KREMMLING, Colo. (CBS4) – It was the wintry start to the Ride The Rockies on Sunday. It wasn’t what thousands of cyclists were expecting.
The week-long ride stopped on Berthoud Pass because of snow.
“We went through some snow, some hail in Central City, waited the weather out in Empire, and then finally got up to Berthoud and it was snowing,” cyclist told CBS4.
“A convention of hypothermia,” another said.
“Ride The Rockies tries to roll on rain or shine,” another said.
But the freezing temperatures and inches of snow put a halt to the road ride on its first day.
“Yesterday was the hardest day in 4 years of doing it,” cyclist Eric Packer said. “Not only was it a long, hard day of climbing, but when we got to the end of Berthoud Pass, that’s when the weather got bad.”
“The last time I think snow impacted the ride like this was in 2004,” RTR Tour Director Chandler Smith said.
One of the Morissey brothers was the only cyclist who got over the top of Berthoud Pass on Sunday.
“I had six or seven jerseys with me — I put them all on, put some plastic on. I was the last guy to make it down the hill,” he said.
Two of the three Morissey brothers were taken down to Winter Park — not on their bikes — but on busses.
About 700 riders didn’t finish Sunday’s stage. But for the riders CBS4 spoke with, the memories will last.
“The forecast looks good, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed that it’s more of this — blue sky and cyclists having a good time,” Smith said.
There was a tremendous response from the emergency responders and volunteers in Grand County who helped all the cold cyclists down the mountain.
LINK: Ride The Rockies