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Triple By-Pass - CycleCentury

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Evergreen / Avon, Colorado
United States
Team Evergreen
75F / 24C
Total Time = 6h 50m 13s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Decided to start late after every one was off so that I'd avoid the first wristband check after they tore down the starting line. So we got a late start driving down to Evergreen. On the way down we saw what looked like a dead moose (but it could have been an elk) on the part of the route that is on the I70 shoulder. At the starting line there was absolutely nobody there.
Event warmup:

Took my bike off the car. Got all my food and gear and took off about 8:45 am. The official start was from 6:00 am to 7:30 am so I was well behind the other riders.
  • 6h 50m 13s
  • 117.82 miles
  • 17.23 mile/hr

This ride sells out (3500 riders) in less than a week in January. And then tries harder than any other century I've ridden to keep non-payers off 120 miles of colorado cycling (about half of which are my normal training routes) on a prime summer weekend day. Well since I can't swim because of my AC Separation and had to skip the Boulder Peak Olympic Triathlon, I decided to ride this route. I would have been happy to officially enter but couldn't since it sells out in the first week.
So I decided to start well after the actual participants. I carried all my food, and bought Gatorade at stores. I didn't even stop at any of their aid stations.

I missed the starting "wristband check" because they had already closed down the starting check. Blew through the second one in the confusion of an aid station in Georgetown, and I could hear them yelling at me to stop. Avoided the third one by taking a longer route over Swan Mountain on the bike path instead of the road.

Went easy on the first climb as my goal was simply to finish so I "respected the distance" as DickDime would say.

The haul from Idaho Springs to the Loveland ski area was against a stiff wind most all the way. There was a few miles of dirt road as well but it wasn't too bad. At the place where the dead moose was all that remained was a huge blood stain. Big game roadkill is salvaged by CDOT or DOW or someone. I love animals and was sad at the thought of a moose being hit by a car. Hopefully, it was just an Elk instead as Colorado has plenty of Elk.

Only passed about 20 stragglers until around Georgetown where I started passing people constantly. Made my first stop in Georgetown for two 32-oz G2s.

Pushed harder up Loveland Pass since I knew at that point I was going to finish since Loveland wasn't very difficult for me and the remaining climbs were my daily climbs.

My only mistake was I got a little dehydrated (headache behind left eye) going up Loveland Pass but I was able to resolve it when I made my second G2 stop in Copper.

Except for a couple clothing changes, I only stopped twice for about 10 minutes each time to buy Gatorade. At the Keystone stop I was pretty tired so I slammed two Starbucks double shots which worked perfectly. Felt great climbing my home hills of Swan Mountain and Vail Pass. Actually felt great all the way to the finish.

I purposely didn't take a bike computer so the only feedback I'd have was effort which I wanted to keep "very comfortable" until Swan Mountain where I planned to pick up the pace and finish strong. I didn't want to be tempted to ride faster on Juniper and Loveland when I saw the slow climbing MPHs.

I used my watch to take a bunch of splits. For the total ride time, I stopped the watch each time I unclipped and started it when I reclipped which is a habit for me even if I have a computer aboard.

Didn't draft at all as nobody around me was riding fast enough and no one passed me until a 6-8 man pace line passed me on the descent in West Vail just before entering the bike path at Dowd's Junction while I was eating. So I backed up out of their draft. But once it flattened out I passed and dropped them.

You could really tell these were more experienced bike riders than most centuries I've ridden. Most riders did well at staying right and held good lines. I only had one run-in with an idiot. On the I70 section I was passing a line of riders. When he heard me announce "left" he decided that was the time he wanted to exit the line, move left, and pass some people instead of waiting for me to pass, and even though he obviously heard me already announced my pass and looked back and saw me. He didn't realize that I was moving a lot faster than everyone so when he pulled over left he almost ran me into I70 traffic. I was able to slam on my brakes and not cross the white death line just as an RV blew by me. If he would have pulled over a couple seconds later, I could have been killed. I don't like the I70 section even though it's only a few miles. I trailed him out of his draft for a while as we slowly passed about 10-20 people. Then he pulled over and I told him, "Dude, you almost pushed me into the freeway traffic." He said, "Well, I had to pass those people." So I just shook my head and passed him. But of course he jumped on my wheel. After about thirty seconds, I stopped pedaling and coasted until he passed. He gave me some dirty look and I said pointedly, "Get off my wheel." Sorry but I can't afford another crash and I won't allow people I don't know/trust on my wheel unless they ask. I rested up a bit out of his draft, and then jumped out of the saddle and put about 50 meters on him when I looked back. Then I sat back down into my normal pace and never saw him again.

