Apparently it didn't help that Fox News aired a piece the night before slamming cyclists and the legislation we are trying to get passed in Colorado so that we have a legal 3 foot barrier around ourselves on the roads (among other things). The mountain folk that reside along the hills we ride were out in FULL FORM yesterday. In my two years of riding we had more "incidences" yesterday than all my other days...combined.
The day started off very cold at 5am. It seemed not so cold at our starting point and I made the horrible decision to abandon my knee warmers. The first 2.5 hours were spent telling myself "This coldness will pass", and "Someday I'll be warm again". Just before that happened I encountered a chilly descent that left me and my bike bike shaking uncontrollably the entire way down it. Not so safe.
Several hours into the ride the sun made an appearance and warmth was finally to be had. By the end of the first loop my shoulders were aching pretty bad, from the hours of shivering, I think. When we got down to the car 65 miles in and 8K of climbing done I knew I had another loop in me but wasn't all together too sure how it would go down. Our group of David, Michelle, Anthony, Steve and I was being reduced to just Anthony, Steve, and I. We refueled and got back on the road.
Things really started to perk up on the second loop. The climbs were flying by and we were laughing a lot. Giddy moments abound. All of this despite the fact that we had been passed by large diesel trucks within 6 inches of our handlebars, yelled at, had dust spun out on us on purpose, honked at, and just generally disdained the entire day. We were starting to find all of it pretty comical despite our adherence to the laws.
About half way through the loop we started to get really excited. We were all feeling super great, all our issues had gone away and we were jazzed. We had a great last half loop despite a motorcyclist descending Highgrade at 85mph and taking a bad line, thus scooting himself within 12 inches of Steve. That was grrrreat. Loved that part!
All in all we beat it back to our starting location, strong, happy, and realizing that the next time we endeavored in a 135 mile, 16,000 feet of gain, double Epic ride, we were gonna bring the TT bikes and hit it hard.
Quote from Steve at mile 128...."Dam, we're in great shape".
..Uh, yea, ya think?
Finally, a few words for some choice Conifer/Evergreen Drivers:
- when you pass me and your car/truck is within 12 inches of my handlebars, that's so not cool - when you accelerate past me in your diesel truck spraying fumes all over me on purpose, that's not cool. - when you decide that racing past a group of us 15 feet from a stop sign, cutting us off, than then slamming on your breaks for the stop sign, yea, not cool - when you make a quick left in front of us despite the fact that you watched us coming in the other direction for a good 20 seconds, and we have to swerve to miss your bumper, that's not cool - when you pass us on a motorcycle going 85 in a 45, when we are going 40, again, not cool - when you pass me and my elbow bumps your mirror, not cool - when you pass me and your dog is hanging out the window barking at me, not cool - when you honk for no reason, not cool - when you accelerate aggressively around us, not cool
Did you wake up in the morning and decide to kill a cyclist? Do you hate us that much? Because that's what all of this behavior will eventually result in. We are wearing spandex, there is no power struggle, we are at your mercy. Please, for the sake of my daughter, let us obey the law and ride our bikes without such disdain.
One that note...it really was a totally awesome ride, even with all the jerks out there.