Triple ByPass ascends to, descends on Avon
With the stipulation that it’s a ride, not a race, there were still a lot of Tour de France moments on Saturday as Triple ByPass finishers rode into Avon’s Nottingham Park.
Cyclists raised their hands in triumph when crossing the finish line. Cellphones clicked as the finishers raised their bikes above their heads for the traditional shot.
For those doing the full Triple ByPass, the 120-mile ride is the length of a Tour de France. Across the pond, the Tour, for the first time this year features mountain stages that go above 6,500 feet.
Coloradans call 6,500 feet hills. After all, those who started out Saturday morning in Evergreen conquered three 10,000-foot mountain passes (Squaw, Loveland and Vail). So, celebrate away.
Carly Coleman and Paige Nichols, of Fort Collins, did the triple, starting out from Evergreen.
”She motivated me,” Coleman said of Nichols. “It was her idea.”
The ride went OK for both, except for Nichols after Vail Pass.
”That last five miles,” Nichols said. “I was starting to think, ‘Where’s Avon?’ The rest of it was actually good.”
The two said they would celebrate their accomplishment with a beer.
Denver’s Craig Jones has never done this ride before and did the double, starting in Georgetown.
”I knew I wasn’t ready for the triple,” Jones said. “I’ll never be ready for the triple.”
Jones said that he rides 50-70 miles on weekends, but that it was still a challenge. In an oft-repeated refrain, while the race’s 10,000-foot passes are the signature moments of the ride, Swan Mountain in Summit County as one approaches Keystone was the grind.
And by the time, Jones reached the top of Vail Pass, the hardest was done.
”Then I know I’m going to make it. That’s my target,” he said.
Meet the ElliptiGO
Denver’s Michael Colbert has never had a road bike but nonetheless made the trek from Georgetown to Avon.
He was riding/running and ElliptiGO, which is an elliptic trainer with two wheels on it.
”I just happened into it because I was a runner,” Colbert said. “I had to stop running. I have this. I don’t even have a road bike. I just tried to see what I can do with this. It turns out I can do everything.”
The Gavins, meanwhile, were making Saturday a family affair. Peggy, from Chicago, and Kristine, of Denver, a mother-daughter pair made the trek from Georgetown.
Peggy’s husband has been doing the triple for 10 years, so …
”It’s about time I did it,” she said. “I always like to set a goal for myself to keep myself in good shape. This year, my goal was to do the double.”
Peggy did some hill training in Illinois and Wisconsin and came up to Denver to ride Squaw Pass as a warmup two weeks ago, but there really is only so much one can to do prepare for the altitude.
”I think knowing we’re going to go downhill is motivation to get uphill,” Kristine said.
In an informal survey of the riders, the first mode of celebration was to ask where the beer tent was. A cold one was certainly a just reward for all of Saturday’s trails and travails.
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