Ride the Rockies cyclists young and old appreciate Carbondale rest
Paul Deferse, a 12-year-old from Denver, rested his legs Wednesday afternoon in Carbondale after biking about 250 miles over the past four days with the Ride the Rockies tour.
Deferse’s right elbow and leg are bandaged from falling off his bike while riding from Snowmass.
He was trying to join a draft line so he wasn’t pushing through the wind, but the line came to an abrupt stop as he was trying to join.
“The one in front started wobbling because something happened to his wheel, so they all stopped and I hit the guy in the back,” Paul said.
But after resting, Paul is excited to join his brothers Peter, 10, and Mark, 14, for the remaining 250 miles of the trip.
Last year, Mark rode about 320 miles of the ride. “I didn’t get to all of it. It was just too much. But this year I’m trying to do all of it,” he said.
Michel Brossmer is guiding the three brothers and her son Will, 16, on the trip.
The 1,700 cyclists participating in this year’s ride had a relatively light day Wednesday — just 33 miles including part of the Rio Grande Trail, with a detour up Fender Lane that added more than 1,000 feet of elevation gain.
The hill tested Peter, but working with Brossmer, he broke it into mini-goals.
“We were like, let’s get to that sign, and then get to that tree. After two mini-goals, we would stop for a drink,” Peter said. After three mini-goals, they would stop for an Oreo.
“I’m here helping with the boys and having fun,” Brossmer said. “That’s the goal, having fun.”
The riders trickled into Carbondale in the early afternoon, giving their legs a break and giving the summer’s first weekly Carbondale Farmer’s Market a boost.
“It was exciting to have the bikers come through town to bring energy to the farmer’s market,” Sara Tymczyszyn of the farmer’s market committee.
The riders weren’t permitted to drink alcohol at their campsite in front of Carbondale Middle School, but shuttles were available to take them downtown.
“I was really surprised, and happy, that we had so many riders come through,” Tymczyszyn said.
Several market vendors stayed open past the usual shut down time at 3 p.m. Ride the Rockies last came through Carbondale in 2012.
Many riders received massages, rested in the shade of trees, or went on a rafting trip.
Also glad for the break was 72-year-old Mike Dodge of Longmont.
“This is my third ride, but the first two were 20 years ago, back when I thought I was too old for them,” Dodge said.
“I realize the hills have gotten harder since then,” he added. Dodge said he wanted to do the ride at least one more time, and has appreciated the beauty of Mount Sopris and the Roaring Fork River.
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Independence Pass opened just before 2 p.m. Friday after closing earlier this week because of a series of snowstorms, a Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman said Friday.