Cyclists throughout the state know Team Evergreenas the club that, among other things, assembles the annual torturefest called the Triple Bypass (motto: "For those who dare"). And while that grueling July test of body and sanity continues to be the hallmark of the club, Team Evergreen offers plenty of opportunities for members -- and would-be members, as well as merely curious riders -- to get rolling without having to scale three mountain passes in a single day.
For example, energetic two-wheel buffs will gather today at 10:30 a.m. in Morrison's downtown parking lot to begin a 28-mile "moderate/difficult" route that includes the Lariat Loop and Red Rocks. Participants will experience 2,600 feet of elevation gain as they pass by such landmarks as Buffalo Bill's Grave en route to a 12:30 lunch at the Morrison Inn. The appropriately named Kirk Ryder will act as ride leader.
Team Evergreen president and spokes-man Bruce Epstein says non-members are welcome at club events. After a few free rides, however, pumped-up cyclists will be asked to pay the $25 annual fee to become full-blooded members.
Conquer Aspen Mountain at today's Ute Mountaineer America's Uphill,a 3,267-foot climb achieved by whatever means necessary -- snowshoes, track skis, telemark skis or heavy-metal gear. "Snowshoeing is the most popular choice, I think, because a lot of people have them and they're nice and light," says Paul Perley, general manager of the Ute Mountaineer, an Aspen outdoor gear shop. As for the course, Perley says, it "pretty much goes straight up the hill. You have to be either in very good shape or very strong-minded."
Open to all ages, this year's race -- the seventeenth annual -- will take off from the base of Aspen's Little Nell at 7 a.m. and finish about three hours later with a post-party and awards ceremony at the Sundeck Restaurant, elevation 11,212 feet. The record time for the Uphill stands at 41 minutes.