Colorado Tour: The Ups and the More Ups

MG and I are in Glenwood Springs, Colo. tonight on day two of our weeklong tandem trip around the state’s central mountains.

After 223 miles over the first two days we are feeling like we are getting the full mountains experience. West of Denver this state is never flat.

Yesterday we started with a 134-mile ride from Louisville, near Boulder, over the iconic 12,200-foot Trail Ridge Road. We stayed overnight in the little ranching town of Kremmling.

We rode it as a randonneur permanent — meaning, self guided — with a time limit. Our host in Louisville, Tim Foon Feldman, came up with the route through Lyons, Estes Park, over to Granby and then Kremmling.

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This meant about 70 miles of ascending to gain nearly 5,000 7,000 feet of elevation and about 10,000 feet overall when you throw in the little dips.

I had always wanted to climb TRR on tandem with MG so it was a huge accomplishment for us to summit at mile 75, more so because this is one stunning and tough climb.

There is no shoulder and we had constant car traffic passing us. We were treated well by drivers but at 5 m.p.h. we were in the way more than I liked.
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The thin air at the top made it very hard to keep up momentum. And, MG was scared by the dropoffs and would lean left at times which affected the steering.

In sum, it took a real team effort to get the Co-Motion over the top. It was worth it. We felt like we had checked off one of those must-do’s as a tandem couple.

Of course, the views were spectacular.

The payoff for getting up and over came in the evening descending ride to Kremmling with little traffic and a classic western sunset.
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Today we rolled along the scenic Colorado River on a mix of hard pack gravel and paved roads under hot skies to Glenwood.
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No mountains but many little hills and tired legs made the 90 miles a solid challenge.
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Tomorrow we roll south to teeny Paonia.

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