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Old 08-28-06, 11:59 AM   #1
Shut Up and Ride
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Bikes: Cannondale t-700 [commuter], Cannondale MT-800 [Tandem so the Lil Misses can keep up], GT I drive Team [My tricked out Racer MTB]
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Ride Report: Moonlight Classic - Denver 8/26

We don't typically do group rides, but thought that this might be fun to do. The Moonlight Classic was in fact a great time. A little crazy [perhaps a lot crazy], but then again so are we .

The weather report for the night included a 70% chance for heavy rain. Most of the afternoon was spent watching the radar trying to decide if we were going to drive the hour up to Denver and ride. It was pretty hard to tell, but it looked like we might get lucky. We decided to make the go/no go call at 8:00pm. 8pm arrived and it looked like the storm had moved on the west... go for launch! Engage the mad scramble of finding goodies, racking up bikes, packing gear and hitting the road. We were gassed and on the road by 9.

We arrived at the Capitol Building around 10 or so only to find that there is no street parking within miles of the area. Every place to park a car, had a car parked in it. We did find a pay parking area 1 block away though. $5 was a paltry fee for the convenience. We unracked the bikes and I started hanging lights on the tandem. I had some new blue neon glow light to hang, some LED lights I had built, as well as blinkies and the 10W Halogen Headlight. I quickly discovered that the ZipTies were at home on the table. Bring on the duct tape! Wired and fired, we headed off [down the sidewalk] for registration.

5,000 bikes and associated riders on the Capitol grounds makes for quite the scene. Mongo the security guy prevented us from rolling the bike to the registration area, so I had to leave stokie guarding the goods while I emptied my wallet at the tent. The entry fee was $40/head and included a water bottle, event tshirt, breakfast, snacks and support. We sent Nate back to the car with the goodie bags [since he was on a single] so we didn’t have to haul them.

Rain had been sprinkling this whole time, and became a bit heavier as we rolled up to the staging area. I chose a spot next to the curb to start hoping to avoid some of the mass madness at the start by riding on the fringe. Starting several thousand bikes at once was a bit overwhelming. We pushed off at 11:30 into the pack and started what seemed like a slow ride contest. Riding a tandem in a mass of bikes like that is quite the challenge. Riding at 1-2 mph while starting was borderline insane. This mass was a pretty varied mix of regular cyclists, unskilled family riders on MTB's, Culture bikers on Tall Bikes, Dads hauling kids in the trailers, to one guy on a tiny bike with 6" wheels. Driving a bus sized bike through mass cyclo-crowds was a bit dicey, but worked out ok.

After the first mile [of 15] things thinned out a bit and we could relax and enjoy the ride more. Although still raining some, the weather was really quite pleasant. Elisa {stokie** was barely getting wet thanks to my job of being the human rain deflector.

Every side street and intersection had a police officer holding back traffic so we could ride past red lights without stopping. The bars along the route turned into cheering sections as we rode past. Drunk people like to find reasons to shout and carry on...thousands of bikes cruising past in the middle of the night gave them a seemingly good reason. We honked our ****** horns at them as we passed and that seemed to get them going even more. Next year I think we will be stopping in at one or two along the route .

A girl riding next to us on her single commented to the guy riding with her that they need to get a tandem. I said that it's really cool because I don't even have to pedal. That resulted in the standard stokie ass pinching.

Funniest thing I ever saw on a bike happened just before the first aid station. A guy in roadie kit flies by on the left. A couple seconds later I hear something hit the ground. I look over as we pass it and see that it is a complete crank arm, pedal, and toe clip W strap skidding down the road. I look ahead and see this guy pedaling with one leg, while dangling the other. He doesn't look back, he doesn't miss a stroke... he just keeps going. Pedaling with right leg only.. now that was funny. Not so funny was Nate snapping his chain as we pulled into the aid station. Luckily the repair tent was 20 ft away with no waiting. He rolled up, and the mechanic fixed him up in a Jiffy. Big thanks to CAMPUS CYCLES ! I dropped some green in the toolbox and we were on our way. Did I mention that CAMPUS CYCLES rules! These guys come out and fix bikes for free at these events.. gotta give them Kudo's.

The rain stopped after the Aid station 1 and made the rest of the ride that much better. The slight downhills provided a view of the sea of blinkes ahead. Quite the spectacle. Headed through a residential neighborhood, some of the drunks were running with the bikes like Frenchmen after the Peleton. Luckily nobody got to run over them.

Toward the end the ride headed into downtown Denver. Riding through downtown surrounded by tall buildings in the middle of the night was somewhat surreal. It was almost deserted except for bikes, the random police officer, and the steaming vents in the road.

After downtown the final 2 miles were more open, and bike traffic less dense. Stokie had been itching her feet on the pedals all night... it was time to cut her loose. I took a position to the left next to the cones so I could cut outside if necessary. When I rolled up onto the big ring, I felt the pedals get light. I think she wanted to fly A few pumps and gear changes later we were topped out and whizzing down the road maxxed out. We were passing the traffic to our left, and Nate, on his single, was immediately dropped. His headlight got much smaller in my mirror. He hates it when we do that.

As we rolled under the Finish banner, I was wishing that the ride wasn't over. Maybe just a few more miles. Alas, we got our free breakfast, and chatted about the ride. While we were eating Elisa heard them announce my name as a drawing winner. I won a NiteRider headlight, blinkie, and other light. As we were walking out, they were trying to get rid of excess food, so Elisa scored a case of Dannon Yogurt. She had to carry it on the bike back to the Jeep, but managed just fine. I think she just set it on the rear bars.

Was it fun? Heck yeah.
Will we do it again next year ? Without question !! Only next year we'll bring more people

Last edited by MyPC8MyBrain; 08-28-06 at 12:19 PM.
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