It has been nearly a week since finishing the Mountain Top Cycling Club's Experience Ride. This year my brother joined me for the ride which was great and made for a much more pleasant experience (Read his in-depth report here). The MTCC is a friendly little bike ride that takes place in and around the mountains of Florissant. The 106 mile ride includes approximately 10,000 feet of elevation gain. In fact, nearly all of the ride involves either climbing up a hill or flying down the other side. According to Strava, there are three category 3 climbs, along with nine category 4 climbs. In between there are numerous other little bumps to enjoy as well. The challenge with this constant climbing and descending is that it makes it really difficult to settle into any kind of rhythm. The legs get used to a certain amount of climbing, and while a nice downhill is great for recovery, it is usually very brief, and starting up the next hill can be incredibly difficult as the fatigue starts to develop in the legs.
|A few hills make for a challenging ride|
|Just like my bike, but with more "stuff!"|
The highlight of the day (other than finishing of course), is a stop at Paradox Brewery in Woodland Park on the return trip home. This year I picked up three bottles to bring home. One particularly interesting acquisition was the "Cerveza Provisional." This was a farmhouse style ale aged in anejo tequila barrels with lime and other natural flavors added. The result was a very unique tasting beer. The lime was natural (think the opposite of a limearita or a BL lime) and didn't' make it overly tangy, but it had the nice zap one would expect of a sour beer but with an extraordinary tequila flavored finish. Having lived for three years in Mexico, I can appreciate a quality tequila (by the way, good tequila is not Cuervo Gold, 1800, etc. and is meant to be sipped, not slammed down the gullet with a lime chaser). I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys trying something a little different when it comes to beer.
I don't know if I will return in 2015 for another go at this ride, given that there is an Ironman planned for the same summer. I might consider doing the 50 mile ride which is still fairly challenging. I will say that for the money, I doubt that there is a better Century Ride anywhere in Colorado. In addition to be very affordable, it is well-organized, there is plenty of support, and the MTCC members seem to be some of the nicest folks around. While I might take a pass on this one in 2015, I doubt that I've done my last MTCC ride.