CASTLE ROCK, COLORADO
DAY 8 (UNOFFICIAL) – RIDE THE ROCKIES
Bradley Allen and I were talking last night about the Texas 4000. When Brad asked if they came through the area I looked and discovered the Rockies route was in Colorado Springs and traveling to Denver. I sent a quick text to Vanessa Beltran on the Ozarks route and she sent me their route.
I called Brad and suggested we do a road trip. He agreed.
We drove to find the Texas 4000. When we did we turned around, at first looking to drive far ahead, park, then ride backward so we could ride with them. As we passed them, Brad rolled down his window and rang his cowbell. The riders were surprised and appreciative. I think.
We didn’t drive too far – maybe 3-4 miles when we saw the Texas 4000 lunch stop. We parked and introduced ourselves. We were told there were three groups on the road. We had passed the first six riders and rode back to find a group of three and a group of five.
We set off into a vicious headwind. I followed Brad’s wheel but there was no draft. He went hard (I think) and I followed. My heart rate was higher than it had been at anytime climbing the passes. We were at 6,000 feet and maybe that’s a good excuse. (I did not have my heart rate monitor and regret that was the one day I didn’t. My heart was coming out my throat.)
After seven and one half miles and 30 minutes chasing into the wind I waved down a passing car and asked if they passed the Texas 4000 riders. They hadn’t. I thought it was pointless that we continue. I feared the other riders came from a side road that we had passed. I thought they may be at the lunch stop. Or they all ate lunch and were back on the road. We turned around.
Now we got the tailwind. I was glad to pull Brad. We flew. Brad was stroking my ego by occasionally dropping back and making me ease off. I was hitting more than 40 mph on the flats. It was the wind.
It seemed like it was no time before we were back with the original six riders and today’s staff. We met all the Texas 4000 riders. All six that is. I almost immediately noticed most did not have their calves written on. We told them about Jamie Roberts although they knew as Vanessa had shared the message. And they all got to writing Jamie’s name on their calves.
We talked. Took pictures. Never could figure out where the other riders were. When it was time to roll out I decided I would ride with them for a little bit.
The miles weren’t long. But the effort was hard and the reward was great meeting the Texas 4000. Seeing them embrace Jamie’s memory warmed my heart. Godspeed my friends.