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CRMBT: Day 1. 3 passes. Seriously?

So, just got back from a bike tour. Actually, I did the "lite" version of the bike tour (4 of the 6 days) and boy(!) was it hard.

Just a little background. Earlier this year, my friend Sue emailed me saying that she and a couple of friends were thinking of doing the Colorado Rocky Mountain Bike Tour and would I like to join them. I emailed Steve who said, "I think this would be good and you should try to do it even if they don't come." At this point, a light should have gone off in my head saying "BEWARE!" if Steve thinks it is a good idea, it's probably pretty difficult... But, no, didn't think any more of it and signed off on doing it. Yay! Fun trip with friends, right? Hm?

Fast forward to last week. Was happy to see Sue, Jane and Joan roll into Denver on Friday. Saturday we headed to Edwards where we hooked up with Bill, got checked in and all prepared for our ride.

Sunday we were off. The title for the ride that day was "a good start". 3 mountain passes. One at 9,000-something, 10,000-something and 11,000-something. OK, I don't think I've ever biked over 9,000, but ok.
Us starting off

Me showing off my photography skills (taking picts while riding)

So, we are riding along and I see this:
4 miles to the Summit. Ok, I can do that. As we really started climbing, we started to separate, but I just kept focused mentally. Ticked off the miles one by one. Took pictures to pass time.
Got to the top and zoom! Down I went (no picture at summit). :( Stopped at rest station. Waited for everyone and off we were again. Another summit to conquer.
Starting second climb of the day

Again, as soon as the climbing started, we started to separate. Again, saw a sign. 4 miles to summit. Can do that. Focus. And here is where we ended up!

Feeling good. One more pass to go today. Fremont Pass. This one was a tad bit harder. I think mentally it felt like you were going down, but really you were climbing. For a long, long, long time.
Going up (which really seems like down, but is really up) on the way to Fremont Pass.

Then, when you feel like you are almost done, you see a long, vertical road. BUT, at the top of it, I knew was the summit-- or at least I told myself that to get up it. And it was. WHEW! Then another descent and an aid station.

This pass was 11,318 ft- and we worked for every one of them getting up there!

Now, the real descending. Down all the way to Frisco. It was beautiful. At some point, we saw people heading up the trail. I was glad to be going down.
Views on bike path between Copper and Frisco.

Got to Frisco and was happy to be done for the day. 71 miles. 3 mountain passes. Where was my recovery drink? That would be Mix1 followed by a margarita. :)