Sunday, May 20, 2012

Jamestown - Raymond 600k/400k - A Silver Lining!

What lay in store for the stalwart "early-bird" 600k/400k riders on a boisterous weather weekend?

Michelle Grainger, Steve Le Goff, and Mark Lowe pre-rode the brevet starting Friday, and while the course checked out fine, they enjoyed very different, but at least as tough conditions as weekend riders would.

Mark summoned good spirits to say hi to the starters after finishing his ride, replete with storm-cell wind gusts, drenching rains near Greeley, high temps that made hydrating difficult, and smoke from the Hewlett Fire in Poudre Canyon.

Event-day riders faced more showers, but with temps 25 degrees cooler.  Still, a good start, as they managed to miss pre-dawn storms through force of sheer luck.

Peter Hoff poses next to the Jamestown Mercantile info control at the first of the two canyon climbs. 

 Would Raymond, the next control, at over 7,000 ft. come in under the low cloud ceiling?

It turns out the answer was "sort of," as riders rode up S. St. Vrain Canyon into chilling 40-degree rain - that was the moderately ok part - followed by a twelve-mile descent back through the rain to Lyons.  Good thing we weren't doing the Peak-to-Peak route!

Biking out of the heaviest rain at Lyons, the next hours consisted of blustery foothills sprinkles, and clawing up to Wellington in the face of a stiff northerly wind.

Clouds, winds, dim skies, and sprinkles continued southbound through Windsor, but things brightened up later in the afternoon, providing a breezy but more cheerful end to the day.

Sunday brought an entirely different experience, with clear skies (albeit chilly temps early on), mild winds, and an altogether uplifting ride.

Fresh snow graces Longs and Meeker Peak, and kindred Front Range mountains, while temps on the plains struggle above 40 degrees.

Foon Feldman savors one of the Kersey store's gargantuan homemade burritos in the warming sunlight.

JLE is happy to be wafted by a tailwind towards Erie on the home stretch.

Foon likely speaks for all riders at being glad to finish on a good note!


P.S. Tom Knoblauch ended his ride on another sort of good note, crashing on the final descent from Horsetooth into Fort Collins.  The good note is that while his bike was totaled, he escaped without injury.  That's the important thing, and we are so glad Tom survived unscathed to ride another day.

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