Triple Bypass tests the heart … and legs |

Triple Bypass tests the heart … and legs

Shauna Farnell

EVERGREEN – Hundreds of cyclists will hope that cardiac arrest won’t really be on the agenda for the 14th annual Triple Bypass road ride Saturday.

The ride is 120 miles from Evergreen to Avon, with more than 10,000 feet in elevation gain. The trio of passes includes Squaw Pass at 11,140 feet, Loveland Pass at 11,990 and Vail Pass at 10,560. The ride also includes an unofficial fourth bypass climb – Swan Mountain Road, which reaches 10,560 feet.

“It’s one of the perennial, big, century rides,” said Jeffrey Bergeron, i.e. Biff America, who has done the ride for several years, but has prior engagements this Saturday. “It’s one of the harder ones. For a Summit County rider, it’s almost deadly, because you start so low, you feel like a stud. Then, you’re climbing up Squaw Pass, you get up, you’re going down, and all of a sudden, fatigue hits. Most of us are used to going shorter distances.”

More than 2,000 cyclists from throughout the United States and Canada rode in last year’s Triple Bypass, and Team Evergreen, one of the largest cycling clubs in Colorado and long-time event organizer, is expecting an even larger turnout this year.

“It’s huge; easily an annual highlight for a whole lot of people,” said Team Evergreen director Ron Swan. “It started 14 years ago with 65 riders. We even have someone from Guatemala riding this year. It’s a big ride, not really a race. We think of it as a single-day cycling tour.”

The ride begins at Bergen Park in Evergreen and continues on paved roads, including frontage roads, state highways and a portion of Interstate 70. The Summit County portion of the ride will travel down U.S. Highway 6 from Loveland Pass, past Arapahoe Basin and Keystone. It continues up Swan Mountain Road, the west-bound lane of which will be closed from about 10 a.m. to late afternoon Saturday. At Farmer’s Korner, the course continues on the bike path, past Copper Mountain and up Vail Pass.

“Some people get started at like 6 a.m.,” Bergeron said. “I usually start around 7 or 8 (a.m.). It’s about a six or seven-hour ride. It’s a good time. The toughest part is coming up to Loveland from Idaho Springs, because there’s usually a pretty good head wind. You get a huge group of people. You’ll see teams from Texas and all over, body Nazis, and more casual people just trying to finish it. Another cool thing about it is all the bikes you see there. For people who are into bikes like me, there’s some really cool ones. It’s more of a ride than a race, but it’s really hard. Usually a lot of real studs and studettes show up.”

On-line registration for the Triple Bypass is available at, or race-day registration is $114 per rider at Bergen Meadow Elementary School in Evergreen. Riders are encouraged to begin the course by 7:30 a.m. Saturday. A barbecue will take place at the finish line in Avon. For more information, visit

Shauna Farnell can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at

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