Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cyclocross like century

Todays route was the pretty standard metro century. Erik, Eric, Jeremy, and I set out for the monthly ride, which makes 14 consecutive months with a century for me. The day started off very nice. Departing weather was low 40s and sun. Can't beat that in February, though I am hoping soon to be able to ride in shorts without freezing. There was some snow and ice, but not that much considering we had snow a couple days ago. The first extended tunnel we were in turned out to have a nice base of glare ice. I was leading the way and was the first to slow speed crash, which caused Erik to crash into me. A couple tunnels later started out good, but had ice, then snow, and then hub deep water. I made it through unscathed, but looked back and the three others were all on the ground. Thankfully no one was injured, though there may have been some lost keys. We encountered some barricades we had to hike around and plenty of mud. Ride info is here. It was a pretty easy group ride for me. I felt pretty decent after not riding much the last week and a half due to tapering for last weekends snow race and a mid week work trip. My gps says I burned 5,400 calories. I don't buy that, but I bet it was a lot. Being able to ride all day in WINTER never gets old!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Extra lap.....

My race course, which I was 1st place, out of 1!
Yes, there was a bike race in the snow
Start of the race
Riding the snow bike
Decked out in winter snow racing atire
Pugs on left Bens bike on the right
snow packed road to Mt. Elbert
Ben with his Snowshoe caught under a branch

February 20th was the 2nd Leadville winter mountain bike race. It was held at Tennessee Pass nordic center at 7pm. The starting temperature was hovering around 10 at the start. I was lucky enough to be able to demo a Surly Pugsley (as seen on the right). For those of you who don't know, the tires are really wide so they float through the snow. The race was supposed to be 10.5 miles. Its on mostly wooded double track with one lollipop done in an open flat section. I guess there is one big loop and then a smaller loop up top. Thats where the story gets funny. As I was riding the start of the second section, I guess I missed the lap. It could have been marked more clear and there were not any coarse marshals. I was unsure if it was the turn as I approached and hesitated. My thinking was since it was not clear one way or the other to keep going with the thought in my mind that I would hate to cut the coarse and maybe the lap is up ahead. Nope. Wrong. I went down a pretty steep decent and once at the bottom, I realized I made a mistake. I had been riding by myself for about 25-30 minutes which included a while on the first lap. When I lapped through, I was probably 15-20 out of 48, I knew how to get back to the finish, and just rode it out pretty disheartened. I pushed on and enjoyed the ride not knowing when I would get to ride a fat bike again. I had been out for almost 2 hours. When I got back, a couple of friends said they were about to get on bikes and look for me. I thought it was kind of hard to believe, but I was not last. I was greeted with a warm fire, pasta, and some Oskar Blues brews-a sponsor of the race. I ended up with 1,700 feet of climbing and 15 miles on the 30+ pound snow bike, which was 4.5 miles and I think 600 ft more then Ben who had an awesome race as he finished 4th overall.
Sunday our plan was to get a few hours on the snowshoes to increase our high elevation activity. We drove towards the Mt. Elbert trailhead. The drive ended about 4 miles from the Mt. Elbert trail is as that was as far as was plowed. We hiked a mostly flat trail for maybe 1.5 miles or so. At that point Amy challenged us to head out of bounds. Ben and I trudged through Mid thigh deep snow for about 30 minutes. It started out as a gradual trail, and then we went up a wall with a 40+ degree pitch. After 2 hours or so it was off for lunch and back home.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Typical week day ride

Departing temp at 5:50 AM 13 degrees, 1 degree wind chill. Temperature upon arriving home at 6:30 PM was about 33. 22 miles in 1:33. Bike of choice, 2007 Gary Fisher Rig geared 32x17.