03 October 2011

Recommended ride: Deckers, Colorado

8 of 16 people would recommend this ride

Maybe more would recommend this ride after a good nights sleep and 5 replenishing meals, with short-term memories of exhaustion fading into long-term memories of fun. And if they regain the ability to "get off the couch," as Sherman, one of the riders mentioned.

Yesterday afternoon Jon said, "I'd like to thank everyone for doing my favorite ride with me." Jon's idea of a favorite ride was 8400ft of elevation gain, in 87 miles, with 4200 calories burned. The surprising thing is his friends went right along with him. They started happy, they ended happy. Everyone had a great time yesterday riding this recommended bike ride in the foothills of Colorado.

Bike Route: Southwest Denver area - start near Chatfield Reservoir in Littleton, Colorado, to Sedalia, to Deckers, CO Rd 126 to Buffalo Creek, Foxton Road, to High Grade Rd, and back to Deer Creek Canyon and Wadsworth.

Recommended Colorado bike ride
Littleton, Sedalia, Deckers, Buffalo Creek, High Grade Loop

The cast of characters: Jon, Kathy, Sherman, Dustin, Sue, Michael, Sharon, Janet, Bobby, Clay, Susan, Gwen, Frank, Linn, Karen, Tom.

Requirements: bike, sack lunch, rain jacket, wit.

Why: because it's Jon's favorite ride. And he brought a sag vehicle!

Images from the day riding a bicycle in Colorado with a great group of friends (this one is for my friends!):

We gathered on a warm Sunday morning, for Jon's favorite ride, at the corner of Wadsworth and Deer Creek Canyon in SW Littleton, CO, a common area to begin rides for Denver cyclists.

We were told to bring a lunch, so Bobby rolled up with his lunchbox.

Jon said a prayer, or something... , we're not sure what he was up to ... but he claimed it was something different...

All smiles at the start
Sue, Dustin, Clay
Gwen and Susan were ready
Sue and Kathy
We loaded up the Peak to Peak team car (truck) and off we rode 
Peak to Peak
We rode south for miles through Chatfield Reservoir, along the side road of Santa Fe Drive, and up a nice rolling climb, during which we were entertained by Sherman singing in full bravado to the music in his earphones. We arrived at the Sprucewood Inn in Sedalia, CO, on S Co Hwy 67. Jon rolled into town in his typical serious fashion
Jon rolling
Just past this point, Michael caught sight of the pavement's sudden change to dirt gravel and pulled a fast 180°.
Michael perplexed
He needed to read the sign which confirmed his suspicion, "this is the really steep gravel dirt section right?" "Yup" we replied as three of us piled into the sag support truck - me included!
Michael checking if there was space left in the truck for him
But Michael is tough so off he rode
Sure enough, the road got really steep (down) after this point
Happily regrouping at the bottom of Pine Creek Rd after the dirt section
Jon and the group (and some other riders who rolled up)
A beautiful stretch along the South Platte River followed
Sue and Kathy on S Foxton Rd
Linn, Sue, Jon, Kathy all smiles riding along the river
Kathy and Jon
We swaggered into the town of Deckers for lunch.
Sharon and Michael swaggering
I'm not sure whether Sherman got very tan or very dirty on that dirt road descent
Bobby, Sherman, Clay relaxing at lunch
But everyone was very happy to be having lunch outside the general store.
Jon and Dustin
After lunch there was a huge enormous giant painful climb up Co Rd 126/Decker Rd which Jon told everyone was gradual and not steep, apparently he has no long-term memory for steep climbs. Thus no pictures because I was riding, until I stopped, 'cuz ... it was steep. The rain came briefly, but the group kept riding up Buffalo Creek
The rain stopped, the sun returned and the jackets came off (either that, or Kathy got some gu gel on her glove)
the smiles returned
Dustin, Michael, Bobby
The road got really steep again, and the effort continued
But Jon was still smiling (did I mention it is his favorite ride)
the fun continued on the beautiful Colorado roads
Susan and Tom
Bikes were loaded on and off the support truck all day, as about 5-6 of us got in and out. Those of us who sagged for segments were forced to listen to the Madonna station stuck on the radio. The rest of the riders were far more lucky and RODE IT ALL! (Except for Bobby, who some claimed pulled a Mark Cavendish by holding onto the truck).

Regrouping again before the last climb up SW Platte River Rd to Pleasant Park Road with it's fast fun descent down High Grade Rd / Deer Creek Rd to complete the loop ride.

It was a feel good day with a great group of very strong capable fun riders. Thanks!

Relaxing after the return to Deer Creek, that's me in my Spanish colored helmet (although I'm American Irish - go figure).

Shameless plugs for some of yesterday's awesome riders: Jon Heidemann and Kathy Zawadski operate the Peak to Peak Training Systems in Lakewood, Colorado, and will be opening up a new Fast Lab location later this month in the Centennial (Tech Center) area. They offer performance testing, winter compu-trainer classes, specific fitness and strength classes, plus excellent cycling coaching services. Michael Gibson owns Westside Cycling (Specialized, Giant dealer) in Lakewood, Colorado. Bobby Verenna owns Campus Cycles (Trek, Giant, Orbea dealer) in Denver, Colorado. Please visit them. Oh and I write a professional cycling guide called PedalDancer.com and I discovered Dustin is a faithful reader - thanks Dustin!

Bobby is headed to cycle in France in a couple weeks with his wife, Clay is headed to Bordeaux soon, and Tom will be biking across Tanzania (or some place). Hopefully next Fall, we can do it all again on these beautiful roads right here in Colorado.