This is the route of Ride the Rockies 2017, which Ben is doing this week. Yesterday was the first day and apparently it was a doozie, described this way on the Ride's blog:
"...but did the organizers really think it was necessary for the first 68 miles to be uphill right out of the gate? Is a Day 1 Sufferfest some sort of RtR hazing ritual? To make matters worse, the weather gods tossed in headwind gusts of 20+ mph. On the bright side, at least it didn't rain."
And this way in a text from Ben: "Doing okay here. Arduous. I made about 72 miles before getting a ride."
That means he got up over the pass (at 68 miles) before hitting the sag wagon! Yeah, Ben!
Although the ride is a challenge, it's also supposed to be fun and Ben is on a team with many other people. Early Saturday morning I drove him to meet his ride down to Alamosa and was impressed with the organization of his team as they packed the van and trailer they were using to get them and their equipment (including camping gear for some of the team) to the race start.
Ben got a good send-off, not only from me but from our friends Ray and Paula who had us over for dinner Friday night. It was the first of the summer's patio dinners and we all had a lovely evening.
I took the new "Park to Park" shuttle that conveniently stops two block from our house. The city is experimenting with this shuttle on summer weekends as a way to decrease the parking and traffic problems near the park and I was excited to see that there was a stop right by my house. Not having to do that initial half mile walk up through the neighborhood saved me some energy that I used to extend my hike through and up the park trails, and it was quite wonderful!
After hiking almost four miles I was hot and I got even hotter a bit later when I biked with Paul and two of our friends over to the Harvest of Hope food pantry for a fund raiser. Not only was it a good cause but Paula is on the board so of course I wanted to go. But it was about 93 degrees and I was trying out a "new to me" bike which had some sort of trouble which I'm still trying to diagnose, so even though it was only a mile ride, it was a hard ride there and back. But the event itself was fun, complete with pizza from a wood burning oven, really good ice cream, and good friends to visit with.
Sunday was also forecast to be hot and large crowds were expected in Boulder for the Ironman race (which amazingly consisted of a 4-mile swim at Boulder Reservoir, followed by a 112-mile bike ride through Boulder County and a final 26.2-mile run along the Boulder Creek Path!) so it was a great day to drive up the canyon to Nederland where Paul's band had a gig at the Train Cars Coffee and Yogurt shop. My friend Sara, who went with me, took this photo of this cool shop.
It was beautiful up there and the band played on a lovely patio with a nice breeze blowing the whole time.
I really enjoy the lively music of his band and I love seeing Paul play. Here's a short video from that gig. I know, I know, you just got a video last week! And the sound is pretty terrible and the trumpet player was out sick.....But.... in the first part you get to see Paul stoically deal with a tree branch in his face AND if you hang on to the end you get to hear Paul's bari sax blast out a brief solo. (If you have problems playing this, you can try this link)
My friend Sara and her musician son Louis came up with me to Nederland and we enjoyed the Carousel ride and having our pictures taken with the hand-carved animals.
The carousel was used in Utah from 1910 to 1976, first in Saltair Park at the Great Salt Lake and later at the Utah State Training School in American Fork. In 1986 it was striped of its carved animals and sold to Scott Harrison, a Vietnam veteran who lived in Nederland. He took on its restoration as a labor of love and as a way of easing his painful memories of his wartime experiences. It was open for rides in 2010 and has been a fun stop for people touring the Colorado mountains ever since. Given its history, I thought this sign was particularly meaningful.