Riders turn out for Colorado-Eagle River Ride | VailDaily.com

Riders turn out for Colorado-Eagle River Ride

BEAVER CREEK — Doing the 16th annual SOS Outreach Colorado-Eagle River Ride and then heading to hear the New York Philharmonic makes for a good day.

"I'm going to go take a nap and then I'm going to Bravo! (Vail) and listen to the symphony because it's Vail," said Nancy Fritch, of Boulder, after completing the 68-mile loop, one of four offered on Saturday's charity ride.

As Fritch said, welcome to the vida Vail.

On a sparkling day, riders of all abilities and forms rode through Eagle County conquering routes of 42, 68 (or 78, we'll explain later) and 100 miles on road bikes or a mountain-bike course to benefit SOS Outreach.

The organization serves the disadvantaged youth community through mentoring and snow sports.

Tour de Eagle?

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Saturday's event is a ride but with the Tour de France on television for the past three weeks, well, for some, it can turn into a stage race.

Michael Charles, who was riding with his better half, Sara, both of Vail, trained for the 68-mile ride by spinning on his stationary bike at home while watching the Tour.

"So lately it's been watching the Tour de France and trying to pedal as fast as those guys," Michael said.

"Then he goes to the hut tub," Sara added with a smile.

A hot tub is an attractive option after a workout, of course, then there's the fact that the two are co-owners of Maximum Comfort Pool and Spa, one of many sponsors of the ride.

Michael probably needed the hot tub after his scheduled 68-mile ride turned into a 78-mile journey when he accidentally missed the shuttle stop in Dotsero.

"The first half of the ride, I was a king," he joked. "The second half of the ride, I was looking for the SAG wagon."

And, for the record, support-and-gear stations are a plentiful feature of this annual event.

Not wimping out

The Rahmes, Koy and Becca, came up from Arvada for Saturday's event.

"We wimped out and did (68 miles)," Koy said. "I've done the 100 (miles) before, and it becomes this long, slow climb and I'm like, 'I love the beauty back up there. I'll stop when the best beauty ends — everywhere is beautiful — and I'll call it there.'"

First off, "only" 68 miles is not wimping out. Second the "back up there" is the Colorado River Road from State Bridge, through McCoy and Burns to Dotsero, a stretch that annually draws raves from participants.

"It's beautiful, just beautiful," Becca said. "The river is nice and flowing, and beautiful mountains and the red rock and all the different formations are breathtaking."

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, cfreud@vaildaily.com and @cfreud.

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