January 1, 2004
Sloan's Lake Century

About 7:00 heading down to Sloan's Lake

Just before sunrise looking east to the city

Sunrise with the Denver skyline

West towards the mountains at sunrise

Another mountain view at sunrise

Twenty five laps (just over 60 miles) into it

Pressing on
One superstition is that the events of your New Year's Day sets the tone for the year. I first heard this after I had ridden about 45 miles to the top of Lookout Mountain on my mountain bike on New Year's day, 1994. Lookout Mountain is the mountain with the "M" for the Colorado School of Mines just behind the campus where we hosted the 2002 Wheelmen meet.

I decided around Thanksgiving 2003 to try for a century on New Year's day, and to have it in close proximity to home for easy support. Sloan's Lake is only two miles from home. I measured the distance on the path for a complete trip around the lake. Since I don't have one of those newfangled cyclometers, I counted pedal strokes, and verified it several times. This came up to be 958 pedal strokes on my 54 inch.

958 X (54 X π) = 162,438.5 inches around the lake.

162,438.5 ÷ 12 = 13,336.5 feet around the lake.

13,336.5 ÷ 5280 = 2.56 miles around the lake.

100 ÷ 2.56 = 39.0625 trips around the lake to make a century.

0.0625 X 2.56 X 5280 = 845 feet that would have to be added to the 39th lap.

So on January 1, 2004 at 6:45am, I set off from home for the 2 mile trip down to Sloan's Lake. I completed the century at 5:45 with lights on. Barbara was there from around 9:30 on. She brought the spoke threader and blank spokes as I broke three on this century. She also brought sandwiches, bananas, juice, and cookies. We are thinking of making this an annual (weather permitting) event. The high for the day was 54°

What a way to spend your Third Anniversary!

What the weather was two days later

A brief history of Sloan's Lake

In 1866, Thomas F. Sloan purchased land west of Denver for farming and cattle raising. Rumor has it that he was digging a well when he struck a warm spring. The gusher that ensued flooded his newly acquired land, and formed a rather large lake. With his usable land greatly reduced, he took up ice farming, where he would cut ice blocks from the lake during the winter, store them in sheds with straw, and sell the ice blocks in the summer.

In 1890, the first amusement park west of the Mississippi was built, Manhattan Beach. It included roller coasters, a dance hall, boating on Sloan's Lake, and Roger the Elephant. It burned in 1908, and was rebuilt as Luna Park. This was abandon in 1914. Luna Park included a steamboat know as The Frolic that was transported to Denver from the Mississippi.