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What can I expect on the Bypass?
After a long hiatus from 'real' riding, I got got back into the game, and have become a riding fool again. 2-3 sessions a week road/mtn, long rides on the weekend, feeling sore and liking it, people asking me bike questions; I am back into my Passion.

After doing the Copper Triangle the past 2 years and enjoying it, throwing in Elephant Rock, and Pikes Peak last year, I upped my game and signed up for the Bypass this year, with no Triangle.

I've pulled a bunch of maps, and profiles, but from you I ask what the insiders thoughts are. It's going to be a tough ride, what's it going to take to survive it?
:confused:
As always, thank you!
 

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Saturday or Sunday? Saturday is "easier" IMHO as the climbs are not as steep going East to West.
Ride a LOT and expect to be sore as you will be on your bike a long time. Organized, good food, usually rains 2-3 times too....
 

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I agree with arkitect. Sun is the worse of the 2 days.

Using last year's weather as some input I would expect nice sunny conditions to start. Pace yourself going up Squaw. Don't get caught up in the emotion of the ride. It's not a race but you will see some treating Squaw like it is. Relax and enjoy your ride up. You have a long way to go. Once you get through Georgetown and up the hill past the Georgtown Loop the trail goes through the woods. I remember the 1st time I rode that path the climbing caught me off guard. Depending on how hard you ride and when you get to Loveland the thunderstorms will be rolling in, the temps will drop considerably, lots of rain, lightning for sure, and a good dousing of hail. Odds are you could be in and out of rain/thunderstorms for the remainder of the ride. The ride from Keystone to the high school in Breck is not bad at all. There are a few places on the main road around Keystone to duck into if the weather is a serious problem for you. Once you make the left off the main road your next best place for cover is the high school. The good news leaving the high school is the ride to Copper is uneventful followed by climbing up Vail Pass on the easy side. You are home free once in Vail valley.

Is it a tough ride? I think so but for some probably not. Strictly my opinion but nothing on that route is as difficult as climbing Pikes Peak. The problem is the distance with multiple climbs in bad weather. Kinda beats you down, especially if you get wet and cold.

It's the standard drill for riding in CO. Bring the appropriate clothing. Complete rain gear for sure. Stay hydrated. Stop at the aid stations for a few minutes and get a drink. Eat some food.

Go practice the route in sections so you become familar with it. Park at the RTD lot in Evergreen and ride up Sqaw and back or have somone meet you in Idaho Springs. You can park at the school in Idaho Springs and ride the route to the top of Loveland and back. Go park at Copper and ride the trail up Vail Pass to the other side of Vail and have someone meet you near where the finish line is or ride back.

For the event you could plan to have someone go with you as support. Not to sag but you can come up with predetermined meeting spots to see how you are doing. Plenty of places to park right before you head up Loveland. There are places in Keystone. There is a coffee shop as you get into Copper. There is the rest area on Vail Pass. There is another good rest spot on the west side of Vail. Not saying you need or should do this. I'm just suggesting this as a peace of mind option. Keep in mind the event has sag people that will pick you up.

Just keep training and go expecting any kind of weather. Enjoy the ride!

Are you in CS?
 

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BobtheBuilder
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Glad you made this thread. I was thinking on my ride today of asking basically the same exact questions you asked. I am riding Sunday and coming from Phoenix.

I have a few rides planned in Flagstaff(for elevation) and possibly Mt. Lemon in Tucson(for overall length of climbing).

I will say now that it is about 2 months out I don't feel any where near ready.
 

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downhill quickly
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I agree with arkitect. Sun is the worse of the 2 days.

Using last year's weather as some input I would expect nice sunny conditions to start. Pace yourself going up Squaw. Don't get caught up in the emotion of the ride. It's not a race but you will see some treating Squaw like it is. Relax and enjoy your ride up. You have a long way to go. Once you get through Georgetown and up the hill past the Georgtown Loop the trail goes through the woods. I remember the 1st time I rode that path the climbing caught me off guard. Depending on how hard you ride and when you get to Loveland the thunderstorms will be rolling in, the temps will drop considerably, lots of rain, lightning for sure, and a good dousing of hail. Odds are you could be in and out of rain/thunderstorms for the remainder of the ride. The ride from Keystone to the high school in Breck is not bad at all. There are a few places on the main road around Keystone to duck into if the weather is a serious problem for you. Once you make the left off the main road your next best place for cover is the high school. The good news leaving the high school is the ride to Copper is uneventful followed by climbing up Vail Pass on the easy side. You are home free once in Vail valley.

