Tuesday morning, Alex, Dave and Trisha headed to Bergen Park to begin their Squaw Pass ride. The route would be 37 miles from the parking area over the pass, down to the Mt. Evan’s Visitor’s Center and back to the start. After prepping our bikes Dave was off first, and soon after Alex and Trisha were on their way.
A few miles up the road, Alex slowed, then unclipped and stopped her bike to allow an elk to cross the road in front of her. “Did you see that?!?!” she yelled back to Trish. Yeah… of course she saw it! Nine miles up the pass, Alex stopped, confused by the fact that she was definitely not through the ascent, but she could see a small green sign off the side of the road for “Squaw Pass Summit” with an elevation of 9,000+ feet. This didn’t make sense… shouldn’t that be at mile 16 with an elevation of 11,000+ feet? She decided to shrug it off and continue along the road figuring she will make sense of it sooner or later.
At mile 15 she sees Dave making his descent. He stopped to talk to her, told her he was feeling great and had ridden down to Echo Lake. He explained that he realized the actual top of the climb was at Juniper Pass, NOT Squaw Pass, but if she was feeling good she should go another mile down the road to a pretty lookout. Despite the fact that at mile 12.5 she was feeling pretty bad after eating a Gu, she was feeling better now and would do as Dave suggested.
Alex stopped at the view point to take some pictures before turning around to return to the top of the pass, take some pictures there, and then begin the fun descent. Back at the car, she rejoined with Trisha who had been having knee pain on the ride, and had turned around about 12 miles up. Rather than waiting for the girls, Dave had ridden back to the Evergreen House.
After showers, relaxing, and napping for some, Alex, Dave, Sam, Trisha, and Wes headed to a find some additional plates and utensils at a thrift store. Luke went out to do the Juniper Pass ride since he had been working earlier that day. Turns out the Goodwill nearby was actually just a donation center, so the group decided to drive to the Arc Thrift Store in Golden. Not only did they find plates, and an awesome set of silverware, but they also found a 36-cup percolator for $8! This might be enough coffee for the group…
Dave was also stoked to find a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sandwich container which he said he would use to house his snacks when we were out and about.
Back at the house we were finally able to cut the watermelon that we purchased a few days ago, since we now had a knife that was big enough for the task. We also learned that Luke had survived his ride, sustained only on Mike & Ike’s. Apparently, he forgot the food he had planned on taking, but was lucky enough to find a package of Mike & Ike’s in the car.
After breakfast and a percolator of coffee, Alex and Dave headed off to climb at The Catslab in Clear Creek Canyon. They had chosen this area after Alex nixed Dave’s suggestion of an area that included climbing 25 feet up a tree to a Tyrollean traverse across the creek to access an area with less than stellar rock. Did he actually think that sounded like a great idea?
Trisha was hoping to get her bike to a shop to see if she could alleviate the knee pain that plagued her the previous day. Maybe then, the rest of the group would join Alex and Dave for some climbing. Alex and Dave arrived at The Catslab to find it looking pretty crowded from the road, and decided to find a different area. They wound up climbing at East Colfax. They approach was super easy, and despite several other groups, there were open climbs. Alex started the day deciding to lead an easy 5.4 sport route, For the Children, her first lead since they were in The Red over Thanksgiving, so she was pretty happy. Four more routes were done: One For All (5.5), Wild Bore (5.7), Speeding Ticket (5.6), and When I’m 64 (5.6) before they headed out with storm clouds looming nearby.
Alex and Dave headed to Denver to pick up their Triple Bypass race packets and to get Dave fingerprinted so he could update his teaching clearances. The office they went to was AMAZINGLY fast, and they found themselves with plenty of extra time before they would be meeting the rest of their group at Lodo’s in Highland Ranch for the Triple Bypass Pre-Ride Party. At Mike’s suggestion, we walked around Washington Park for a while. Needing a snack before dinner, we Yelp’ed and found a small local taqueria, La Calle Taqueria and Carnitas, where we had some delicious food despite the fact the it looked less than stellar from the outside.
Still early for dinner and needing a little pick-me-up, we stopped at 303 Coffee and had some iced dirty chai tea lattes before heading to Lodo’s. We enjoyed sitting on the deck area of the restaurant, enjoying our free food and drinks while taking in the views of the Front Range and Denver in the distance. On the ride home, Alex, Dave and Sam enjoyed the beautiful backroads, and even got to see a mother deer and her VERY newly born fawn in a field. Once back at the house we prepped our biking gear to ride Juniper Pass again in the morning, as long as the weather would hold out.