BVBF - The 5th Option RideRichard Oliver
This entailed "kissing off" the first and final 30 mile routes, and just driving our Subaru to BVBF rest stop # 2 at Malta on the southern outskirts of Leadville. We parked our car there and thence proceeded on the northern part of the delineated route, first to the Turquoise Lake loop. We took full advantage of the sumptuous rest stop # 3 lunch at Ice Palace Park in Leadville, before cruising out on the enchanting Mineral Belt Bikeway loop, then past the fish hatchery, which led us back to our car at rest stop # 2 (called rest stop # 4 on the return).
We kinda hate to "out" ourselves, as many of the club riders who saw us at rest stop # 3, likely assumed we were riding the whole 100 mile enchilada! However, as addicted "scenic-social" riders, we delighted in this alternate 40 mile ride that was incredibly beautiful with innumerable Kodak moments.
There were also, for us, three other huge advantages of this "5th option." First, we got to sleep in two extra hours. Second, the temps had climbed at least 10-15 degrees warmer by the time we started. And third, we got back to the beer tent sooner!
We acknowledge that the club's more gnarly fitness riders will diss us for just picking the "low hanging fruit" best part of BVBF -- however, as confident scenic-social riders, we proudly plead guilty. But then we wouldn't call peaking the route at 10,719 feet as exactly "low" hanging fruit!
Our hearty congrats to Aaron Rosenthal and the nine member planning committee for their stellar efforts in this BVBF "rebound" year. And special thanks to the numerous cheerful volunteers, who are the face of BVBF, plus the many gracious ride sponsors.