.com). These types of tours are a relaxing way to do a weeks touring. The tour organizers provide the routes, make arrangements for camping space, and carry your gear from one stopover to the next. All you need to carry is whatever you need for about a 60 mile or so bike ride each day. SAG is provided as well as some rest stops along the route.

The benefits of this kind of touring are minimal planning on your part. You need only worry about how to get to and from the tour endpoints. You do not need to take much care in packing as you can take whatever you can stuff in the baggage allotment without being concerned about weight. There are usually bike shops that accomapny the tour to provide maintenance services each afternoon.

The downside of a supported tour is that you will be travelling with a LOT of other people. Each day on the road will be an ant line of cyclists from the start to finish. You may feel crowded in camp each night with all the other cyclists. You can forget about sleeping in. Before dawn, the sound of hundreds of tent zippers will wake the dead.

Of course, you need to assess whether you are fit enough to do the mileage and climbing day after day. If you are, then this may be a nice introduction to touring.
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Old 02-02-06, 10:06 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies guys, and the training is something I would definantly ramp up. I regularly ride about 20 miles a day on week days and often do 50+ on the weekends, and although albuquerque is at 5,300 feet, i'ld have to do some hill training to make sure I could survive those climbs!

And thanks Mark for the info on possible future bans! I signed the petition, and think that just might be the motivation I need to go this year! (I would kick myself it it got canceled and I had never done it...)

Still looking for input as to how well this perticular tour has been run in the past, as I've had miserable experiences on centuries in my area due to poor support and planning by the "orginizers"
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Old 02-02-06, 02:59 PM   #6
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I rode the BTC in 2003, the year it climbed Mt. Evans. It's definately a challenging event with some days covering 100 miles and most days climbing some serious passes many over 10,000'. As a flat lander from Cincinnati (elv ~850') I was initially concerned about acclimating to the higher elevation. As a result our group decided to fly out to Colorado Springs several days ahead of time where we did some 50 mile training rides. I actually had no problem adjusting to the altitude even on Mt. Evans, I was too busy huffing and puffing to notice.

This is a supported, "credit card" style tour, but I happed to like that. The organizers sagged our bags each day to the next town and we only carried the days riding clothes suitable for climbing and descending the pases. We also purchased the meal option which I rated as a good value, it was nice to pull into a rest stop and just concern yourself with stuffing your face and refilling water bottles. As my first tour, I realy didn't mind the large size, about 800 riders and was always able to find someone to ride with during the day as I was the slowest climber in our group.

This might be considerd more of an athletic event than a tour, but I enjoyed it and will definately ride it again.

Sam in Cincy
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Old 02-02-06, 03:18 PM   #7
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Howdy -

I've never done the tour - but I have bumped into them on my tours. It's a big party. Everybody seems to be enjoying themselves. If I can do 80 miles loaded down, you can do 90-100 stripped.

The route is pretty good - considering that it is Colorado and it is pavement. Colorado has just had so much growth that it's hard to find quiet roads anymore. The start is a killer climb with pretty heavy traffic - the stretch from South Fork to Gunnison is the best part of the route - US 50/US550 have a lot of traffic. The Telluride/Lizard Head section is lovely, but has more traffic than the Creede stretch. Finally, US 160 has the most traffic of all. If you want to stretch it out - in Durango consider taking the steam train up to Silverton - with your bike in the baggage car - the zoom back to Durango. There are hostels in both towns. It would mean soloing to Pagosa - 62 miles.

Here's a traffic volume map of Colorado I developed - -
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/resou...do&context=all
Click for a larger view.

Best - J
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Old 02-02-06, 05:20 PM   #8
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I did this tour last year on the spur of the moment and had a great trip. It isn't touring in the sense usually talked about here. After all, it is sagged and all you need to do is ride. They have sag stops fairly frequently during the day's course and even lunch if you want it. I am from Atlanta at about 1,100 ft and the first day last year went to 12,095 ft. It was tough, but doable even though I wasn't in the best shape (not enough bike time and overweight) Still I finished ahead of lots of riders each day. Although going up Independence Pass on Day 1 I was passed first by a guy on 5 speed Schwinn Sting Ray (banana seat and high rise bars) then by a guy on 36" UNICYLE. If you go, it is well organized and well supported. We bought a breakfast ticket for the week, skipped lunch and went out for dinner every night. Not only did that support the local restaraunts, but the food was much better
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Old 02-02-06, 06:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mrveloman
I did this tour last year on the spur of the moment and had a great trip. It isn't touring in the sense usually talked about here. After all, it is sagged and all you need to do is ride.
Of course, nobody will stop you if you decide to carry all your gear on the bike.
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Old 02-03-06, 02:14 PM   #10
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I've done this tour twice. It was very well organized and very fun. Yes there is a big group, but it is spread out, no mass starts and plenty of time to reach the days destination. I give it a big thumbs-up.
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Old 02-04-06, 01:16 AM   #11
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I've also done this tour twice and really enjoyed it both times. You don't have to worry about it being cancelled (unless the organizers just decide to stop) because the "possible" ban in Colorado is for events with over 2500 riders which the BTC has never reached. I think it's usually 1000-1500 riders. The BTC always starts and ends in the same town so you don't have to worry about shuttling somewhere at the end, which is nice. The aid stations are some of the best I've seen with lots of different kinds of fruit and bagels and snacks. I don't like buying the meal plan because I don't like eating a huge meal in the middle of the rides and would just eat all the snacks and then eat more when I reached the end town each day. You can carry all your own stuff if you want like supcom said but I don't see any reason to make it harder than it already is and you're already paying them to carry your bags. It is a lot of climbing and you'll be glad you don't have to carry all the extra weight. It's a great time. Go for it!! I did my first one by myself and I met lots of great people.
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Old 02-08-06, 01:44 PM   #12
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awsome, thanks for all the comments from those that have done it. supcom, you crack me up, that would be pretty funny to do the tour fully loaded...especially if one were in killer shape and could outclimb those not packing ;-) but i don't have all the packs needed for that (nor the upgraded engine required for such a feet!) so...I think I'll be like everyone else and let them carry my stuff.

Still looking for a New Mexico (albuquerque?) training buddy if anyone is going or knows anyone from here, let me know! ben_inglis@hotmail.com
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Old 03-07-06, 02:00 PM   #13
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How was the traffic on these supported runs? [Personally, there's nothing spoils a ride like the whizzing of too-fast, too distracted traffic. . .to say nothing of the bow wave blasts from too-close pickups.]
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Old 03-08-06, 12:34 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Coyote!
How was the traffic on these supported runs? [Personally, there's nothing spoils a ride like the whizzing of too-fast, too distracted traffic. . .to say nothing of the bow wave blasts from too-close pickups.]
I've never thought too much about the traffic on these rides, but some people feel more uncomfortable with it. Some of the roads are real quiet mountain roads and others are more busy but usually have a big shoulder. With 1000-1500 riders out there all spread out over the route, the drivers get the idea pretty quick and are usually very polite and slow down. If they aren't, they get reported by riders and the police that are monitoring the route will pull them over and give them a ticket.
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Old 03-10-06, 09:06 PM   #15
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The Rockies, well.....Rock! I did a self contained tour zigzagging my way down from Missoula to Durango Colorado. My friend drove me to Missoula from my hometon near Seattle so I as definately used to loer altitudes. But Colorado was magnificent! When I came back home, I felt like I was ready to blow through the next local bike race because I felt healthier than ever before......for about one month. Yes, highly recommended! It might get you motivated to tackle the Alps, Pyrennees, or some other mountains that people think are insane.
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