Glenwood Springs residents don’t pass up Ride the Rockies
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
It’s been a fun three days on the road, cycling through the Rockies.
Today’s highlights were a fast first 34 miles thanks to a sporadic butt breeze and latching onto a fast-riding group, but things slowed down for a short time when I got a flat tire. Then came a nine-mile climb up Monarch Pass, followed by a 20-mile screamer of a descent. I like to go fast. Then I arrived in Salida and stepped on gum.
That was Ride the Rockies Day 3.
It was cold in the morning, but it’s Gunnison, so what else should we expect?
One of the appealing things about any bicycle tour to many is the camaraderie that’s enjoyed by cyclists.
We all can relate to each other’s stories and misery, tales about getting up the hill and the head wind, butt breeze (also known as a tail wind) or whatever happened that day.
Several local riders are doing the 24th annual Ride the Rockies.
I ran into Bill Sanderson of Alpine Bank, looking sharp in a red jersey at the bottom of the big climb. He’s doing the ride with his sister.
Bill says he’s relatively new to road cycling but there’s no doubt that this is an exercise regime that’s working out well.
Bill says he’s lost 50 pounds and is working to drop “another 50.” I bet that climb helped shed a pound or two after he got to the top.
Way to go, Bill.
Sharon Troyer loves cycling, and she loves Ride the Rockies. She’s done at least 10, and every one holds a different memory.
At 60, she doesn’t see a time when she’ll stop pedaling.
Her favorite bicycle tour was one in Italy, cycling through wine country and sampling the local fare.
The appeal of cycling is simple to Sharon. Besides the physical challenge, she says it’s just fun out in the mountains.
One of her favorite memories of Ride the Rockies didn’t happen on the bike.
The year was 2002, and the same year Glenwood Springs was tormented with the Coal Seam Fire, Durango was threatened with the Missionary Ridge Fire.
The sense of community was overwhelming to her. As the fire raged, a local service organization was out early in the morning making breakfast for the cyclists.
“I just thought those people could have been home protecting their homes but they were making us breakfast instead. It was so special.”
There’s no doubt that there’s a tremendous sense of community when you come to these small mountain towns.
Ran into Bruce Christensen, Glenwood Springs’ cycling mayor, on Wednesday. He was looking tuckered and admitted that he didn’t get the training in that he should have to do a long tour.
After the nine-mile climb up Monarch Pass, Bruce had one word to sum it up.
Be sure to go to postindependent.com and check out some videos from Bruce, Sharon and Bill as they talk about their Ride the Rockies experience. Go to Photos + Videos near the top of the home page, then click on “Your Video Galleries” and go to “Man on the Street.”
And speaking of mayors, Aspen Mayor Mick Ireland is also in Ride the Rockies this year.
Retired Glenwood Springs High School counselor Marlene Manown is doing her second Ride the Rockies. At 67, she was awfully proud of making it to the top of Monarch Pass and riding by that Continental Divide sign.
See the Post Independent later this week for more on Marlene.
Today we ride to Leadville, then to Aspen on Thursday and back home to Glenwood on Friday.
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