I had a super time in Germany riding my bike, but one thing I was missing was my Colorado mountain singletrack. It was a sight for sore eyes. After being at about sea level for 10 days, I decided to get it over with and throw myself into the fire. Friday was a good day on the road bike as you saw. I didn’t feel awful this weekend, but definitely not as good as Friday. I am still surprised at how much easier the jetlag is coming to the US from Europe. I definitely have some jet lag in my legs, but NOTHING like how it was in Germany which is a huge relief. Today was the first day I didn’t wake up at 4 or 5 AM… I made it all the way to 7 AM. Nice!
The big thing on my mind right now is the Breck Epic . Check it out! This year, the stages are longer than last year being 4-5 hours EACH for 7 days. Breckenridge sits at 9600′/2926 meters and the stages all go UP! That’s why I decided to ride up at 9000′ all weekend on singletrack. Good prep and although I could feel the altitude, the effects were not nearly as bad as I was expecting. I’m heading up on Friday and I absolutely can’t wait! Riding the trails around Breck are some of my favorite. I will be racing as a duo with Jeff Kerkove (coed duo category) Friday-Sunday was a good 3 day training block and I am feeling good about my pre-race prep.
Saturday, I rolled up to Nederland to ride the West Mag trails for 3 hours. I even found a new one that the Boulder Mountain Bike Alliance put in.
Sunday, I decided to give myself a beating and headed out to one of the most technical local trails I know of on my HARDTAIL. -Sourdough and St. Vrain. Rocky, rooty, technical. That’s how I like it. 3 hours on these trails not only started to wear on me physically, but also mentally. I love technical riding because it forces your brain to focus on solely on thing – getting through the section of trail. If you lose focus, you won’t make it.
I call it working on my bike ninja skills. I’m actually very happy with where my technical abilities are right now. I have seen an enormous improvement in both pure skill and confidence since I started endurance racing last year, but it’s something I will continue to work on. I want my black belt!
I am loving my new apartment and am starting to get situated here after a few days. It’s across from a park and some tennis courts. My sport in my youth was NOT cycling. It was tennis and soccer. I never had dreams of being a pro bike racer growing up, but I did have dreams of becoming a pro tennis player. Last off-season I hit the ball around with some people, but played no matches because I had lost my serve and didn’t want to work on it. This off-season, I’m making a small comeback. I started working on getting my serve back yesterday and by second basket of balls, I saw it starting to fire back out of my racket. Being on the tennis court brought back some powerful feelings. The smell, the sound of the ball on my strings… everything.
I’m glad to have many passions in life!
One summer I spent 8 hours a day on the tennis court. I taught lessons in the morning and evening, and had practice with a team every afternoon. That as a great summer and the funny thing is that I didn’t even know mountain biking existed.
I’m resting up today, and still playing catch-up. I’ll put in 2 more training days, then taper for Breck!
After 6 hours of sleep in two days, sitting on a plane for 15 hours, and being at sea level for 10 days, I had very low expectations for my ride. I had 3 hours on the road bike planned, and was considering it to be a “martyr” ride meaning I knew I’d feel like hell and simply accept it and ride off my airplane legs and suck some wind.
I started pedaling up Lefthand Canyon and much to my amazement, my legs felt really good. So good that I used the big ring for most of the 16 mile climb up. When I got to Peak to Peak Highway, I didn’t want to stop so up up up I kept going to Brainard Lakes. It is a fee area and apparently as a cyclist (or to walk in), it’ll cost you one dollar. I didn’t have any cash on me… just a PowerBar Gel and PowerBar. I rode for a few hours to get to this point in the ride, and I really wanted to see the lake. The woman said, “It’s 1 dollar.” I told her I didn’t have a dollar and asked if I could either go on the honor system and bring 2 dollars next time or if she’d let me slide. No. She was very firm on the 1 dollar. I was the one at fault, but I was beginning to get angry. It is ONE dollar, and I was only going to be there for about 20 minutes. Most people are charged to because they are there hiking all day, parking their cars, using the bathrooms and I wasn’t going to do any of that. Moreover, the 1 dollar is a FIVE day pass, so really it was 20 cents we were arguing over and she would not let me go. I asked if I could give her something of mine as collateral so she knew I wasn’t spending much time there. I had already been on my bike for 2.5 hours and some change and hadn’t eaten, but I wanted in. I said, “Can I give you my PowerBar? It’s worth more than a dollar” No the woman said. Finally, her male coworker was very nice and said, “I will buy your PowerBar for 1 dollar.” Flustered, in I went. I just hoped that I wouldn’t need more than the gel in my pocket for the remainder of the ride. I knew after the lake, it was almost all downhill (for 20+ miles to get home) minus my little stint up Lee Hill.
It was worth it.
After I thoroughly took in the views, I rolled on home still feeling strong after a 4 hour ride.
I love Colorado…and today will be Colorado Singletrack. My favorite thing to do.