Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Boulder bike shop

I took my bike in to have it boxed so I could ship it home, as I fly off tomorrow for LA. I made a few calls, and wound up riding down to University Bicycles. I couldn't believe how cool this bike shop was. Apparently the owner Doug is a collector too. Take a look at the web-site, it's very well put together and entertaining. Here are some pictures I took while I was down there today.

My bike in the shop before getting boxed for the flight home.

There are tons of interesting jerseys hanging in every room.

This is one of the biggest bike shops I've ever seen

The time trial bike that Dede Barry rode to win the silver medal during the 2004 olympic games. Following are pics of just some of the many fascinating bicycles hanging in the rafters. Clicky for close-up and you should be able to read the placards, some are from the late 1800's!

I loved the tour pilsner, notice the old style pull tab. There was a lounge in the back of the shop with a sofa and a tv where you could sit and watch whatever crazy mountain biking videos they were playing. The changing rooms are where I found some of the old photos. This was amazing.. See you in Los Angeles.

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Last Ride

We had The day off today, and it was my last opportunity to go for a ride here in the mountains of Colorado. We stayed in Dillon after the Tour de Fat. I was originaly hoping to ride to the top of Mt Evans from Idaho Springs. It's the highest peak in North America accessible by paved road. (14264 ft) However, the weather forecast predicted isolated thundershowers throughout the day, and a 50% chance of rain after 9:00 am, so I had to scrap that plan. Instead, I scoped out a way to ride from Dillon to Denver taking the 9 south through Breckenridge and over a high pass, then heading northeast on hwy 285 all the way to town. I packed my rain gear and set out at about 6:20. Things went well in the morning, very little rain. I panted my way up and over the pass, which was spectacular, then coasted down the other side for a few miles into a large plain around 10500 ft. Then came lots of rolling hills and valleys (quite steep). Eventually, after a few more substantial hill climbs, I emerged from the mountains and dropped another 3000 feet, The rain really started coming down around noon as I was working my way up and out of the large high plain. By the time I was out of the mountains, I'd been riding in the rain for about 3 hours and had traveled over 100 miles. The group had to leave the Denver area for Boulder during a break in the weather, so I had missed my ride by about 10 minutes. I decided to see if I could make it all the way to Boulder on my own. It took me 10 hours and 30 minutes, but I did it. 145 miles in all. Definitely the most epic bike ride I've ever done, and a great way to end my trip.

I was excited to go riding into these mountains .

A few blocks from our hotel in Dillon, I jumped on this bike path on top of a dam.

Four miles to Frisco. This is one of the nicest bike paths I've ridden on.

Hard to say when it's going to start showering.

Entering the resort town of Breckenridge. I followed a bike trail all the way from Frisco to get here... awesome.

Leaving Breckenridge after pausing at the Starbucks (the only place open this early on Sunday) for a muffin and some juice.

Lots of seasonal cabins up in these valleys. I'm starting to really gain altitude now, and my lungs can feel it. Hard to get enough oxygen to keep the legs from burning.

Four miles to go to the top. Still no rain.

I'm expecting to get wet any minute now.

Made it. Now the rain covers come out, as I'm starting to catch some sprinkles. Time to add some layers for the downhill to come (temps in the mid 40s this morning).

Preparing to drop down from the pass into this long valley.

Some glimpses of blue sky through the cloud layer.

Some long straight aways through the valley.

A tiny town at the mouth of the valley.

Cool old buildings.

Now the descent into this huge flat plain.

The final stretch leading to the climb up and out of the plain.

Working my way up the hill.

Looking back, I can see the rainfall approaching quickly.

After getting really dowsed for a while, I paused to find some dry space just to get out of the rain for a few minutes. When standing still, it feels like a moderate rainfall, but once you're moving at 20 mph, the drops sting your face, and it feels like a real downpour. The highway is picking up more and more traffic as well.

The remainder of the ride, I didn't take many pictures, as I was getting really soaked, and had to keep riding hard to stay warm. Lots of steep and realtively short hills rolling me through valley after valley. My glasses kept fogging up pretty badly whenever I was climbing and out of the cold breeze. Navigating through Denver was a little tricky, as was finding my way onto the 36, which runs up to Boulder. Each new hill was a test for my legs, which had never gone this far in one day before.

Finally, getting close to Boulder. The rain has let up.

The bike and I were filthy after the ride. Wet dirty feet.

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