Thursday, May 25, 2023

Flèche Report: Team Wild Cat Ptarmigans

 Some photos from Vernon, Oksana, Tom, and Dustin!

Team Wild Cat Ptarmigans
Vernon Smith (captain)
Tom Ehlman
Dustin Harding
Oksana Kovalenko
David Weigel

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Poudre Canyon 600k Photos - 13-May-2023

Photos Courtesy of Patrick Chin-Hong


Sunday, May 7, 2023

Flèche Report: Team Quartier Lanternes Rouges

Paul Foley One of the vast highlights from this years Quartier Lantern Rouge Team Flèche ride, to me, was our many sightings of animals along the way.  We started with a rafter of Turkeys with the Tom’s in full display attempting to entice some hens.  As always there were glorious song birds and a few eagles along the way.  We also saw pelicans and herons around some of the lakes.  Early in our ride, a trio of horses danced with us along a stretch of dirt road before disappearing into the trees.  Many deer and elk were seen in various locations.  Our night ride into Hudson saw tiny field mice scatter along the road as our bike lights startled them from their usual routine.  We even road with cows grazing along the sides of the South Boulder Creek Trail, and also providing obstacles to avoid on the path itself.  Perhaps the most significant animals were the many bunnies who seemed to delight in the sight of our team mascot Egon Bernal, whom our team captain carried for the entire ride.

Pascal Ledru The highlight of Flèche numero six happened even before the ride started! John, being so considerate and remembering my fall last year in Pawnee grassland where the team almost left me for dead, gifted me with... a bicycle belt! Even more considerate, the box actually contained a can of Skrewball Peanut Butter whiskey (never had it before and highly recommended) ... which we enjoyed at mile 150.

Debbie Bush - The highlight for me in this Fleche, though my teammates may not have believed it, was riding on the beautiful dirt roads that our Capitan chose for our ride. Instead of using 25'' tires, I used my Unicorn 30'' tires. I could feel the freedom of riding without fear of  falling, even at night and have gotten by surprise riding among cows on the South Boulder Creek Trail in the early morning. And the best of all really, it is to be riding in a team where everybody cares about each other, laugh together (these guys kept me laughing all the time), go throught the challenge together, and share the passion of cycling.

Mike Turek (Captain) - Agree with my teammates;  animals, route and butter whiskey were all fantastic…all while celebrating L. John’s big 50. But, what made this flèche super special was the positive attitude the team always had no matter the adversity.  (Sandy dirt in the dark, car buzzing us, late night fatigue, horses and cows blocking us, spilled milk). As my wife has said many times, I’m fortunate to have such good folks ride with me.

Encountering JLE pre-riding the 300k

At the Louisville finish!

Team Quartier Lanternes Rouges
Mike Turek (Captain)
Debbie Bush
Paul Foley
Pascal Ledru
John Mangin

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Flèche Report: Team Dirty Francing - Rashid Khan

Hard things can be fun, but frustrating things, while hard, are almost never fun. We set out to have a good ol’ hard time on this year’s flèche by engaging in the borderline excessive climbing that everyone on the team relished, while keeping logistics to a minimum by starting somewhat near the finish.

Setting off at a fashionably late 8:10am we traded warm-up for straight-up on Olde Stage Rd headed towards Lefthand Canyon. After nabbing 700ft in the first 3 miles we would proceed to pile on another 6500ft before lunch, stopping only briefly to admire the peaks blanketed in snow, and to fill our bottles with ice cold spring water in Allenspark.

After a leisurely sit down lunch at the always fast and delicious Notch Top Cafe in Estes Park we began the tight and fast descent through Glenhaven at full speed, the road having been, surprisingly, freshly swept of grit despite the recent snow storms. We took a moment at the Glenhaven store to note that they would in fact be open for next weekend’s 300k. Maybe we’ll get there early enough for cinnamon rolls, though I wouldn’t bet a full stomach on it.

After a jaunt down a smooth dirt road we took a familiar turn past Masonville and headed up the south side of the climb to Stove Prairie, joined by herd of elk galloping through a sun kissed meadow. The elevation map hardly tells the whole story of this climb, which rolls through 2700ft with 10-15% sections every few miles. By the top we were ready the long descent; the golden hour sun turning the usual cool stone walls a warm yellow and casting long shadows through Poudre Canyon.

While tired from the climb, we were, by now, running a bit ahead of schedule. We calculated, if we hustled a bit, we could roll into Fort Collins before 8pm, in time for dinner at Tasty Harmony, a favorite of Jenn and I, and of Corinne’s son who would meet us there for a wonderful meal to guide us from day to dark. After dark we rolled slowly through the wooded bike paths of Fort Collins before popping out onto the roads east of town. 

Save for a too busy highway, a misguided attempt at gravel bike path and a skipped turn to Windsor the rest of the night was thankfully uneventful. We would make a brief stop at a closed service station to layer up, grab some late night grub from a very cheerful 24-hour Taco Johns, and swing past the Boulder home of Jenn and I’s to clean up and don street clothes before the ride to breakfast. We departed a bit later than planned, but with plenty of time to complete 25km, even if someone had a mechanical.

My tire went first and fast, a large chunk of glass embedded in the tread. Quick teamwork had us back on the road in a few minutes, still with plenty of time to spare. Jenn’s tire went next less than a mile later. Two flats in the final, time contained 25km! Again teamwork saves the day as I dealt with the old tube while Jenn prepped the new one. Finding nothing in the tire, we simply crossed our fingers it wouldn’t go flat again. Now crunched for time we picked up the pace, past the Sunday morning dog walkers, quickly through an empty downtown Louisville, and along curving neighborhood streets to the finish with 10 minutes to spare!

— Rashid

Team Dirty Francing
Rashid Khan (captain)
Jenn Moore
Corinne Warren