Luke saw everyone do their part on Saturday and heard all the cheers and gripes from everyone. Now it was Luke’s turn to experience the Triple Bypass.
And at 5am Sunday morning, Dave dropped Luke off at the Avon start. It was still dark and the crowds were significantly less than Saturday. A majority of the riders here were doing the “Double Triple Bypass” meaning that they rode 120 miles yesterday and now doing it all over again. Still, it felt good for Luke to pass many riders and make great time on the 27 mile climb to Vail Pass. After fueling up at the rest stop on top of Vail, it was finally time for Luke to cruise downhill.
The next significant challenge of the ride starts at the bottom of Loveland pass at mile 50. It’s 10 miles to the top and even though the average may say 5%, it feels way more than that. This is the pass that made Dave grumble earlier in the trip and he said several times he was happy to never do it again! Despite the terribleness of this section, Luke managed to get up and over it with only one break. This was a huge victory! Lunch was at the next stop!
Dave, Alex, Trisha, and Wes were all at the lunch break waiting. It was a great morale boost to see everyone and know that the ride was officially halfway complete! Apparently there was a surprise that everyone was trying to get Luke to see and he missed it. Then Trisha just pointed it out. “Luke, look what Dave is wearing!” Luke responded “What? He is wearing is the Triple Bypass Jersey…and…all of his riding gear…wait what! Dave, are you riding!?” And Dave replied “Heck ya! I get to ride 30 miles downhill and only have to climb up once. Plus we get to ride together! Seems like a win-win.” Luke was stoked!! After some lunch, Dave and Luke said goodbye and were off. It was reassuring to know that Alex and Trisha would be our cheering/picture-taking crew for the rest of the ride too!
Now that Dave was riding, Luke knew he could crush the rest of the ride. And with Dave as a windshield and somewhat fresh legs, the next 30 miles of downhill flew by. The aid station at Idaho Springs came quick…so quick in fact that Dave and Luke collided trying to get in! No major injuries but Luke got a few scrapes from falling over.
At mile 90, the 15 mile climb to Juniper Pass began. Everything feels different at mile 90. Random pain comes in and out and for some reason, Luke’s pain throbbed from his feet. This could be due to the crazy 90° heat that is uncommon for these climbs. And it made Luke feel better because this must be a thing for others too. Someone was riding up the pass with no shoes!
Dave kept pace for Luke and offered encouragement along the way like “Luke come on you can ride faster than that!” or “Luke that guy is going to pass us and I don’t want him to pass me so hurry up!” Surprisingly, this worked well! Alex and Trisha also were hanging out and waiting for us along the way. Their encouragement was the more typical “you can do it, you’re doing great!” Before long, Luke and Dave made it to the top of Juniper and Luke was so pumped that he rode on right past the final aid station saying to Dave “Its all downhill from here, why do we need to stop!?”
Around 3pm, Luke and Dave made it to the finish! Kevin and Sam were there too! After celebratory pictures, Luke had to take care of the most interesting pain that recently developed…his eyes. The sweat and wind dried out Luke’s contacts so bad that he could hardly see. Thinking wasn’t right after all the miles and he unwisely used hand sanitizer to clean his hands and then took the contacts out. Although the contacts were out, Luke’s eyes were so messed up from alcohol and dirt that he could still hardly see. Trisha got some wet paper towels and helped out Luke to make it better. Everyone got some food and drinks, and then we were on our way back to the cabin for new adventures.
— Guest Blogger Luke