Home Again

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All 20 of us are heading home today.  Some are driving, some flying.  It was another incredible adventure filled with physical and emotional challenges, great food, camaraderie, and lots of laughs!  I’m already looking forward to the next one.

Lobby of Hotel Frisco waiting for the shuttle to the airport this morning.

Lobby of Hotel Frisco waiting for the shuttle to the airport this morning.

 

Independence Pass

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We saved the most challenging ride for last.  Voted “Best Imitation of a Tour de France Climb” by Bicycling magazine, this steady climb reaches a summit of 12,095’.  OMG!! The toughest ride ever!

Total mileage = 38 miles.

Starting the climb to Independence Pass. Aspen trees everywhere.

Starting the climb to Independence Pass. Aspen trees everywhere.

Debbie on her Bike Friday.

Debbie on her Bike Friday.

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Lisa and Jackie.

Lisa and Jackie.

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Weather getting cold and stormy as we climbed.

Weather getting cold and stormy as we climbed.

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We made it to the summit and then the bad weather took hold....Thunder, rain, hail, wind, VERY cold!

We made it to the summit and then the bad weather took hold….Thunder, rain, hail, wind, VERY cold!

Rode down the mountain in the rain, hail, wind, and cold where we invaded a little store/coffee shop to get warm.

Rode down the mountain to Twin Lakes in the rain, hail, wind, and cold where we invaded a little store/coffee shop to get warm.

Reg was handed a little bottle of bourbon which she drank happily to warm up.

Reg was handed a little bottle of bourbon which she drank happily to warm up.

.....and that's a wrap.

…..and that’s a wrap.

THE END.

 

 

Aspen, Colorado

 

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On our layover day in Aspen, Diana, Reg, Syd, and I decided to cycle to Maroon Bells Scenic Wilderness Area. The quiet road, closed to almost all traffic, climbs for 10 miles to an alpine lake. Behind it are Maroon Bells, two of the highest peaks in the Elk Mountains. It is one of the most photographed places in the country.  Total mileage = 21 miles.

My new cycling gloves kept my hands warm this morning!

My new cycling gloves kept my hands warm this morning!

Scenes along the way today.

Scenes along the way today.

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The two large peaks look a bit like cow bells and when the sun hits them just right they are a maroon color.....hence the name Maroon Bells

The two large peaks look a bit like cow bells and when the sun hits them just right they are a maroon color…..hence the name Maroon Bells.

Downtown Aspen.

Downtown Aspen.

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Downtown Aspen.

Downtown Aspen.

 

Onward to Aspen

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After breakfast we began our climb to Aspen along the Rio Grande Trail. This 42-mile paved rail-to-trail follows the Roaring Fork River.  Total distance = 44 miles.

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Railroad car along the path....it's now someone's home.

Railroad car along the path….it’s now someone’s home.

Diana protecting her face from the sun. She looks like a bad ass biker chick!

Diana protecting her face from the sun. She looks like a bad ass biker chick!

Along the way.

Along the way.

Francie and Reg at lunch.

Francie and Reg at lunch.

Jackie and Lisa joined our small riding group at the beginning of the tour.  All five of us ride at a similar pace so it's been very nice.

Jackie and Lisa joined our small riding group at the beginning of the tour. All five of us ride at a similar pace so it’s been very nice.

Some of us just arriving in Aspen.

Some of us just arriving in Aspen.

A View from Main Street, Aspen.

A View from Main Street, Aspen.

The Annabelle Inn Aspen....our home for two nights.

The Annabelle Inn Aspen….our home for two nights.

Small fish pond in courtyard of Annabelle Inn.

Small fish pond in courtyard of Annabelle Inn.

My bed at the Annabelle Inn. Very cool!

My bed at the Annabelle Inn. Very cool!

I went into town and bought some warmer cycling gloves, lip repair cream for my chapped lips, and better sunscreen.

I went into town and bought some warmer cycling gloves, lip repair cream for my chapped lips, and better sunscreen.  Celebrated with a glass of wine before showering and cleaning up for dinner.

 

Edwards to Glenwood Springs

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY LINDA!!  Hope you had an awesome day!

Today we rode the Glenwood Canyon recreational trail, a gorgeous paved bike path that winds its way along the Colorado River.  The scenery was spectacular!  We stopped often to rest and take pictures.  Total mileage today = 49 miles.

Getting ready to start our ride today.

Getting ready to start our ride today.

Lisa coming out of the liquor store happier than when she went in. There was a bathroom in there!

Lisa coming out of the liquor store happier than when she went in. There was a bathroom in there!

A Colorado resident who was interested in our bicycle trip. I think he wanted to join us.

A Colorado resident who was interested in our bicycle trip. I think he wanted to join us.

Desert like scenery before we got on the Glenwood Canyon Trail.

Desert like scenery before we got on the Glenwood Canyon Trail.

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Poor Diana had a serious sunburn on her face. Lathering on the strongest sunscreen was not helping. Even smiling was painful for her.

