Ride the Rockies – Day 4 Leadville to Granby
Well, it was a two pass day. First out of the gate was a climb from Leadville to Fremont pass. That was about a thousand foot gain over about 10 miles. It’s a pass that I’ve been over a couple of times in the winter, so I knew to look for the view above on the descent.
Speaking of the descent, it was a mess. The roadway had been milled down in preparation for resurfacing, so what should have been fast and fun was scary and dangerous with our skinny tired bikes. That lasted about 4 miles from the summit, then the good stuff started. The ride was fast and fun all the way to Copper Mountain. From there, we jumped on the trail to Frisco, which was also predominately downhill.
We stayed on the bike path all the way through to Silverthorne, passing along the shores of Lake Dillon, so there wasn’t really a lot to see and experience on that section. I have been intrigued by the three hand-cycles on this trip. I’ve gotta give it to those guys, cranking along by upper body strength is an impressive feat.
From Silverthorne, we headed out into the high desert, where we would spend most of the day. For a while, the highway paralleled the Blue River, offering some pretty sights.
The second climb of the day was up Ute Pass. On paper, it didn’t look like it was going to be horrible, but it was a little (OK, it seemed like a lot)work to get up. Up on top, however, the views were worth it.
We were treated to a four mile descent on rough roads, then things just went to crap. As in 13.5 miles of downhill gravel. That’s not what you want on a skinny tire road bike. Talk about a miserable experience. By the time I got off that, I was beat to death, and my nerves were shot. If I’ve got any complaint about today (and yesterday), it’s been those sections of road & trail that were just downright hazardous to ride on. I know I’m whining, but I really expected better conditions out of this ride.
Once we were safely pack to pavement, it was a pretty easy 20 miles into Granby, although the elevation profile show’s it to be mostly uphill.
I covered 96 miles for the day.
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