Well, I had an early fail as the ride leader today. I’ve never led a group ride before (always suck wheel on that job) I should have known that my son might come down with Streptococcal pharyngitis and need a trip to urgent care for a tonsil swab (poor guy) and antibiotic prescription. I should have also known that waltzing into the mobile phone store to buy a new phone an hour before needing to be on the bike to meet the team was a bad idea. Who knew that took so long? And, I hadn’t eaten breakfast or lunch yet. Fortunately, these guys are forgiving gentlemen. However, cycling with teammates is like date night with your wife or fishing with your brother or best friend – you simply cannot show up late.
When not exploring the mountains or on a local group ride in Denver, Colorado, the High Line canal is a go-to route for quick miles. My favorite section is south of Hampden Blvd where the trail turns to gravel and meanders for over twenty miles, south and west, around Chatfield reservoir and to Waterton Canyon.
21 January 2014
Having this week off work in January meant base miles, and as many as possible in a few short days, since the flanking weekends would be spent skiing with the family. The weather in Colorado had been very temperate the past few days, and the forecast for this day was a high of 60-65 F (15-18 C). Knowing I would not have another opportunity like this for a long while, I decided to go big on this day of days. I had gone on a long ride the previous day with Stephen and Larsen up Golden Gate Canyon and Robinson Hill, but given the temperature and time available, a ride of 100 mi (160k), or more, was in clear view. After a 68 mi (110 km) ride with 6000 ft (1850 m) the day before, a flat loop seemed wisest, but I like to climb, so I convinced myself that a little climbing would be acceptable. Climbing a little (or a lot) would open up much more interesting route options, for the flat routes around Denver on the plains are rather tedious.
Once in a while you do a ride that leaves you tingling for days afterwards, and not because your fingers and toes are still recovering from frostbite and numbness. Colorado has experienced a remarkable cold snap in the last weeks with lows in the range of -15F and highs in the single digits F. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it myself, and for the first four or five days of the snap I didn’t seriously consider going outside.
This is a repost from 2013 while we get 2014 up and running.
By my own measuring stick I’ve been training a lot this year. It is funny because each year I can look back at whatever I accomplished on the bike and hopefully feel pretty good about it, but then I think about the next upcoming season and think “how can I top or even match that?”. I ride for fun, and training isn’t always fun, so when one season ends and the next one starts I’m left looking for ways to keep the pursuit of speed on two wheels enjoyable.
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