Well, I'm in CO now and have had a great week so far. Took the long way out here, through south dakota and wyoming. Saw more motorcycles than I've ever seen heading out from Sturgis along the way.
Monday we rolled into the mountains and headed to Vail. Stayed there for 2 nights to do some acclimating. We rode up vail on the tandem tuesday, which I think proved to be a harder climb than either of the major climbs at leadville. Incidentally, the marriot resort in lion's head has valet bike parking. Seriously, 24/7.
The next two days we did sections of the course. That helped refresh my memory, gave Robin the chance to see the course and gave our lungs a chance to remember how little oxygen there is around here. The trail seems to be in really good shape, so if the weather will stay dry we should have a great race sat.
Today was a full day, we headed out to leadville about 9am, did a little shopping as I wanted a new camelbak and Robin needed some socks and new gloves. The bike shop in town was closed, but the sporting goods store across the street was open. Much to my surprise, they had exactly what we needed at great prices. Honestly, I think they had a much better selection of usable accerories than the bike shop...
Next we drove down to the start of the columbine mine climb, but not after getting lost trying to find the dirt roads that aren't on maps which take you there. Finally find the start, get the bike set to go, and head up. Up the 3000' elevation, 8 mile long climb. About halfway up I notice that my face is really getting soaked with sweat, moreso than usual. I reach up to adjust my helmet only to discover I forgot my helmet! It's pretty much just a dirt road, so we proceed up. We climbed all the way up the road in the middle chainring, which is what I hope we can do sat. there's a few sections in the last 2 miles that require walking, but during the race that whole part seems to turn into a line of walkers.
Get to the top and turn around to start the descent, sans helmet. Needless to say I had to take it a little easy going down the rocky sections, but we made it safe and sound.
Drive out a couple miles of dirt roads to get back on pavement and head back to town. Just about as soon as we hit pavement the car starts making a crazy loud sound. First thought is flat tire, so I pull over. But I noticed the sound stopped when I shut off the car, not when I stopped moving, maybe a thrown belt? nope. Downpipe on the exhaust broke loose from the flange, so the engine exhaust was going right into the engine compartment instead of through the muffler, truly deafening.
We pull into leadville and find a repair shop that looks pretty much just like a junk yard. I talk to the guy and he's willing to take a look. I figure it's best to do that today since he'll probably have to order VW parts from denver. Leave the car with him, go eat lunch and walk around leadville. Come back an hour and a half later expecting some bad news and the guys says "it's done". He welded up the flange, sounds great. $80 and we're on our way, I couldn't believe it.
From there we high-tailed it to breckenridge for massages. Not just massages, but the best damn massages either of us have ever had, wish we could take these guys back to MN.
finally, back to copper mtn for dinner and sleep.