Is it a tough ride? I think so but for some probably not. Strictly my opinion but nothing on that route is as difficult as climbing Pikes Peak. The problem is the distance with multiple climbs in bad weather. Kinda beats you down, especially if you get wet and cold.

It's the standard drill for riding in CO. Bring the appropriate clothing. Complete rain gear for sure. Stay hydrated. Stop at the aid stations for a few minutes and get a drink. Eat some food.

Go practice the route in sections so you become familar with it. Park at the RTD lot in Evergreen and ride up Sqaw and back or have somone meet you in Idaho Springs. You can park at the school in Idaho Springs and ride the route to the top of Loveland and back. Go park at Copper and ride the trail up Vail Pass to the other side of Vail and have someone meet you near where the finish line is or ride back.

For the event you could plan to have someone go with you as support. Not to sag but you can come up with predetermined meeting spots to see how you are doing. Plenty of places to park right before you head up Loveland. There are places in Keystone. There is a coffee shop as you get into Copper. There is the rest area on Vail Pass. There is another good rest spot on the west side of Vail. Not saying you need or should do this. I'm just suggesting this as a peace of mind option. Keep in mind the event has sag people that will pick you up.

Just keep training and go expecting any kind of weather. Enjoy the ride!

Are you in CS?
^that is excellent commentary for this ride.

Reminds of 4 key factors: Familiarity of course, Pace (accounting for the cumulative mileage at altitude and weather variation), bike touch points well dialed in and comfortable (no last minute changes), diet (no last minute surprises).

I particularly liked Rokh On's comment in the last paragraph "I'm suggesting this as a peace of mind option". My resonance with this specifically is whereas the less I mentally stressed (especially if weather conditions changed quickly at pass locations) due to the fact I had confidence in all the other variables I had control over due to a pre-plan; the better energy I had saved to call upon if and when that chill, wind, or wet came calling. I've generally found that the majority of folks on this particular ride are physically fit to complete this fun and challenging event...the devil for some comes with the mental performance when the going gets a bit tough.

Enjoy this fun event!
 

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I agree with arkitect. Sun is the worse of the 2 days.
Just for discussion...

Is this your experience? I mean, did you ride both ways? I've done Sat a number of times and last year I got to talking to a friend and we figured going east would be easier because the climbs (although steep) are so much shorter.
 

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My experience is the climbs are longer going west to east or for this event, Sun. Let's just use one climb that is popular and gets a lot of talk, Vail Pass as an example. Done it on both road and mtb. If you start from the east, Copper, what is the climb? Like 5 miles maybe 6 tops? It's about a 4% grade with only approx. 900' of climbing. Going west ot east or Sun., it's about an 11-14 mile climb from the Vail side depending on your starting point. The grade is like 6%, steeper in a few short sections, and the elevation gain is pushing 1,800'.

There is a section of the ride, west to east, that is a favorite ride of mine. I love riding from Loveland to Idaho Springs. I can be a very fast ride enjoyable ride. You can get back to Idaho Springs lickety split. But this is where it stops for me. My option for getting back to the RTD lot in Evergreen or Bergen Park is not back over Squaw. It is via Floyd Hill and Soda Creek.

That being said, know my preference on a 120 mile ride, after riding say 90 miles, would be NOT be finishing the ride with that climb up 103 from Idaho Springs to Squaw.
 

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Davez, I thought maybe you might be interested in this. I just found out about it. Apparently this Sun., the 19th, team evergreen is having a training ride from Bergen Park to Echo Lake. The info should be posted on their website under rides.
 

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I've done both directions and the Sunday ride is harder IMHO. For me going up the long side of Vail pass sucks, not to mention the two super steep sections that never seem to leave the legs. The steep side of Loveland was brutal for me only to finish it off with the long grind up Squaw pass, getting rain and small hail up Squaw pass didn't help either.

The saturday ride is no peach either but once you top of Loveland it's a lot of descending with the shorter climb up Vail pass and a long downhill ride into Avon.
 
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