Triple Bypass 2005


The start

The 2005 version of the Triple bypass started in spectacular weather, the air crisp and cool. Each year this event is put on by Team Evergreen. Dave Schmidt and I arranged to meet the other riders from our club at the McDonalds in Evergreen near to the start of the route. It was a cool 62 Deg.F when we finally departed at 6:45 a.m.

The first pass that presents itself is Squaw pass, followed quickly by Juniper pass. The asscent begins just as soon as you turn off the main road that runs through Evergreen. No warm-up what so ever. You just start going up!


Bob, Sandy, Darla, Dave, Jeff, Alan and Rusty - all ready to start.

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A view from part way up Squaw Pass - Mt Evans in background

2005:07:09 09:11:43
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The descent of Juniper pass, past Echo Lake into Idaho Springs was a little tricky this year as there were several times that I came upon people going significantly different speed than I and they were taking poor lines through the corners. Judging when one would come upon these rides proved to be a challenge. It was important not to come upon these riders in the middle of a corner because if they moved one way or the other, you could find yourself running out of pavement!

Having committed to carrying my camera over the distance I was determined to stop and take some photos on the trip up Squaw Pass. Especially since the light and scenery were in such fine form. The photo at the head of this page is a panaroma taken looking north west about 45 minutes into the climb.


Jeff, Bob, Dave and Alan at the top of Squaw Pass

2005:07:09 09:36:30
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The Grind.

After getting down to Idaho Springs there was a little detour that was new this year. Because of the fact that there was construction at the exits and on-ramps to the I70 freeway, the route did not actually go into Idaho Springs. We skirted the town, either walking or riding on a gravel road and then walking on a 100 yard stretch to get back onto the road. I heard it said that it was the sherrif in Idaho Springs that didn't want 3500+ cyclist moving through town congesting the already congested town. I have no idea if this is the truth or not. However, it was the only time on the ride that I walked my bike!


Find your bike in this!

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A view of Loveland pass

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The next 26 miles or so up to the Loveland Ski base are very decieving in that you are going up all the time, but the eye gets tricked into believing that it is flat! There is also has a tendency to be a tad windy on this section of the ride.

Jeff Hollansworth and I got in with a group from Boulder, CO and happily sat behind them as they chatted all the way up to the Loveland Ski base.

The scene at the Loveland Ski base is just chaos. There are so many bikes just laying all around you wonder if you put your bike down if you will ever see it again! I'm not kidding. There are bikes everywhere! Look for yourself!

We were happy to see Dave's wife Peggy here at the Ski base. The encouragement and moral support were very much appreciated. Thanks for braving all those cyclists Peggy!

Over the Continental Divide

The 4 miles from the Ski base to the top of Loveland Pass took me an hour to cover the last time I rode this event two years ago. I was determined to better that time this year. I managed the distance in just 36 minutes this time. And I stopped once to put my arm warmers back on. The clouds had moved in by this time and it was threatening to rain. Jeff, Bob, Dave and I were fortunate to get through without getting rained on but I don't think Darla and Sandy were as lucky.

After the fast descent into Keystone, you hit Dillon. The road goes up and over Swan Mountain. If you can still hold your head up at this point the scenery is spectacular. See the "Photos from Friday 7/8" link to see what I mean.


Alan and Dave at the top of Loveland Pass

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View from top of Loveland looking west

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The next rest stop is at the Summit County Highschool and it is a welcome site. This is the point at which you get on the bike path. Simply put, the bike path is great. You get to ride in the trees, next to the river (more about that later) on a good surface and out of the traffic! What is there not to like about this position?

At this point, getting to the end starts to seem achievable. The ride along the bike trail only has two sharp little inclines which are a lot more managable if you know they are coming! Shortly after leaving Copper Mtn. you get to the crest of Vail Pass. From here on in it is mostly down, and some flat sections to the end of the course. I got hooked up with some more Colorado lads and went like a freight train on a downhill run through Vail and onto Avon.


Jeff, Dave, Alan and Bob at finish of the triple bypass

2005:07:09 18:22:42
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A special mention must be made of Darla Hollansworth. She completed the triple having only ridden on a single bike for a month! Normally she rides with Jeff on the tandem, so riding the single after 12 years was a huge adjustment. She also gets the "TOUGH guy" award as she had to deal with rain showers and wet roads for part of her trip. CONGRATULATIONS Darla - You did it!

Well that is my story! I have ridden this event twice and both times the ride was very challenging. This event is the equivalent of 1 mountain stage in the Tour de France. I can't imagine getting up and doing it again the next day! It puts a new perspective on what the Tour riders go through!