Monday, March 09, 2015

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Tour de Colorado - Friday

To all intents and purposes, this is a rest day for us.  Sure we have a three our drive but we won’t be hauling a trailer, we’ll have a fraction of the stuff and best of all – air conditioning.  One of mankind’s greatest inventions.  (Second only to heated car seats for the other part of the year.)

The riders are racing the 10 miles up Vail Pass, against the clock.  We’re taking our time headed to Estes Park to meet our besties Pam and Dejo.
Life is good.

Tour de Colorado - Thursday II

So now we have a decision to make.  Tomorrow’s stage is a time trial in Vail and while we’d very much like to see that, there are some logistical challenges which are probably going to be insurmountable.  While the town of Vail is happy to have the tour run through, they’ve made it clear that spectators aren’t welcome to stay overnight unless they’re spending money on a hotel room.  No camping allowed. 

It would be possible, albeit unpleasant, to set up by the highway at the top of Vail Pass but then we’d still have the challenge of how to get to the course with the dogs.  This hill would be too much for us to cycle up with dogs in tow and leaving them in the truck just isn’t practical.

We also have an invitation to spend Friday night at the home of some friend’s in Estes Park.  This will set us up nicely for Saturday’s stage but it’s long drive from here and we’re still somewhat nervous about how the truck will behave.  So, after poring over the maps for a while, we decide to skip tomorrow’s stage altogether, drive towards home and break the journey around the halfway point, in Frisco or thereabouts.  We can then head home in the morning, have a quick shower and unpack a bit, then switch to the more reliable Subaru for the run up to Estes.

As it turns out, the closer we get to home, the more attractive a warm shower and big bed start to sound.  It isn’t even 5pm when we hit Silverthorne and home is only a couple of hours away.  Yeah, we’ve talked ourselves into it.

Let’s go home.

Tour de Colorado - Thursday I

“When was the last time a major international sporting event came though Oak Creek, Colorado?” yelled the guy over the PA system.

Nobody yelled back (none of us were outfitted with PA systems) so he answered for us.
“NEVER! That’s when.”
I suspect there hasn’t been a whole lot of stuff happened in Oak Creek, Colorado.  The town is a long way from anywhere, has only a couple of streets, maybe two hundred yards long and appears to have been locked in a time warp since the middle of the last century.  However, the people are welcoming, the general store is well stocked and the sandwiches we had for lunch were the best we’ve eaten in a long time.  I like this place.
It’s early on today’s ride and the cyclists will just be getting warmed up by the time they arrive.  The real meat of the stage comes after they leave town and start climbing.  Bachelor Creek is a long, grinding haul which could well decide the race winner.  We drove down it on Tuesday, when our truck was being bratty and I’ll admit; I was exhausted after doing that.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to ride a bike up.
They have a sprint to complete as they roll through town though so we’re all lined up with our cameras at the ready.  All except Dear Wife that is, who has had not one but two cameras crap out on her this week.  She’ll be using my cell phone while I man my trusty ol’ film camera.
By now we’re getting the hang of judging when the riders are due to arrive (you can tell by the order of the support vehicles and cop cars) so we’re prepared for when they get here.  Which is good because none of these guys seem to be getting and slower yet.
They come into sight, there’s a whirr of spinning cogs, a clanging of cowbells and on they go.  Then we spectators say thanks to our hosts for their hospitality, load chairs and other assorted crap back into our cars and away we go for the next leg.

And life in Oak Creek goes back to normal.