Monday, July 4th: Vail Pass

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Alex, Dave and Trisha headed to Frisco on Monday morning to ride over Vail Pass to Vail and back. The route would be the last pass of the Triple Bypass Ride on Saturday, and the backside of the pass would be the first pass of the Sunday ride. Alex had apparently had too much water and coffee before getting in the car and could not make it all the way to Frisco with a bathroom break. Dave knows that Alex does not joke about needing to stop, so despite the fact that they were 10 minutes from their destination, Dave pulled into a gas station. Trisha was relieved that Alex did not relieve herself in the car, even with the extra absorbency of her riding shorts.

After finding their parking lot, and setting up their bikes, Dave headed of first, and Trisha and Alex started soon after. Alex looked back to see Trisha struggling. This was weird. Trisha was huffing, puffing, sweating, and looking like the was having a rough time… and the trail was pretty flat at this point. Alex stopped, waited for Trisha to catch up and asked her how she was doing. Obviously, not well. Trisha said she wasn’t sure what was wrong, but she felt like she was working too hard and couldn’t catch her breath. Alex asked her what her heart rate was, and Trisha told her it was high. Alex asked her how high, and Trisha told her 180 bpm. WOAH! Alex was reading 125 bpm. Alex was concerned… they were on a flat bike path! If it would have been a few days earlier, Alex would have assumed she was feeling the effects of altitude. After some discussion of Alex going on and Trisha seeing if she started to feel any better or heading back to the car, Trisha realized what the problem was. Her front brake was rubbing against her front tire! Once adjusted, Trisha was feeling amazingly better and was quickly pulling ahead of Alex down the trail.

The ride was quite beautiful, and followed trails for a majority of the way to the summit of the pass. Despite the fact that the mileage was as she expected, Alex was in disbelief that she was at the pass. She asked Trisha if the were at the pass, and she said they were. She still felt it was too easy compared to everything else they did, and asked another biker if they were really at the top of the pass. They indeed were.

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They took a few minutes to eat their PB&J’s and use the bathroom before beginning the descent down to Vail. As the road the downhill they were both thinking about how they were not looking forward to riding back up the pass. Their end goal was to ride to the western edge of Vail to a Conoco station. After following a path that turned into bike lanes in neighborhoods, they found themselves at The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens… NOT the Betty Ford Clinic… surrounded by crowds of people dressed in their finest 4th of July attire. They checked their maps and decided they were about 3 miles shy of the Conoco station. The remaining miles would take them through more of the flat yuppy town terrain they had already had their fill of, and decided they were both perfectly happy with turning around here.

They made their way back towards the pass, huffing and puffing through some steep sections, hating the heat of the sun, and looking forward to being at the top once again. Happily back to the top of the pass, they sent messages to the rest of the group, mauled some food, and read the sad news that there was no “Taco Monday” at the Mexican restaurant back in Evergreen. They were very glad that they did not know this earlier in the day, since they had been looking forward to it for days. However, Kevin, Sam and Luke said they would have home made burritos waiting for them when they got home. They made their way down the winding trails back Frisco where Dave was waiting for them. They were thrilled to see him laying on a park bench next to the trail… AND he had food! Delicious food! Dave had finished his ride, changed out of his biking clothes, and gotten sandwiches from a restaurant in town. Alex and Trisha sat on the bench devouring their sandwiches, telling Dave about their day and laughing about the ridiculous things that occurred through the day such as the brake incident that started the day, and how Trisha would hold a sandwich bag of pretzels to her face making hilarious eating noises.

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As the girls finished their sandwiches, Dave loaded their bikes on the car to speed up the process of getting home where all the ingredients for a delicious meal were waiting.

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