Monday, July 20, 2009

The weekend

This past weekend I did something I'd been kicking around for a while. I looked at and bought a new car. Actually, an SUV. I got a 2009 Honda Element EX AWD black. I liked my Vibe a lot, but I had been cursing its inability to go the speed limit over the mountains. The E provides more power and a heck of a lot more cargo space and functionality. I will miss the gas mileage of the Vibe, but living in Colorado my needs out grew what it is and could do. Funny thing too, I got 5 speed manual transmission, which I am not very good at driving. I am still learning how to drive it, though after a couple days, I am getting better.

Saturday night I hung out with Erik, Chris P. James, and Scott. Scott is getting married on July 25th, so we took him out for some fun. We went go carting in Littleton. It has been a few years since I've gone, and I've never been in go carts that were this ridiculous. The attendant said they had a top speed of about 45-50 mph! It took me about three laps to feel comfortable. Then I spun the car.

Sunday I did my monthly century. This time because of a few things that came up, I rode all but the first 9 miles by myself. Scott joined me for a bit, then I was off by myself. I rode to Golden and up Lookout Mtn, which is 4.5 miles and about 1,700 ft. Then I went down the C-470 trail to ride Deer Creek Canyon, which is about 7 miles and I am not sure of the elevation gain. On my ride home along the Platte I noticed a bunch of tubers in the river. At one point while I was crossing a bridge, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a body floating face down in the river. I had my mobile phone on my, so I quickly stopped, hopped off my bike and ran as best I could with carbon soled road shoes back to where I could see the body. At about this time an older couple was crossing the bridge opposite me on a tandem bike. I told them what I saw and they got off of their bike to see what I was talking about. The guy on the tandem was first to view, and he noticed the body in the river had a snorkel and was searching for something in the water as he had some sort of sucking contraption. We all got quite a kick out of this, but it startled me quite a bit at first. I ended up with a shade over 100 miles in just under 6 hours by myself with two big climbs, a coffee break at mile 50 and a Coke break at mile 85. 7 for 7 for centuries done in a month this year!

Monday, July 13, 2009

WP race 3 and the weekend

Friday as soon as I was out of work I took off for Winter Park to camp the night before the race. Angela and her roommate found a site off of Vasquez road that was not to far from the river but a nice distance from the road so we would not here traffic. We relaxed after dinner and had a campfire that lasted about two hours.

Saturday's race was 24 miles of mostly double and single track with some fire roads thrown in occasionally. It starts off with the same 1.5 mile gravel road climb that I like so much (sarcasm). I was about 10th going into the trails and got stuck behind some riders that were not good descenders. I had to ride the brakes more than usual until I could find a safe place to pass. Good starts seem key with all of the tight trails, and because of being stuck behind slower people, I lost a lot of time. There were a couple crashes in front of me and I was able to pass some others on a tricky climb. I worked pretty hard to try to catch some people, maybe too hard. My race heart rate was 175-183 for most of the 2:07 it took to finish. The climbs were not difficult, but the single track was. The course did not present much recovery. Most of the trails were very rough consisting of a lot of roots, rocks, and other obstacles. I felt pretty good until about mile 19 or so. I knew the race was about 24 miles, so I kept as hard of a pace as I could. At about mile 22 a rider along side me looked equally crushed. We exchanged a few glances and realized we were in the same age category. I stood up and attacked to gap him. At this point, my hands were so sore I could barely shift and there were a lot of tight turns meaning accelerating in and out of corners would be key. I crossed two tight bridges and sprinted to the finish putting 17 seconds on him. 12/32 in my age category. I rode hard, but my heart rate and legs were not in agreement as they were in two different zones I think. I am not surprised as I did not have two good weeks of training. I was completely cooked at the finish. After the race I rode back to town adding another 8.5 miles. In the post race raffle I won 4 rockies tickets for late September, which was pretty sweet. My team, Angela, and I went out to Lime for supper. I then went back to Denver shortly there after. Its funny, in WI. I thought 2,500 ft of climbing would kill me. Now that amount in a 24 mile race is not to bad

Sunday I woke up and did a 21 mile recovery ride. It was probably the slowest I've ridden 21 miles not doing a crazy climb. Chris P. and I went rock climbing in Boulder canyon. It felt really good to get out again. I was a little awkward the first time up, but fine really. Each time Chris and I go out teaches me new things. I cleaned the line he set removing multiple nuts and cams.

Recently he finished the Tour Divide race 3rd overall and set a new single speed record. 2745 miles in 19 days from Banff Canada to Antelope Wells NM. He and Marni had a party Sunday night.