On August 5 I was in Colorado to get the kids for school starting in Utah, and Dallin wanted to go on one more big ride, and he chose Montezuma. It’s above Keystone and behind Grays Peak, a Colorado Fourteener. I’ve run downhill from there to Keystone, and it wasn’t too bad, and I’ve run on the Peru Gulch Road which takes off to the Southeast about a mile from Montezuma.
It’s a fairly steady stairstep climb, with uphills broken up by relatively flat areas, with a couple long steep grades to contend with. He’s ridden up Swan Mountain Road to the top of the Rec Path, but not on the road section to the West of the summit. He’s only ridden on fairly sheltered roads so far, and this would be his big debut on an open road with traffic moving pretty quick on turns.
Dallin is 11, and after watching the Tour de France the last two years, and standing on the sidelines cheering for a couple of friends for the Triple Bypass as it passed Keystone Lake, he has become a serious avid cyclist, doing about 10 miles a day in riding, with our one 24 mile trip halfway around Lake Dillon to Frisco and back.
Everyone we met along the way was totally stoked that he was doing this. For most of it, he was pretty excited and motivated. I rode along just ahead of him, to give him a time goal, or just behind him, to shelter him from cars and offer pacing, spacing, and gear advice.
We stopped about every two miles to rest and eat, at a gravel pulloff on a relatively flat section of the road. He seems to love the Cliff Bloks. When it came to the first long steep section, he got really tired and demotivated, and I had to keep cheering him on, and working to keep him in his easiest gear and just crank on up. We finally came to a flat enough spot to pause just a little below the Peru Gulch turnoff. He sat on the shoulder for a while, and despite the agony, I think he was pretty stoked to have made it.
I gave him the option to bail here, but when I told him it was less than 1-1/2 miles he decided to go on. As we entered Montezuma I rode ahead to get his picture and stood near a group of women cyclists who’d passed us lower down while we were sitting on the shoulder.
One asked me “how old is he?” I said “Eleven” she said “wow, my eleven year old daughter would be crying about how much it hurt and give up. awesome!” Yeah, he did awesome all right.
We had taken 1:10 to arrive. We hung out for about five minutes to eat and drink, then took off down the hill. We kept it pretty sane and reasonable down, stopping a couple times, and made it back to the bus stop in 40 minutes. I had to show him the proper way to make left turns in traffic, and changing lanes, but I think he’ll overall be okay with a bit more practice.
We saw some pretty cool nature, as the road wanders along a creek with camping and offroading access. We saw a deer in velvet cross the road 50 yards ahead of us, as well as a slew of chipmunks and squirrels. Anyway, more than 1200′ of elevation in 7.2 miles. Pretty cool for an eleven year old.