Where are we going? - Colorado Colors Tour 2021 - CycleBlaze

Where are we going?

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Many things wait for retirement. This trip is one of those things. Finally I can ride my bicycle on our favorite Colorado roads to see the aspen trees in full color. I've had this trip on my list for years. I've carefully monitored the dates as each year passes for both peak colors and bad weather. I believe I've nailed the perfect dates. 

Mother Nature is fickle. We are going to take turns driving my van as a SAG wagon. What is annoying rain at 5,000 feet elevation is most likely  snow at 10,000 feet elevation this time of year. We have never tried a drive/ride combo trip. I'm not excited. I've even floated the idea that if the weather looks perfect, let's skip the SAG and carry our gear. That idea was not well received. 

Originally, I did not advertise this trip at all to start. I was sure I would be overwhelmed with participants. Several of our overnights have very limited beds available. Plus, COVID, you know. We did want enough riders to take turns driving so that it wouldn't be more of a driving trip than a cycling trip. I then cast about for riders. I opened my offering up wider and wider. Even to the point of posting on Facebook. I had no takers at all. There were three main reasons: 1) Ten days was too long. 2) The lodging cost was too high. 3) Too much climbing/too difficult.  

Here this is a trip I've been lusting after for years, and no one wants to go. I have Jim and Genny, which will be great fun catching up. We haven't toured together since before COVID. It will be great to see them in person. The internet is fine, but it's not the same as seeing smiling faces across the table!

I've had the basic route saved for several years. We had an interesting upset this summer when mudslides closed I-70 and the bike path through Glenwood Canyon. Multiple times. At the moment the highway is open again, but it is looking doubtful on the bike path. We discussed changing our routing from the gentle start on the bike path along the Colorado River to riding over Independence Pass. Hmmm, both directions would get us to Frisco and the rest of our route. We opted to take our chances and stayed with the original routing. Worst case, we will do a local day ride on day one, then drive to our first night's stay.

In the meanwhile, my cycling mentor, Alison, was planning essentially the same route! It was unbelievable! How could this be? I had faint hopes that we might be able to shift schedules to ride together. Her time frame was set, due to work. She couldn't ride it as a fall colors ride. Alison had heard about the mudslides, but  hadn't considered that they would impact her tour. Alison and her friends decided to test their mettle from the start and head right to Aspen.

They are arriving by Amtrak tomorrow. I'm going to ride as far as Aspen with them (three days round trip) as a small training tour for the fall colors.

I'll post those days, and then pick back up again in two weeks, when Jim, Genny, and I start off. 

I've been watching the weather. It's a little far away to predict precipitation for the colors tour, but the warm up should go just fine. I have a pile going out in the garage next to my bicycle. I'm trying to ride with only two panniers, but warm clothing is going to stuff them full!

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