Zeno and Mike came out to Colorado to do the Rollin’s ride and they sent in this ride report. It was a ton of fun for us to read so we are reposting it here. If you’re passing through Colorado and have some spare time to ride or say hi do give us a shout!
I remember seeing this ride pop up on Nick’s Strava in 2018. Phantom Canyon? Where is that? Out of nowhere he took off on a bike ride with some friends and came back with a huge load of beautiful images and a ride title to the effect of “So beautiful my eyes hurt”. I got that sort of bike envy that we all get when friends go off and do awesome things without us.
I was pulled out of my morning reverie by a text from Peder – “Evans today. Interested?”
After a week of Thanksgiving gluttony, some singletrack shred, soaking in hot springs and live music, my palette was satiated, but I felt guilty at my weekly mileage total of 15.5. With no group ride intel for Sunday, I figured maybe I’d do some solo adventure. I would find more singletrack and laugh while descending something that would greatly benefit from a dropper post.
So, apparently, this is how plans/ideations for road trips for amateur bike racing start these days:
<Facebook> “A good friend is running a new event for the first time that is very much in the spirit of what Rodeo is about. 100+++ miles of Oklahoma’s paved roads, flat roads, gravel roads, back roads, hills, oil fields, open pasture land, long horns and tall grass to challenge you. We’ve been invited. Roadeo trip, anyone? https://nativelandsgr.wordpress.com/about/” </Facebook>
The entire road trip logistics to race this event as a team were hashed out on one long stream of collective consciousness comment thread, which atomic mushroom clouded into over 150 comments (now 200), questions, quips, and retorts. I hadn’t road-tripped like this with friends since college, and I was in.
Rodeo went out and road tripped most of last week at the Pro Cycling Challenge and we had a blast riding our bikes, cheering the pros, handing out nuggets, and generally turning the adventure dial up to “11”.
Yesterday was the kick off of crit season and the second race with riders under the Rodeo banner. (The first was the Carter Lake road race done by Patrick Charles).
The course for the crit was almost as brutal as can be created for crit racing. A short and intense wall led into the start-finish area, followed by a mean climb in to a headwind, followed by a fast s-turn descent through some tight 90 degree corners… followed by that first brutal hill again. The effort profile for the course actually looked like perfectly spaced interval efforts. Sometimes only a few hundred watts and some coasting were required, but a few times per lap the wattage spiked to 500-800 watts for extended periods during the tough bits. The net effect was that the races all but shattered shortly after starting and often became loosely spaced TT efforts for dropped racers. There was nowhere to hide from the course, nowhere to sit in and rest, each racer just had to go go go until the bell.
The road trip is over. The Black Pearl is back in the garage. All is well. 1200 miles covered. 35mpg averaged. The Mrs. and I had a blast and are exhausted. The racing was incredible to watch. The vistas were unforgettable. The towns were wonderful to discover. Colorado is an amazing state to drive through and play in!
We were joined mid-trip by my friend Peder and his wife Holly in their ’73 BMW 2002. Our vintage caravan was a blast to be a part of and people seemed genuinely delighted to see some fairly old cars out on the road in good working order. The bike rack was a big hit. Pedro did an amazing job.
Enough words! Here are some pictures.
The wife and I are off on a road trip adventure to catch the largest professional bike race to hit US shores: The USA Pro Cycling Challenge. We’re road trippin’ in the Pearl, camping along the way, and enjoying the sights that Colorado has to offer.
I work with one of the teams in the race, Team Exergy, so I have managed to score some press credentials, which are wonderful for accessing the action and squeaking through road blocks and police barricades. The sailing in the Pearl has been smooth so far!