The Laughing Tribe: me at the top: sharing snacks, views from the ride.
Today's the big one! Up and over Copper Mountain & Vail Pass. 46.7 miles: about 21 miles of climb ranging from 2-10% grades. A few tribe members are hitching a ride to Copper Mountain to avoid part of the climb. Me: I'm jumping on the trail in Frisco and riding the 18 miles to the top. I hope.
We fueled the camp with pancakes & scrambled eggs and sent them on their way. Loaded up the truck and Jack dropped me off in Frisco and met up with me at the water stop at Copper Mountain. The ride to Copper was beautiful. Not too steep: maybe 6-7% for a good part of the climb. I passed Hillary & Mary on the trail and felt really good when I got into the water stop. Then on up to Vail. Another story! The scenery was amazing: the climbs pretty brutal. Well, not too brutal. Up to 10% on the switch backs: time to stand up on the bike! The last 1/2 mile was the toughest of the climbs: of course I had a pack of hard core path pounders passing me on the hills! The last 1/4 mile I was slowing down and one of the pack yelled at me that there was only 1/4 mile left to the top and keep on going! I made it! Yahoooo! Wheeled around the rest area and then screamed down to the lunch stop with a big grin on may face. I couldn't tell you my name at that point, but I could grin. I could also manage to share my snacks with the cutest little chipmunks that came out to great me!
I opted to not ride down: my mission was to make it to the top: 10,622 feet is the top! Jack and I headed down to Avon to prepare a huge pasta dinner for the tribe. At about 2:30 the wind came up and I felt sorry for whomever was left on the trail. Then the rain, then clear skies once again! The last tribe members made it into camp at just 6:00 in time for dinner. Isabel did a great job on the trail coaching the last of the riders up the climb...good job tribe!
Dinner tonight was a really yummy Italian sausage & mushroom fettuccine, linguine with pesto & artichoke hearts, Caesar salad, herbed breads, sauteed crook neck squash (squooshes?) & lemon cake. Lot's of beer.
I don't know if was the thrill of the ride or the beer, or the combination of the two: but I have named this tribe the laughing tribe. They have definitely bonded. I have never had a group that laughs and giggles as much as this one. It was great to hear!
Tomorrow we are on to Glennwood Springs for a layover day before the last day of the tour. They go by so quickly. This is #8. Eight down two to go........