Saturday’s, January 2nd, Training ride: Leaving home I made my way to Kipling Ave, via Sangre De Cristo and Centennial Rd.; followed Kipling south to a right onto W. Ute Ave.; followed W Ute Ave to S. Owens St. W Ute becomes S. Owens St. as you fly down the short hill. At the bottom of the hill, left onto Deer Creek Canyon Rd, (Co Rd 124), follow to the red light at South Platte Canyon Rd., then right onto South Platte Canyon Rd. Remained on South Platte Canyon Rd, then turned left onto W. Waterton Rd, followed W. Waterton Rd to N. Rampart Range Rd, right on N. Rampart Range Rd. and followed N. Rampart Range Rd. to the gap in the Dakota Hogback. I returned the same way to starting point at South Platte Canyon Rd. and Deer Creek. I added one additional loop back to Waterton Canyon and then exhaustedly retraced my path back home. Training time was 2 hours, covered 33 miles on my single speed and the temperature was a cool 36 degrees.
From January to April there is usually an assorted group of friendly riders, sometimes 50 or more that leaves the intersection of Co. Rd 124 and South Platte Canyon Rd promptly at 10 am Saturday mornings. The riders, some from competing racing teams, some very serious and others not so serious cyclist, represent a complete range of cycling abilities. With a few notable exceptions, they trace the same route as my Saturday training route. The riders are generally very mellow, chatting and joking as they ride along the wide shoulder of South Platte Canyon Rd. As the group approaches the left turn onto W. Waterton Rd, all goes quiet, except for the clicking sounds of shifting gears. As the peleton makes the sweeping left turn onto W. Waterton Rd., they charge like a herd of stallions for the small rise on the south side of South Platte River. At that point, it’s race mode. After the right turn at N. Rampart Range Rd., the group fractures into groups of varying climbing abilities as they attack the rolling terrain of route to the Arrowhead golf course. “Training/racing” continues after the fast turn around at Arrowhead golf course. They race past W. Waterton Rd intersection and continue to the starting point via W Titan Rd, North Roxborough Park Rd then through Chatfield State Park. The “training/racing” continues all the way back to the start of the 20 mile course.