08 February 2018

Back in the Saddle Again

The 2018 Ride the Rockies route was announced Saturday, and this was the first time in about 24 years I didn't check out the route immediately. We have known since my niece became engaged on New Year's Eve and asked me the following week to shoot her wedding our chances of participating in Ride the Rockies were extremely slim.

This year's route is okay... I finally checked it out on Sunday. It's a six-day Breckenridge-to-Breckenridge loop through Steamboat Springs, Grand Lake and Winter Park.

We prefer the seven-day routes, but Rabbit Ears Pass outside of Steamboat Springs has been on our list for as long as we've known each other. It will have to wait until another year, though. It's kind of funny to think the last two times Steamboat Springs was a host town, we didn't get drawn. This year, there is no lottery. We probably could have gotten in!

Ride the Rockies will always have a special place in my heart, but Lizard's favorite ride is the Triple Bypass (or the Double Triple Bypass when they have it), and this year is the 30th anniversary. We've done the 30th anniversary rides of all of our favorite rides, so Lizard is registered for the Triple!

Not riding in a big event this year does NOT mean I'm retiring from cycling. My goal this year, after spending most of last year off the bike so my neck and elbow could heal, is to become a cyclist again. It's been slow going because I still have elbow pain about 16 miles into any ride longer than that, and I don't know if I'll ever be able to pedal 70 miles in a day again, but I'm grateful for every single ride I get to take. Every ride now is a bonus because for the third time in my life, I didn't know if I would be able to ride again.

Last year, I got up to 20 miles twice before winter and not enough daylight and fourth quarter at work put a halt to any riding. In January when I got to take my first ride of the year, I wondered... or perhaps worried, I might have to start over again and work my way back up to 20 miles. However, my first ride, up and down Waterton Canyon a couple of times, was nearly 20 miles! The next ride was 22!

Last Saturday, I pedaled for 26 miles, which is the most I've done since I've been back on my bike, and I'm elated!

Not only did I exceed my goal of 25 miles, but I climbed to the end of the road in Waterton, which I haven't done in quite a while. After going up and down Waterton, we circled around portions of Chatfield Reservoir not closed by construction. Lizard took me up a dirt track I'd never attempted before, and it had a steep little section that was about twice as difficult as Waterton, and I did that climb, too!

Every single goal I reach on my bike now will be reason to celebrate. I'll never get tired of trying to do a little better each ride.

I won't know for several months whether I'll ever be able to do a long tour again, but as long as I can ride, and as long as sometimes I get to ride with my favorite riding partner, you won't hear any complaints from me. Life in the saddle can be a chore, but it's not one I ever want to escape.


  1. Yay you!! and congrats!! that Waterton is gorgeous - I am so glad you are back on your bike!

  2. That is the way to be, just add a little more each time and you get stronger and can do more along the way. But most of all you can enjoy it once more.

  3. No lottery for RtR? Wow!

    I love this post, Deb. It feels like you are writing for both of us. So happy to hear that the season is starting well for you! I too am wondering whether I'll have to start from scratch this year (the virus I had last month just knocked all the strength out of my legs). But I'm looking forward to the season however it works out.

    Best wishes for Lizard and a successful DTB. I know how important that ride is for him.


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