Only had one bad motorist experience but it was a doozy. Coming down Loveland Pass, probably going about 45 mph, some dumbass in a rent car passed me in a no passing zone and continued to pass cyclists by driving COMPLETELY on the wrong side of the road, even around curves. When he came upon a car climbing the pass in that lane, he'd pull off left onto the wrong shoulder because there were too many cyclists to his right to get back into his lane. I passed him back a few times while he was on the shoulder and then he'd again pass me and others illegally. I thought for sure someone was going to die and it was very annoying. Instead of just realizing that the speed limit was 35 and the cyclists were all easily going faster than that so he could have just ridden with the flow of bike riders in the correct lane endangering nobody, this JACKASS put lots of people in serious jeopardy and only beat me down the hill by exactly 18 F'ING seconds (yes, I timed it).

The hard thing about this ride (besides the distance and the climbing) was that it's a point-to-point East to West so about 80 miles of the ride (Idaho Springs to the finish in Avon) was against a strong full flag west wind.

I was able to avoid most of the rain and just got sprinkled on a few times but there were big lightning storms all around. It looked super rainy in Vail so I put my raincoat on at the top of Vail Pass and kept it on until the finish.

Ate six "Sweet and Salty Peanut bars" 170c each and a ham sandwich on a bagel. Drank 158 ounces of G2 and finished perfectly hydrated.
Also had the two Starbucks Double Shot Lights. Except for the slight dehydration, intake was perfect.

Climb to Juniper Pass
1:19, 15.43 miles, 3681' climbing, 4.5% average grade, 11.7 mph average. Very comfortable effort so I'd be sure that I could finish.

Descent to I70 in Idaho Springs
29:25, 15.46 miles, 289' climbing, 31.53 mph average. Way too slow. I'm still nervous on the descent due to my recent crash and because I lost control of my bike at about 55 mph coming down Fremont last weekend (did not crash but it was scary). I was on the brakes and way too cautious on the descent.

Evergreen to Idaho Springs. First 31 miles w/a ~3700 foot climb summitting in the exact middle.
30.89 miles in 1:48:25 (17.1 mph). In hindsight, since I finished so strong I could have pushed way harder on the this section. If I really wanted to go fast on this route next year, I'd make a training loop out of these two sections and get very confident in how fast I can go both up and down.

Idaho Springs to Georgetown Visitor Center
47:05, 12.23 miles, 1362' climbing, 15.6 mph. This section has 3-4 miles on a dirt road which wasn't too bad but difficult to go fast on because it's bumpy and lots of places to fall in loose gravel.

Georgetown to Loveland Ski Area
12.87 miles, 2753' climbing, forgot to take a split at the ski area. Do not like the 3-4 miles on the I70 shoulder. The shoulder is wide but I'm passing constantly and too close to fast moving traffic. The right lane of traffic is also big trucks and RVs.

Loveland pass summit
3.74 miles, 1211' climbing. 6.1% average grade.

Idaho springs to Loveland Summit.
28.84 miles, 5326' climbing, 2:20:05, 12.35 mph. Seems incredibly slow but this was all against a huge wind and I think that slowed me signficantly, there was also the dirt road section for 3-4 miles and quite a few intersections where we were slowed but not stopped. Also, I think the climb up loveland is well under 10 mph on average.

Loveland Summit to Swan Mountain Climb Start
11.71 miles, 98'. Awesome downhill which I pushed a little harder than off Juniper but had to deal with the idiot motorist (see above) for much of the descent.

Over Swan Mountain to Summit High
5.42, 692' climbing. Climbed path instead of road to avoid wristband check. This added some distance and climbing to what the rest rode.

