Andy Hampsten

For road racing fans of a certain vintage, there’s no forgetting the images of Andy Hampsten riding over the Gavia in 1988, on his way to winning the Giro d’Italia - bulky goggles and gloves conspicuous against his lean frame and racing bike, a mess of snowflakes filling half the shot, and a group of fans that seem frozen solid. These days, Andy splits his time between Boulder and Tuscany.

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Andy’s ride

"My favourite rides head west, to the mountains. I hit Four Mile Canyon, then onto Gold Hill if I’m on a good day. Routes like this will test your legs, but there’s nothing like that descent back into town."

Distance: 23.7 miles
Elevation: 3,386 feet

Download the gpx route  

RCC#172

172 was my race number at the 1988 Giro d’Italia. I’ve been a Rapha Cycling Club (RCC) member since June of last year, after joining a club ride in Florence. It was bliss.

I first rode a bike at five-years-old, straight into the only tree in our yard. I vowed to improve on that ride for the rest of my life, and I think I’ve kept my vow.

The quintessential ride in Boulder is due west, straight into the mountains. It sounds romantic and simple, but most routes involve thousands of feet of climbing, and possibly needing to ride your way out of bad weather. But a courageous ride into the mountains is never disappointing, at least once I’ve thawed out.

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I retired from racing in September of 1996, and didn’t touch my road bike through the winter. Then, in March, I dusted off my road bike and headed out the door. I started in the big ring, and after 30 minutes I was riding faster and stronger than I had in years. I thought that maybe a long rest was all I had needed, and that maybe I should come out of retirement. After two hours of riding a rode the short, sharp hill back home, and that hill put all thoughts of racing again out of my head. I felt so empty, and could hardly push the pedals over at all.

I love coffee, and in recent times Boulder has stepped up its coffee game. Naturally, my rides in Boulder begin with a well pulled shot or two. There’s a taco stand on the Goose Creek bike path that is so tasty that I’ll often start my ride with a coffee, ride a loop out to the taco stand, and then go for another loop with a happy tummy.

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Cycling has taught me a life lesson: don’t let the bastards get you down. When I have a problem, I go out for a ride and think – I know that the answer is in me, and will come out on a ride. Or is that just the coffee talking?

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