Take one large climb. Climb up and over....then climb back up and over to the original starting point. And that is how you get Twin climbs.
Todays ride had a few goals: lots of climbing, high altitude, and a 6 hour day. I decided to get an early AM start and hit up Trail Ridge Rd. The route started in Estes Park.....up and over to Grand Lake.....refuel.....then return back to Estes Park. Here is the route map and elevation chart.
The reason for the early AM start is this road runs straight through Rocky Mountain National Park. Right now, it's full on tourista season. This road gets a lot of traffic. Lucky for me, I didn't get into the traffic until my descent back to Estes Park. It was pretty cool....down hilling at around 40 mph with cars in front of you...and behind you. Overall, this ride is a serious kick in the nuts. The ride up from Estes Park is a grind...but not that bad. On the other hand, the return trip from Grand Lake is steeper with more switchbacks......or it was because I was getting a bit tired. Plus, today, throw in a headwind on the return trip for added tough guy points.
Below is a few photos and some video I shot whenever the road leveled out. Which....wasn't that often.
Beginning of the ride at about mile 7 just inside the borders of Rocky Mountain National Park. I got started at around 6:30 AM. So early, that there was no one manning the fee booth. This flat section didn't last long...as the road soon kicked up.
Wasn't long and the remnants of this winters snow fall was visible.
Heading towards the tree line.
Now well above the tree line...and still heading up.
Short little video.
Up here, humans are out of place.
Whatever you do...do NOT go over the edge. And make sure to open your mouth for maximum air intake. Gasp!
Will it ever end? More times than I care to count, over the entire ride, I grabbed the STI lever hoping for another "click." It was never there. Ugh.
Yes, it did finally end. The summit of Trail Ridge Rd is right over 12,000 ft. Once I hit that mark it was a speedy descent into the valley...and to Grand Lake. Once in Grand Lake I refilled bottles and head back. I stopped at the fee booth and paid my $10 and continued to head back to Estes Park. Now it is time to climb again.
It was slow going. At about the 4.5 hour mark I was feeling it. I was creeping along at like 8 mph. But I was not the slowest one on the mountain today. I passed numerous cyclist crawling.....err.....dragging their tired bodies up to the summit. Most of them couldn't even keep the bike is a straight line with all the tugging on the road bars.
Another video on the return trip. Can you feel the fatigue?
As mentioned above, the traffic did thicken. Kind of sucked, as I could not carry speed through all the 15 mph "U" turns. The cars would slow....causing me to slow...then I would have to stomp on the pedals to get back on their bumpers. Good times I must say. Some ride stats from today: 85 miles, 5 hours 25 minutes ride time, 4000 calories burned. Now, it's time for a little rest and recovery. Maybe look at the rest of the pictures I took and reminisce. Good times.......good times.