Going up?

Turtle Rock
Before I get too far this week, I’d like you all to join me in sending out some good vibes to a couple fallen riders of the Giro de Italia; Cristian Vande Velde and Pedro Horillo are recovering from some pretty serious injuries suffered in separate crashes during the Giro.  I wish them both speedy and complete recoveries; but the race must go on, and the other contenders aren’t slowing down a bit.  At Stage 16, Team Astana is still leading the team classification with three riders in the top 15 in the general classification.  Levi sits in 6th, Lance in 12th and Popovych 13th places respectively. Deni Menchov and Danilo DiLuca gapped the field a bit in the mountains and are sitting in 1st and 2nd places.
Now, this week, as part of MY new training plan, I busted out a road ride this past weekend – can you guess from the picture where I went?
Due to a large cut I noticed in the sidewall of my rear tire on my road bike, I was forced to use my mountain bike for the ride;  a clear reminder to not only check your bike before you ride, but after as well! Time for a trip to Lee’s for a tire or two!  The route started innocently enough on the Poudre Trail from the Raptor Center trail head and headed west to Bellvue. As you may have guessed from the picture, I then headed up Rist Canyon.  When I say “up” I mean UP; ten miles, 3000 feet to the top and no bellhop!  Although there is no shoulder to speak of, it is a relatively relaxed ride; the cars seem to give plenty of room when passing.  Speaking of cars…..If you’re looking to buy a good mountain car may I suggest the Subaru wagon – it seems to be the car of choice of those living in this area and I presume the owners must know something.  Say hi to Mr. Turtle on the way by but don’t dawdle — he may just try to catch you.

The climb peaked at about 8000′ and was roughly the half way point of the ride.  A quick hello to another rider, an added jacket, a couple energy bars and I was on my way.  After the top there is a quick, very quick, descent to the intersection of Rist Canyon and Stove Prairie Rd.  I chose to turn south on Stove Prairie Rd towards Masonville, but turning right and heading down to Poudre Canyon Highway is a great ride too.  From here the 3000 feet of elevation gained on the ascent quickly disappears and it was a good choice not to test my cut sidewall on the road bike.  After passing through Masonville heading towards Horsetooth lake, I must have been passed by every Harley rider in Northern Colorado.  There is a saying that “a loud motorcycle is a safe motorcycle”….and I believe it! They were plenty safe!  At least the first fifty or so, the rest I have no idea.  I’m glad to see boats back in the reservoir even if it means the return of afternoon showers.  Like a horse heading to the barn, I chose the most direct route home — Horsetooth Rd to Ziegler.  Total trip distance was 55 miles with all but the last five virtually non stop pedaling!

I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I did and I highly recommend it as a great ride for some sustained climbing and scenic views — just watch out for the turtle!

Tire SliceFinally, you can probably imagine that this week’s tip comes directly from my own experience -- that’s right, check your bike after each ride to ensure it’s road worthiness for the next ride.  I myself plead guilty to not following this rule all the time but if I hadn’t quickly checked my tires could have proved costly out on the road.

Before I let you get away there’s a couple more bits of information I’d like to share.  We’re looking for a blog from YOU.  Nothing big 300 – 400 words about “summer is here”, or soon to be.  Oh yeah! it is a contest and to the winner goes a pair of sweet socks and the distinction of being posted on the site.  Visit Leescyclery.com for more details.  Also, there is a bike fest at Lory State Park this Saturday, May 30th you shouldn’t miss.  Plenty of bike demos and other gear on display from a host of different bike shops.  Guided group rides for all levels and abilities throughout the day are also on the agenda which I will be taking part in; first ride goes off at 10:30.  I hope to see you out there and get the chance to ride with you.

Thank you Eric James 26 for the Rist Canyon picture

Steve Lacey

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