Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ride Report: Copper Triangle

Last weekend was the 4th annual Copper Triangle, supporting the Davis Phinney foundation. It was my goal ride for the summer and I was very much looking forward to it. Jon and I rode together. We arrived in Copper Friday night and grabbed our packets, and headed to Frisco for dinner and to crash. It was pretty cold Friday night and a thunderstorm rolled in around 8:00. We grabbed dinner at the Blue Spruce Inn in frisco and headed to bed. The plan was to meet some friends at the start in the Village at Copper and roll out at 6:30.

We got up around 5:30 and headed down to Copper. Got geared up and riding from the parking lot to the starting gate I couldn't feel my hands, I'm guessing it was below 40 degrees. So, we met up with the guys and let them know we were going to let it warm up some. So they took off and we hit the starbucks and waited for the sun to come up some.

Around 7:00 the sun was hitting the sides of the hills and we decided to go for it. It was chilly but the first leg of the ride is right up Fremont pass down highway 91 towards Leadville. Once we hit the first summit I was pretty warmed up.

A short descent and we were right back up Tennessee pass. It was a pretty nice climb. After Tennessee is a really nice descent. We were a bit surprised by the Battle Mountain climb, I guess we weren't paying much attention to the course profile. I actually enjoyed that climb quite a bit. It was the right grade for me to be able to spin up the triple to a nice pace.

Then a nice descent through Minturn and into vail. Stopped at the Vail aid station, refueled, decided we were ready to go. Out of Vail it's about 5 miles at a reasonable climb to the bridge and you swing under the freeway. From there, it gets pretty nuts. To get back up next to I-70, the grade is surprisingly steep and a lot of people were walking. I ended up feeling some serious leg cramps but was able to ride through them. Once you get through that section the grade eases and is more manageable to the top. It was, though, a long steep climb. At the summit I cramped BAD and actually had to get off my bike and stretch out.

The wives met us at the pass aid station and we chatted for a couple of minutes, then spun down to Copper. Grabbed a bite to eat and took off as we both had evening plans.

It was a great ride and I'm glad we did it. It was the first organized ride I've ever done and I have mixed feelings about it. It was nice to ride with a lot of other people, but that had its downsides as there were several instances where people were being stupid about auto traffic. Overall though a nice thing to have done. Here's the route map:

And the course profile:

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