Thanks to the Cedaredge Boy Scouts’ fundraising project we were introduced to a wonderful, new-to-us, area for road cycling. The 3rd annual Apple Blossom Ride located in Cedaredge, Colorado provides the perfect combination of steep hills, stunning vistas, lush farmland, prolific orchards, bird-filled wetlands, and very little traffic.
There were three ride options easily distinguished by their appropriate names: The 12 mile Applesauce, the 25 mile Apple Core, and the appropriately named, 50 mile Hard Cider.
Interestingly enough, most of the riders participated the Hard Cider. My guess is they were using it as a training ride for Ride the Rockies or Bicycle Tour of Colorado, or they wanted to take advantage of the $10 Cedaredge Bucks that many of us used at DB’s Brewery for post-ride rehydration and fellowship
With well-marked routes, good aid stations, a nice spread of food at the end, lovely t-shirts, and the afore-motioned Cedaredge Bucks, the organizers went out of their way to make the ride friendly, fun and safe.
In preparation for our upcoming 447 mile, one-week Ride the Rockies, we’ve been seeking local opportunities to chalk up training miles. Recently, we had a lot of fun participating in the Rose Hill Rally, a local 62 mile benefit ride. The ride itself was nice but what really made the day fun was the wind… or, to be more exact, the wind and the group we rode with.
I’ve written about wind before and you know I’m as big a fan of a strong tail wind as the next cyclist. But, what I’m calling “fun” here is an experienced group and a strong head wind.
The leaders of our group,
, is planning a fall cycling trip to Spain. These leaders are very experienced at drafting, probably even had some racing experience in their background. Their experience, coupled with some commanding leadership skills, forced Eric and me to get on the “train” so to speak, and do our fair share as part of the group. Our fair share included leading the train, falling back when another cyclist took the lead, maintaining a pace in the train, and then working ourselves again to the front to share the burden of the wind.
Although I’m not a big fan of group cycling and drafting because I have to concentrate and can’t enjoy the scenery, the speed of this recent ride along familiar terrain was thrilling . One of my favorite parts of the drafting experience was when our “train” caught the draft of a tandem group. We felt like we were flying along the road until a downhill where the tandems took off and we were not able to catch them again.