Saturday, January 31

Is It Spring Yet? (Or: Mini-Tour de Littleton)

So I went for a 2 hour ride this morning. I rode south on the South Platte and then turned east on Lee Gulch Trail. It was dirt. My intentions were to ride Lee Gulch to its end near the C-470/Highline Trails and then make a loop back along the Highline to the trail I rode a few weeks ago and then back to the South Platte.

But since Lee Gulch was dirt I couldn’t continue on it, so I hopped off on Windmere and then south the Highline. I didn’t know if the Highline would be hard surface or not in that section but I was hoping it was. It wasn’t.

So I rode the Highline a little ways til I got to a street crossing, I jumped off the Highline and headed west (toward the South Platte) to Elati and then north. Along Elati I crossed another trail, the Little Creek? Trail. So I jumped on it headed west until I came to a place where it didn’t seem to go on, though the creek continued on toward the river.

I turned north again, and within a couple of blocks I was at Littleton Blvd. It looked busy, but also like it passed through a quaint looking CBD so I turned west on it, knowing it shouldn’t be too much farther to the SPT. I passed through what seemed to be downtown Littleton, and it was quite quaint and attractive. And as I had predicted, the South Platte was just beyond.

I rocketed north on the SPT back to Alameda and made it home right at 2 hours out and I had traveled 27.22 miles.

Saturday, January 17

Threshhold

Ok, so my on bike threshhold seems to be right around 30 miles/2 hours right now.

I rode 41.5 miles in 2:45 this morning, and the last 10 miles or so were rough. Of course by then I had turned south on the South Platte Trail (from the northern terminus) and was riding into a headwind, so today's ride might not be an accurate representation of what I am capable of.

Its a good thing that I didn't follow through with my original plan which was to ride from the Golden Community Center to the top of Lookout Mountain and then home. But if I had I probably would have taken my normal commute route home instead of the Clear Creek Trail to South Platte (then north to its terminus and then back south) and then up Cherry Creek home.

But it all worked out good. I am not so concerned with building up my climbing abilities just yet. That will come soon enough.

Actually, I think I do need to start training for the climbs on the Triple Bypass, but today I just wanted to push past the 20-25 mile mark which I haven't surpassed in a long time. My amended plan when I headed out, after deciding I wasn't going to ride Lookout Mountain was to ride the 30 miles home. But I decided to the do the northern 5 miles of the South Platte on a side detour.

It kicked my butt.

But it was good, and I think I need to keep up this sort of effort for at least a couple weeks and then as long as the weather holds I'm gonna climb me some hills.

Tuesday, January 13

Inspiration

My early cycling inspirations came from two certified weird-o climbers.

The first was a guy named Stephen Freas who camped out in a rock house at Pebble Beach in the Red River Gorge one winter and worked on freeing an old aid route called Halloween. I don't know how close he came, but he was the hardest core dirtbag I ever met.

He rode his mountain bike around and told tales of being a bike messenger in DC and of riding across Colorado in 11 hours. I am skeptical about his Colorado story, but it still inspired me. When Steve was in Chattanooga going to school I considered riding from Slade, KY down to see him. Never panned out, but it got me thinking.

My other inspiration was a one shot deal. Mark "Wood Hippie" was a fixture around the Red for a few years, though I don't know that he was ever much of a climber. But one Friday evening he rolled into Miguel's and said he had just ridden from Lexington in five hours. That blew me away. Now, looking back on it that doesn't seem like so much, but at the time riding a bike 50+ miles seemed like quite the accomplishment to me.

Those two people made me think differently about the bike. It was in the months not too long after meeting Steve that I started riding my bike a whole lot more and over much greater distances.

Monday, January 12

Me...a Jersey Guy?

Yeah, I guess so for awhile, at least until I do the TBP. I need to ride a lot and I need to...train for the ride. It won't just come to me. There are so many things I need to consider and work on.

1) Eating on the bike: I need to get better at keeping my energy level up and in preparing for the ride days before

2) Long rides: I need to build up over time the endurance and fitness to stay on my bike for 10 hours at least

3) Climbing: I gotta get in shape for repeated long climbs

So I went ahead and got started. I only did a 2 hour ride yesterday, but I needed to get started and I need to take advantage of every opportunity to get in some miles.

I have decided that instead of focusing on distance I need to focus on time on the bike and on climbing. The miles are irrelevant compared to the overall effort.

This is going to be a big deal to get in shape for and to enjoy as I ride it.

Sunday, January 11

Triple Bypass

Ok, so the hiatus is officially over. Didn't last long either.

I've registered for the Triple Bypass ride on July 11th and I have already started getting ready for it.