Local cyclist Evan Wasserman finds pure joy at the Continental Divide | SummitDaily.com

Local cyclist Evan Wasserman finds pure joy at the Continental Divide

Loveland Pass sits at 11,990 feet in elevation and offers views of the surrounding Continental Divide. Those who wish to get to the top can choose to bike or drive up the paved road.
Bill Linfield / Special to the Daily |

Editor’s note: For countless Summit County residents, a bicycle is more than a machine — it’s a lifestyle. Every week during the summer, we’ll ask our most adventurous residents, “Where has your bike taken you?”

Evan Wasserman is a self-professed student of cycling. So, when the USA Pro Challenge announced four stops in his adopted hometown, he was ready to study with the best, up close and in person.

“I enjoy the racing aspect, following the European racing and seeing how it’s grown to be in the world,” Wasserman said. “We now have it in our backyard, where you can reach out and touch it. You’re so close to the action — you’re not stuck in stands, way up high above everything else.”

Like many Colorado transplants, the New York native came for the winters in 1988 and has stayed for the summers ever since. And, like many transplants, he soon fell in love with cycling to fill the long, warm, crystal-clear summer months. He’s kept close tabs on the sport since he first hopped on a road bike, learning from the best by watching how they ride. He then transferred those lessons to roads and trails in Summit, where he’s lived and worked since 1988.

“Back in the day, you used to teach skiing in the winter and do construction in the summer,” Wasserman said. “I hate using that term, ‘back in the day,’ but it was a nice schedule back then, to ski in the winter and know you’re finished with the day.”

These days, some 25 years after coming to Summit, Wasserman works construction year-round while raising a family and volunteering for countless local cycle events. He still races on occasion, although he’s now more inclined to wake early for a meditative solo ride up Loveland Pass. For a student of cycling, a calm, quiet dawn pedaling in the shadow of the Continental Divide is a sublime classroom.

“It gets you out, seeing the world from the road and seeing the county where we live. It’s such an awesome place. It’s a great vehicle to get you out and about. I’m equally into road and mountain — I’m probably more into the mountain these days — but I enjoy that it just gets you out and about. You can get away if you want to, or go somewhere if you need to. It’s just the best way to travel.”

“I’ve ridden Loveland Pass countless times and been snowed on more times than I’d like to admit. That’s always strange, to get a snowstorm on your bike in the middle of summer. It has its demons with the snow and the weather, but the flip side is that in the morning, in the sun, on a crisp summer or fall morning, it almost gets warmer than being down in the valley. That in particular is an iconic Summit County ride — hard, long, not super-steep, but very high by the time you’re done. The Continental Divide is incredible in the morning, and any time I have the chance to go there, it’s just special.”

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