Twelve hours before I was riding bikes up a mountain in Denver with 50 new friends, I was laying in bed texting a friend about whether or not he thought I could actually do it.
Sometimes I need someone who knows me on a bike to laugh in my face and text me back with OF COURSE YOU CAN in all caps. Sometimes I need kick in the ass.
On August 18 and 19, the Colorado Classic rolled through Denver on the final two days, and Rapha Boulder organized an awesome group ride to head to the top of Lookout Mountain for Stage 3 viewing.
“Racers make their way to Denver’s RiNo Art District, Aug. 18, for a stage that starts and finishes in Velorama. The men launch at 10:30 a.m. for the 100-mile (161.9k) Queen’s Stage that includes 8,133 feet of climbing. The route takes racers west past Coors Field on 29th and 32nd avenues to Golden, over Lookout Mountain for a KOM, through iconic Red Rocks Park and on to Evergreen, where they hit the highpoint KOM at Cragmont Drive, and a final KOM through Indian Hills before making their way over Dinosaur Ridge for a furious sprint from Wheat Ridge High School to the finish at Velorama.”
<<some photos from Rapha Boulder FB page>>
During the four-day stage race, Rapha hosted a pop up shop in Zeppelin Station, so on Saturday we met at 9 a.m. to roll out to the top of Lookout. We had a pretty huge group—maybe around 60? It was awesome, and once we got through Denver, into Golden and to the base of the mountain, the traffic thinned out and the views were incredible on the way up.
The road was closed in preparation for the race to come through, which was awesome. We had the whole thing to ourselves! Bikers, hikers, fans, tents, costumes, stuffed unicorns, bike teams, and PHIL GAIMON AND THE #COOKIECORNER were out and excited to watch the race fly by.
^^^Drew stole the banana out of my back pocket. BANANA SNATCHER! haha
After a long and beautiful climb, we regrouped at the top (about 20 miles from the start), had some snacks and drinks, then headed back down the road a bit to watch the guys go by.
A bit later, it started to rain just in time for the front of the pack to reach the top. And it was SO EXCITING! The police whizzed by, then some team cars and then the riders!
^^^All the pain faces!
The guys were split up into several groups, so it was fun to cheer for each wave of riders as they flew up the mountain faster than I could probably go down it.
After the last chase car zoomed by, we got the heck off that mountain because it started to POUR aaaaand I didn’t bring a jacket like a real noob. Our group broke up and I rode back with a group of two and then five as we picked up more shivering stragglers along the way.
I dried off back at Zeppelin Station, loaded my car with all my dirty gear, and headed straight to the Whole Foods hot bar in my bibshorts and all. It’s Boulder. It’s fine.
This was my first time spectating a pro race and it makes me excited to head out to more in the future! And, of course, none of this would’ve been possible without the amazing community at Rapha and the ALL CAPS encouragement from friends. I love this place and these people. I am so lucky 🙂
Push on, PUSH ANIMALS >>>