With a head start to Indian Springs provided by Aaron, I climbed over Loveland Pass today. I was able to leave the camping equipment at Aaron’s, too, so I was half-loaded, with only rear panniers. Was probably carrying 25-30 lbs vs. the 50+ when fully loaded.

The ride to the top of the pass was 29 miles, 4656 ft up, 254 ft down. More than a little unbalanced. Most of the day was climbing and I was happy that I was able to make it without any altitude problems. I took a lot of breaks, esp. when my heart rate was soaring, but breathing was OK. I’m guessing my body said, “Oh, you did this to me when you climbed Grey’s Peak a couple of years ago. I gotcha!”

From the Loveland basin resort to the top of the pass is about 5 miles. It took me two hours to get to the top from there. You can do the math on how slow I was going. And in the total time of 7:42, 2:17 of that was not moving. Over the 48 miles from Indian Springs to Dillon, I averaged 8.8 mph, with a max of 39.8.

OK, enough of the stats. It was a hard day, but I was getting kudos from the other cyclists at the top who did it without a load. I scrambled up another trail to officially get to 12,000 ft (Loveland Pass road is 11,990 ft). The trails and roads were surprisingly clean — not nearly the amount of roadside debris as on other highways. Also, the tires held up (my new tires came after we left today), and hopefully will for the next two days as I tour the Vail Pass, Copper Mountain, Frisco, and maybe Breckinridge.

Also, you can now click on pictures in most of the posts and they will zoom in and let you scroll between the pictures. There are two galleries below: scenery from the climb, and a second with pics of the flora on the Bakerville-Loveland trail.