IDAHO SPRINGS, COLORADO
This was my last day to ride in Colorado before flying back home tomorrow. I drove to Boulder and picked up Ki Young Kim. We followed the suggested GPS route to Idaho Springs until we reached US 6. I told Ki Young I wanted to follow that road. We did and it was beautiful. Canyons. Tunnels. We took it slow and enjoyed the ride, even pulling over at one point to let faster traffic past.
Once in Idaho Springs we parked in the municipal lot and rode west towards Georgetown and Loveland Pass. This was three parts knowledge and two parts “feel.” I had ridden this route in the opposite direction last year as part of Ride the Rockies. But everything looks different when you ride backward and there are no people to follow.
We made it to Georgetown and through the parking lot of the Georgetown Loop Railroad. We followed the trail and I immediately was shocked at the steepness. We climbed to the upper section of the trail, not knowing how far the trail head was. One picks up the trail in the railroad parking lot to the top of the railroad line then gets back on a road that parallels I-70. I remembered riding the road last year but not the length of it.
I had planned to visit my grandmother’s cousin, Dale States, in the afternoon. I figured we had time for 40 miles total. We found the entrance to the wooded trail alongside I-70 and started up it. But I did not know how far it was until it ended at the Loveland Ski Aura. I knew I could not ride much longer – as in another 5-6 miles uphill. But another mile I could handle. Then we turned around.
This wasn’t the best day for Colorado hospitality. In Georgetown some driver yelled at us and on the upper road a 15-passenger van honked at and buzzed me. Love the roads but you can keep your drivers, Colorado.
On our climb we had battled tremendous headwinds and were to enjoy some temporary tailwinds. We rolled, both hitting 49 mph. I can’t believe I couldn’t squeeze out one more mile per hour.
At Georgetown I was almost blown off my bike by a cross wind. And then the tailwinds turned into massive headwinds. We took turns rotating at the front but we both worked hard. It was probably the hardest I had worked going downhill.
It was a beautiful day and a great ride. I wish I had time to get at least to Loveland Ski Area. It looked like we were still about four miles short. Maybe next time.