|2001 Ride the Rockies as Experienced by 10 from Madison|
Ten of us from Madison decided to do Ride the Rockies this year. For a few of us this will be our seventh tour. For three riders it will be their first. The first time riders are David (14), Pat (40's), and Wendy (40's). The rest of our group is Adam (16), Barb (60's), Dan (40's), Dennis (40's), Evan (40's), Jack (60's), and me (40's). For lack of any real team name, I'll refer to this group as 10 from Madison (during the ride we were named, Team Butts & Nuts). We actually hail from Black Earth, Middleton, Madison, Monona, and Verona.
Some have claimed that Ride the Rockies is simply the best organized bicycle tour in the U.S. It is certainly well organized and extremely well run. The tour director, Paul Balaguer, works hard to ensure a successful tour year after year. The year before each ride he rides the route so that he knows what cyclists are likely to encounter. This year, for example, the third day looked like the easiest on paper but Paul claimed that it would probably be the hardest. For me, it was the hardest day by far. The true success of Ride the Rockies can be easily attributed to the large number of dedicated volunteers that come out to support the ride. They cut oranges, lug baggage, direct traffic, and keep us all in line (both figuratively and literally). The State Troopers and Park Rangers also work hard to ensure a safe ride for all. Food vendors follow the ride for the week and sell us the fuel we need to pedal over mountain passes. Add to this the beauty of the Colorado Rockies and you'll begin to understand what a wonderful experience this is. For details on what Ride the Rockies is, see their web page.
Just as important and enjoyable as the tour, is training for Ride the Rockies in Wisconsin. This year I've included a few things from our training season. -joe