Well, that was awesome. Alex, Josh, and I were all suffering from a hangover from Friday night, but we kitted up and were out riding at 0730 Saturday morning. The plan was to possibly catch part of the Colorado Classic stage race on Lookout Mountain but we didn't know for sure when they would summit. Josh took us down the US36 bike path to the South Platte path all the way into downtown Denver and the REI Flagship store. I always knew there was a path network that could get you downtown, but had never explored it so this was pretty cool. Then we headed west up 26th and 32nd Ave (my old cycling route to Lookout from Denver years ago) all the way out to Apple Valley / Coors brewery in Golden and stopped for a proper coffee at Cafe 13 .
After a refreshing cortado and pastry at Cafe 13 in Golden (and I highly recommend the place) we were joined by hundreds of other MAMIL's riding up to the base of Lookout Mountain. That was pretty cool in itself as it almost felt like a gran fondo or massive group ride up the hill from downtown Golden. Along the way we overheard a CSP trooper telling another spectator that the race didn't start in downtown Denver until 1030 and it was about that time when we were at the base of Lookout near the Mines dorms, so it was perfect timing. We figured they would be climbing up Lookout around 1100-1130. As usual Josh took off like a jackrabbit and both Alex and I leisurely spun up lower Lookout. The weather was a bit muggy, but it was cloudy and felt like it would eventually rain, so the conditions were actually pretty good for a nice climb.
Alex and I stopped when we hit Phil Gaimon's "Cookie Corner" at the top of the Windy Ridge switchbacks about 1.5 miles from the summit/Buffalo Bill's grave. The music was booming and the crowd excitement was through the roof. It was an all out party up there between Cookie Corner and Disco Corner. Phil Gaimon is an ex-pro from Drapac-Cannondale who has a YouTube channel "Worst Retirement Ever" where he attempts to take back Strava KOM's from former dopers. I love his odd sense of humor and have been following him for a while, so getting a selfie with Phil was pretty amazing.
I do regret not bringing the GoPro. I took iPhone 7 video of the race convoy, but it was so hard to cheer, watch, and ensure the camera was stable. Ugh. The gimbal tripod and GoPro would have been really nice, but I guess I'll have to remember that next time.
Overall it turned out to be a perfect ride and race viewing. It did start to rain just as the peloton screamed by, but it was never that out of hand and we safely descended back to Golden with hundreds of other fans. We booked 57 miles and around 3,000 feet of climbing, so it turned out to be a great ride aside from the race viewing. Josh set a Strava PR for the Lookout gate to Buffalo Bill grave. Great day overall!
Phil Gaimon's "Cookie Corner"... check out his YouTube channel, "Phil Gaimon's Worst Retirement Ever". Second pro (or former pro in this case) I've taken a photo with in three weeks. More people on stage than at a ska concert.
Founders of the Westcliff Cycling Club... rides leave from Quay Loop on Saturdays at 0730 sharp. The Rules are strictly enforced (except of course the one about facial hair).
Here's when the lead group and peloton came though. The leaders clearly stayed to the left side of the road, but the chase group came within inches of us on the right hand side of the road. Wow. Toms Skujins from Trek-Segafredo was 5th in the lead group (in red jersey #36). Toms won the KOM jersey for the few stages of the 2018 Tour de France and was a regular guest on the CyclingTips podcast. He genuinely seems like a really nice guy. Toms is actually from Latvia, but you could never tell... sounds like he grew up in suburban Los Angeles.
Taylor Phinney is struggling at the end of this clip... hope he caught up. Taylor is another great dude.
The last 2 guys and the "Broom Wagon".... lol