Summit High to Vail Pass Summit
1:00:00 (exactly to the second).
15.34 miles, 2221' climbing. 2.75% average grade. 15.34 mph average.
Typical climb up Vail Pass like I do daily into a strong full flag west wind. I often climb Vail Pass on Triple Bypass day and I always feel bad that I'm going so fast compared to the exhausted riders. I've always been relatively fresh and hoping I wasn't making the other riders feel slow and tired by passing them so easily. This year I was stong climbing up, felt great, and no guilt. I was thinking the opposite that the other riders probably thought I was on a short ride since I wasn't wearing the red wristband.
Summit High to Frisco West:
Frisco West to VP:

Vail Pass to Finish in Avon
Typical ride down Vail Pass. Pretty fast but into a strong west wind so pedaling all the way. Amazing how I was relatively slow going down Juniper and Loveland but blowing by everyone on my aerobars going down Vail pass since I'm so used to doing it.
1:01, 25.62 miles, 761' climbing.
Vail Pass to Dowd's Junction:
Dowd's Junction to Avon Finish:

Oh and lastly, music was STRICTLY FORBIDDEN on this ride but I rode like I usually do with low volume music in just my right ear.
What would you do differently?:

If I wanted to go for speed I'd go off right at 6:00 am so that the wind was at it's lowest. I'd also push harder up Juniper and down faster on both Juniper and Loveland. I stopped drinking up the 6.1% Loveland climb which I cannot do again.
Post race
Warm down:

Waited in the rain for Melinda to pick me up.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of confidence on the first climb and wuss factor on the descents.

Event comments:

Surely, there's no better bike route in the US. Only about six miles wasn't excellent in every way. I guess that's why they sold out 3500 slots in just a few days.

Last updated: 2009-07-12 12:00 AM
06:50:13 | 117.82 miles | 17.23 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
13,068 feet of climbing per BT Route Tracker.
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: Evergreen, CO to Avon, CO. Over three major passes, Juniper Pass, Loveland Pass, and Vail Pass. Course is largely East to West and so probably 3/4 of it was into a strong west headwind. I rode about 0.5 miles and 200' climbing more than the rest by riding the path over Swan Mountain.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2009-07-13 1:21 AM

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Breckenridge, CO
Subject: Triple By-Pass

2009-07-13 4:45 AM
in reply to: #2280194

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On your right
Subject: RE: Triple By-Pass
Wow, that sounds like a really nice course.  I'm glad to see that you didn't get squarshed by an RV. 
2009-07-13 6:41 AM
in reply to: #2280194

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Wisconsin near the Twin Cities metro
Subject: RE: Triple By-Pass

Sounds like an epic ride. Nice job!

2009-07-13 2:39 PM
in reply to: #2280194

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Saratoga Springs, Utah
Subject: RE: Triple By-Pass
Great ride Steve! Great report also.
2009-07-13 5:37 PM
in reply to: #2280194

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South of SLC
Subject: RE: Triple By-Pass
Damn Steve, you will always be the biggest bike stud on BT. AC tear or not, you can make that machine move.

I was really interested in your report because I am thinking of doing that ride next year as a tune-up for LOTOJA. I really want to finish LOTOJA under the time limits, so it is interesting for me to read reports like yours!

2009-07-13 11:35 PM
in reply to: #2280194

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Subject: RE: Triple By-Pass
Man that was an intense race report.  I cant imagine what that must have been like on the side of I70 when a douche bag decides to make his presence known.  I know about your crash and I have had crashes where it has taken me at least a month to get comfortable going really fast again.  That route sounds really challenging without the insanity added in.  Might have to try to get a group ride going on that one so I can check it out with someone that knows the route.  Great job on a long ride and overcoming your injury challenges as well!

2009-07-13 11:50 PM
in reply to: #2280194

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Fort Myers, Florida
Subject: RE: Triple By-Pass
Nice ride Steve!  Man 13k of climbing in one day sounds like a heck of a workout.  Sorry about your run in with an idiot, sounds like you finally got the chance to put him in his place! 
2009-07-14 8:32 AM
in reply to: #2280194

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Extreme Veteran
Frisco, Texas
Subject: RE: Triple By-Pass

wow...this sounds awesome. well done steve!

2009-07-15 11:26 PM
in reply to: #2280194

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New user

Subject: RE: Triple By-Pass
I'm so proud of you...You did an awesome job!
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