Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lots of "quality" miles on the South Park 400k!

May 28 saw the inaugural South Park 400k out of Colorado Springs.  A big thanks to Vernon Smith for putting this together and trying something new. 

Tom Knoblauch, Beth and Brent Myers, and Billy Edwards at the start (Vernon Smith photo):

PBP-aspirant Billy Edwards gives his take ...


That was tough. I am not sure if it was the course, the winds, or riding that long solo. I missed my aero bars with a passion in those windy sections.
  • Altitude was taxing on the system, harder to maintain power.
  • 27 mile stretch of damaged road was mentally and physically taxing.
  • Headwinds up Red Hill Pass and all the way to Fairplay, started to get comical.  Ok, finally got a screaming tailwind for first part of trip away from Fairplay, a welcome reprieve.
  • The hills and then shifted to headwinds south of Hartsel were never-ending.
  • That out and back was just mean, but a tailwind back to the loop actually was easier than the headwind down to the RV store.
I was pretty happy to hit that light at Divide and know it was pretty much downhill to CO Springs. 

In a typical rando moment on the much gentler Lefthand-Raymond 600k the week before:

Vernon, your route was ridiculous, but I am tougher for PBP. I am glad I got to ride down around the Springs. I hope you and Tom had fun. Next time, I will bring a tent or make sure I have someone to share the wind with.
- Billy Edwards
Now PBP Qualified

Vernon adds: "It will never be again on Memorial Day. Too busy, although I was spared from most of it.  People liked the Tarryall area but not the new construction. Highway 9 south of Hartsel all the way to Parkdale is fantastic. The climb, once turning off of Highway 9 and onto County Rodd 11 (the Gold Belt Tour) is incredible, as are the views up on top. Saw hundreds of deer in the evening. The 110 miles from Fairplay down to Parkdale and back up to Divide were low, low traffic."

I'll just add earnest congratulations to everyone on this ride!


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