There are many people in Boulder County and in Colorado in general who are bicycle-crazy. Sometimes in Boulder County, it can feel like bicyclists rule the roads. Bryon even witnessed an incident of road rage (or should it be cyclist rage?) where a bicyclist who felt he should have gotten more room from a motorist, assaulted the motorist at the next stoplight. So given how bicycle crazy people are, it should be no surprise that the summer months are filled with organized bicycle tours of Colorado. One of the most famous is Ride the Rockies. Ride the Rockies is a 7-day tour sponsored by the Denver Post newspaper with 2000 participants. Each year they pick a different route through the mountains of Colorado, with some of the most amazing alpine scenery along the way. The cost for the ride is $495.00 and it is so popular, they host a lottery that people enter, and about half of the lottery entrants actually win a spot on the tour.
Ride the Rockies provides support for the cyclists, ferrying their belongings to the next overnight site, so riders can ride as light as possible, making the long days just a wee bit easier. The days of cycling can range from 50 miles to over 100 miles per day, and can entail grueling climbs. This year’s Ride the Rockies started off with what RTR director called one of the toughest riding days in RTR history, with 10,000 feet of climbing on tap. That first day’s route came through our little town of Nederland after starting the day in Boulder. Things didn’t seem too bad early in the morning as they stopped for a pancake breakfast under sunny skies, but then the weather took a turn for the worse. By the time they were on the last climb of the day over 12,000-foot Berthoud Pass, it was snowing, foggy, and 34 degrees with winds of 15 mph. At 5 p.m., they called the race, and everyone who had not gotten over the pass was ferried down to Winter Park. It may not have been the ideal first day, but it certainly was a day that no one will soon forget.