On the Road: Beware the bee | AspenTimes.com

On the Road: Beware the bee

Tim Dudley

Road biking is rarely called an adrenaline sport, but sometimes it gets close.I was on my way back to Aspen from a ride up to the end of the pavement on Woody Creek Road. I was a few hundred yards from the tavern when my CamelBak began dripping on my knee.It was a minor inconvenience that made me look down and, when I did, I spotted a bee riding on my stinger, so to speak. Few rapids, ski lines, rock faces or bike trails have gotten my heart pounding faster.Road riding is often all about enduring pain, but a downstairs bee sting seemed a little extreme.Before the bee, only steep, curving descents and unaware or unfriendly drivers were worries on the road. And until now, you could at least avoid motorized vehicles on Independence Pass and much of upper Maroon Creek Road.But Highway 82 up the pass opened to vehicles Tuesday – and again on Thursday after an erosion issue on the other side briefly closed it. And Friday, the road up to the Maroon Bells opened to cars and trucks.Locals were out in force on all kinds of bicycles a few hours before the pass opened Tuesday – some huffing and puffing, some smiling and chatting, all enjoying the sights of the high country and sounds of the roaring Roaring Fork.There’s still a little time before the summer car-craze kicks in to get out there and stop to smell the flowers along the way. Just beware of the bees.Luckily, the adrenaline kick from my yellow-jacket adventure was short-lived and a well-timed sideswipe solved the problem before disaster struck. Now if only ascending the pass were as easy as a flick of the wrist.

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