Wednesday, April 28, 2010

KC Pre-Rides the Stove Prairie 200k!

Kenneth "KC" Heck did the pre-event checkout of our Stove Prairie 200k ... thanks, KC!

With an 8 AM start in late April, you could feel all of the 38 degrees. Heading out and on to the frontage road, I realized that another layer would hopefully stop me from chattering my teeth together. At mile 7.4 I was at the first of two minor navigational challenges. There are no road signs at the junction of Hwy 56(W). If you look to I-25 on your left, you could see the sign for the I-25 traffic. So, heading West on Hwy 56, I came to the last navigation challenge, as I entered Berthoud. Due to some road construction, it is not necessary to make a left on to Old US-287. Just continue straight on Hwy 56, but watch for large potholes, a rough road, and a temporary stop sign.

After heading out of Masonville, the first sustained climb of many more, I finally started to warm up. At the top of the climb, at approximately 37 miles or so, is a hiking trail-head. Restrooms and water could be found by using the water pump. Onward to the infamous Level 5 road (definition - really freaking steep). To my pleasure most of the climb has been re-paved, making it much smoother than last year. I wish I could say the same heading up Hwy 14 in Poudre Canyon. The road is getting rougher each year, but the wonderful view of the swollen river more than made up for that fact.

After leaving Poudre Canyon, the real climb awaited. Fresh snow still on the side of the road, did little to cool me as the climb really makes you work up a sweat.

After the long descent of Stove Prairie ...

... checkpoint #4 at Sandy's was a welcome sight. I recommend the freshly made $1.85 hamburger, it really hit the spot. Back on to the bike and a strong wind out of the south got medieval on me while traveling up Rd. 29. Lucky by that time, the burger started to fully kick in. After carefully navigating through the Berthoud construction area, the last long climb up Rd 1, also called County Line Road, lay in front of me. At the top, a rewarding view of the whole Front Range, lay before me. I was able to see all the way down to Colorado Springs and view Pikes Peak. After a quick ride through Mead the ride came to a finish. Nine hours and forty five minutes of Colorado riding bliss.


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