Glenwood Canyon Trail.

Glenwood Canyon Trail.

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Cycling path runs under I-70 at times!

Cycling path runs under I-70 at times!

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I got carried away taking pictures. It was all so beautiful I couldn't stop!

I got carried away taking pictures. It was all so beautiful I couldn’t stop!

Vail

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Today we cycled over Vail Pass. It is the only Colorado mountain pass with a bike path the entire distance on both sides. We biked alongside creeks on our way up the valley to the 10,600’ summit.  From there, it was down hill to the beautiful town of Vail.  We Stopped In Vail for lunch before continuing on to Edwards, on the banks of the Eagle River, where we’ll spend the night.  Total miles = 42 miles.

Before starting out for our ride.

Debbie with her Bike Friday starting out on our ride this morning.

Stripping off layers before our climb to Vail.

Stripping off layers before our climb to Vail.

Pathway to Vail.

Pathway to Vail.

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At the summit before heading down to Vail.

At the summit before heading down to Vail.

Oxygen for sale in Vail.

Oxygen for sale in Vail.

Lunch in Vail.

Lunch in Vail.

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Vail moose sculpture.

Moose sculpture.

Dogs are very welcome in Vail.

Dogs are very welcome in Vail.

On to Edwards.

On to Edwards.

On our way to Edwards from Vail.

On our way to Edwards from Vail.

Reg with her customary end of the ride beer.

Reg with her customary end of the ride beer.

Catherine with her customary end of the ride smoke.

Catherine with her customary end of the ride smoke.

First Group Ride

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Our first group ride today was the same 33 mile training ride that Diana, Rebecca, and I did….the Lake Dillon Loop to Breckenridge and back to Frisco.

Getting organized to ride.

Getting organized to ride.

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Along the way.

Along the way.

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Lunch in Breckenridge.

Lunch in Breckenridge.

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Art festival Main Street, Frisco.

Art festival Main Street, Frisco.

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Laser carved wooden plaque of the Pelodon. For sale at the art festival.

Laser carved wooden plaque of cyclists.  For sale at the art festival.

The ride was pleasant, weather was good although chilly at times.  Glad I brought lots of layers that I can add and take off as the weather temp changes.

Copper Mountain

We rode our bikes to Copper Mountain today.  It was a beautiful ride, 24 miles round trip, and the weather was perfect.

Road to Copper Mountain

Road to Copper Mountain

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Reg arrived today so we did some catching up with her. She is renting a bike.

Reg arrived today so we did some catching up with her. She is renting a bike.

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Two other women joining us for our tour. Lisa and Jackie from Tennessee.

Two other women joining us for our tour. Lisa and Jackie from Tennessee.

Warm up ride to Breckenridge

After breakfast together, the three of us rode an easy warm-up loop on a bike path around scenic Lake Dillon. We followed another bike path up and over Swan Mountain to Breckenridge where we stopped for a drink and a snack. We slowly made our way back to Frisco.  It was a very nice warm-up ride.  We are all still feeling the effects of the high altitude so I’m glad I came two days early to acclimate before the tour starts.   Total miles today = 33 miles.

Lake Dillon

Lake Dillon

Lake Dillon

Lake Dillon

Just got to Breckenridge.

Just got to Breckenridge.

Nice cafe in Breckenridge.

Nice cafe in Breckenridge.

Rebecca from Mississippi and Diana from Arizona.

Rebecca from Mississippi and Diana from Indiana.

Breckenridge.

Breckenridge.

Frisco, Colorado

My bike was in the box waiting for me when I arrived in Frisco today. I unpacked it, put it back together, pumped up the tires and went for a short spin around town.  Everything seems to be fine, brakes work, gears shift nicely, so I’m good to go.  I met a woman from Mississippi who had also shipped her bike to the hotel and plans to ride with our group on Friday.  So we made a plan to go for a training ride tomorrow.  Diana, one of my cycling buddies from previous rides, drove here from Indiana.  She has already scoped out the area, been on a 30 mile ride, and is willing to do it again tomorrow.  So there will be three of us in high altitude training tomorrow.

Hotel Frisco

Hotel Frisco

Town of Frisco, Colorado

Town of Frisco, Colorado

My friend Diana and I walked around Frisco after dinner. Nice little town.

My friend Diana and I walked around Frisco after dinner. Nice little town.

View from my hotel room.

View from my hotel room.

Colorado Rockies 2016

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It’s well known that Colorado has some of the best roads and most beautiful scenery in the world for bicycling. Less well-known is its abundance of amazing bike paths. They cut through passes, go for miles along babbling brooks and circle alpine lakes.  We all meet in Frisco, Colorado on Friday, August 12th to start our 8 day bicycle tour.  I am arriving on August 10th to acclimate myself to the higher altitude.  I shipped my bike via Fedex on August 5th to arrive at the motel in Frisco on August 9th.  When I arrive I will reassemble my bike and take it out for a couple of rides before the tour starts on the 12th.