2016 The Copper Triangle

Quick little backstory on me. I finally quit smoking after 20 years and got back on the bike. Once I was able to ride more than 7 miles without puking in random yards (Paul knows what I’m talking about) I started setting goals. First it was distances: 10 miles, 25 miles, 50 miles and then 100. Once I was able to check those off I started wondering what was next. I set my sights on the mountains of Colorado. A friend that had moved out there a few years back recommended I look into a ride called the Copper Triangle.

Approx 78 miles, three mountain passes and altitude. It was very intimidating on paper. And when you live close to sea level training for altitude doesn’t seem realistic. I traveled to CO and arrived one week before the ride. I figured a couple of rides ahead of time should help prepare me for what’s to come. I stayed in Silverthorne, about 15 minutes from Copper Mountain where the ride begins, and found a great 25 mile loop close to the place I was staying. I was able to ride that twice during the week before the big ride.

The morning of the ride was pretty cold, in the low 40’s and rainy. I remember thinking to myself that I wished I had disc brakes. I was squeezing my levers pretty hard on some wet descents and still going 20-25 mph downhill. I made it over two of the three mountain passes as the weather turned out to be absolutely gorgeous. Once I hit the third pass in Vail, I started having pain in my knee that was only getting worse as I made my way up to the halfway point and aid station. Unfortunately that’s where I made my decision to turn around and go back down in order to catch the SAG wagon back. I made it about 62 miles total. Also my Garmin didn’t want to work. Luckily my watch was charged and ready to go. I have unfinished business with ride. I hope to be back soon.

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