I rode my bike to Independence Pass! I was just below the KOM marker at the top with friends. I drove into Vail after the race and am now staying at the Tivoli Lodge.
The ride up the pass was beautiful. I started the climb from the town of Twin Lakes, keeping a slow pace enjoying the views and talking to people along the way. I met Betsy from Vail who taught me about searching for mushrooms in the forest. When it started to rain I looked over to see 15 cyclists crammed in under a tent shelter, I said, "that looks too good to miss," and joined in, waiting out the brief showers.
I asked, "who are our hosts" and learned our host was a woman from The Netherlands married to an American living in Aspen, whose father was visiting the United States for 2 months and happened to be Ted Blom, an old cyclist from back in the day:
Here is Ted (Theo) Blom today with his very kind family under the shelter tent:
When the rain let up, I thanked our hosts and began to pedal again, almost immediately a man came from behind me and said, "are you Pedal Dancer?" "Yes." Tom Murphy and his wife Courtney were from Gunnison, CO, and also traveled to France last year. They have plans to go again next year to see the Tour de France. I was very interested in hearing their stories as we rode for miles up Independence Pass. They had once operated a lodge in Alaska, and appreciated the Pyrenees, and especially the French hospitality. They also enjoyed traveling in the same manner as me.
|The Hooters guy (I'm sort of glad you can't see his hairy backside in this pic), cracks me up that he is wearing a Road ID|
|Characters & kids on the mountain top!|
With some live bluegrass music at the top, the mood and setting were fantastic
Although this mountain top KOM experience was much more sober and all the fans were speaking English, I'd say Colorado pulled off a fantastic showing for Stage 2 today. The fans lined the pass, and were so numerous at the top, the cars and riders could barely squeeze through.
|Michael Gibson and Sherman Towsley|
|Adam and Carlos Casali|
|Jay from Stage 1|
|Mike from Cottonwood Pass|
|Riding up Independence Pass on Stage 2 USAPCC|
|This family was from Truckee, California|
|the riders and cars flew by in the narrow passage|
Being on Independence pass today, in Colorado, with the crazy fans and cheerful friends and wild weather was an amazing experience. I was so happy to be there. I hope you all come out next year, especially since I hear the TV coverage did not do it justice at all. It was epic.
Ride of the Day:
Independence Pass (east side) 40 miles round trip