Sunday, September 05, 2004

RTD X Followup

RTD X was (as expected) a great success. I was on the road shortly after 6:00AM and there was not a cloud in the sky to be seen - glorious weather! About 50 people met at the Boulder Justice Center by 7:00AM. Dan gave his typical pep talk, we did a "comm check" (walky-talkies are kinda fun on the trip), and then we drove up past Rollinsville to the East Portal of the Moffat Tunnel where trains go through the Continental Divide. They have a "straight shot" into Winter Park, but as mentioned below, we have 2,500 vertical feet to go up ... so by 9:00AM, we started the bike ride up. Because of the good weather, we dilly-dally'ed a bit more than previous years, and we reached the top after 1:00PM - still great weather - one year, I was in the lead providing lightening updates via the walky-talks ... yikes! BTW, the "highlight" of the trip is dragging your bike over Needle's Eye Tunnel which is closed - a bit of a haul when you have a 50+ pound bike with child seat on back. The top of Rollins Pass is 11,671 feet - I didn't bring my manometer to verify that, but the air is skinny. I mentioned before about zany things people bring - previous years, I had brought "Pepperoni Sticks", CrunchBerries, Worms & Dirt, Twinkies, so this year it was Hulk Chips (don't ask! ;-) But people have really gotten outa control, so we had not one, but two watermelons at the top ... and Mike (with dragged a bike carrier the whole way up) opened it up and we had a Fiesta at the top of the Pass - see picture below. Oh yeah, I had found one of the original pepperoni sticks, "best if used by Dec/1996", and we stashed one in the sign at the top of the Pass - we'll check in future years to see if still there - on RTD VII, the hermetically sealed Twinkie made it through the first night, but was gone the following year. The ride down is a bit easier/quicker than the ride up, and we were in Winter Park by 4:00 - time for quick shower, and then dinner, hot tub action, ice cream social, and then party time. I crashed early, so I missed the Naked Congo Line - probably for the best! Most of the gang then biked back on Sunday, but Wendy and the boys drove over and picked me up, and we had a fun family outing in Rocky Mountain National Park ... which ironically had closed the road on Friday due to 2+ feet of snowdrifts - remember that nasty weather just before our bike trip - whew! A few pictures are shown below (click on them for larger size) and this really is where the train went before the Moffat Tunnel was built as you can clearly see in the picture of me on the trestle. I got these courtesy of JeffK and you can see more on his web site




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