The canyons above Boulder Colorado were the venue for another spectacular Continental ride, taking the group up to the majestic vista of Brainard Lake above 10,000'. Starting in Boulder at University Bicycles a large group of locals riders including a full squad from VeloNews were joined by a very lean, fit Andy Hampsten. Andy was wearing the pink Passo di Gavia jersey Rapha produced in 2008 celebrating his legendary Giro ride, smartly paired with Seven Eleven shorts, black socks and black shoes.
For those of you keeping track of such things Andy effectively ends a couple of stylistic debates. First, black socks and black shoes works. The recent retro revival of white socks with black shoes, looks as bad on the bike as it does on the street; awkward and slow! Second, the Maglia Rosa was wearing Lake mtn bike shoes. High performance and practical. On this count I've got nothing against road shoes, but opting to wear mtn shoes on your road bike is perfectly acceptable; Andy says so! Note to Specialized, send the Continental guys some white shoes for those nice white Rapha socks.
On the ascent, Andy rode mid pack, chatting with Doug from University Bicycles, on the way down he was often at the front of a select group bombing the descent. To catch them Dave Christenson and I had to hit 60mph in the car (they were hovering around 50mph)
In the last third of the ride the cue sheet got more difficult. Dave and I missed several poorly signed roads and wasted a lot of time waiting for a peloton that never arrived. Just when we were about to detonate with frustration a mistake turned into a special opportunity. After missing a left turn off Highway 36 onto "Hygiene" and waiting in vain for the group to arrive we were rewarded when a solitary Hampsten crested the hill we were shooting. Remarkably there were no cars in the background, as the first shot documents. Andy needed to get back to town and was cutting off the last five-mile excursion onto dirt.
After that happy accident, we returned to our misdirected ways, eventually waiting at the wrong city limit sign for a final sprint that never came. Win some lose some. Our excursions aside, this was a great route. Thanks Rob.