Wednesday, August 24

Biking Mountains

Eh, I rode over South Table Mountain this morning. Broke my own rule...but it felt GOOD!

No pain in the shoulder. I'm still doing my PT exercises. I would have bailed at the first hint of pain. The trail I took skirted my normal commute through Applewood so I really lost no time. Adding two miles and a few hundred feet of climbing only tacked on 15 minutes to my commute, so I'm stoked about that.

Today is Bean's first day of pre-school so I had no co-commuter. She harrumphed as I wished her a good first day before I left the house. Ah, the drama of children!

South Table will be nice training for me for LV. I can climb up out of the suburbs, do some dirt laps, repeat some climbs and then drop right down onto my commute only a mile from work. The views of the western suburbs are stunning, if you're into the whole sprawl thing, but it was nice to be so close to everything, but above it all and separate. The bomb back down to NREL and back to the world of the Grind was fun, but too swift. I'll tack on some mileage in the future.

Of course my slaughter of a prairie ascent does not compare to the daunting climbs facing the riders of the USPCC. Cottonwood Pass, the first climb in today's stage is 12,122' and Independence is 12,100'. The trailhead where I left the pavement sits at a lofty 5,720', and South Table Mountain's summit is a stratospheric 6,335 feet.

A nice aspect of my MTB diversion is that it avoids the dreaded two lane, 30 mph speed zone along Denver West...and I gain the views, the fresh air, the fauna (saw three deer!) and the hard breathing associated with climbing and getting stronger.


Meant to start out the day with this post, but got sidetracked by my singletrack sidetrack:

Mandy teaches at the private school where Boone attended last year. This fall Bean will be going to pre-school a few days a week and the other days I'll be shuttling her to Lind-topia.

School starts hard stop today. Mandy's been going over the past two days to get things in her classroom ready and yesterday was my first commute with Bean and it went well.

So our family commuting season has officially begun. Unfortunately, unlike last year, Mandy and Boone won't be able to commute by bike as much. Last year the would drive up in the morning and take Boone's bike, Mandy would work half a day and drive back home. Then at the end of the day she would ride the Ute up with Bean to pick up the boy and they'd return home by bike.

This year Mandy works all day and will also be shuttling a couple of other kids, so biking is going to be less feasible for them.

We'd love to be able to work it out, but its about 9 miles with some big hills for an eight year old. Eventually Boone will be able to drop his mom on the hills, but for now its painful to ride up there with him and try to keep a timetable.

But Bean and I...well, we'll be riding a few days every week regardless. I've saddled up the Cannonball with kid gear and am calling it all good as training for LV. Last night I blasted a 28 minute commute home. That's the first sub-30 min commute I've logged, though its possible I've matched it before, I've just never kept precise times.

I managed that with the seat/aerobrake and a few extra pounds (including two library books) so, suck on that Leiphiemer!

There are some potential changes brewing at work which would give me an extra day off...EVERY WEEK. I hope and pray it works out. My stress levels should drop off and theorhetically I'll have some good training time for Leadville next summer. The good news is that I will also be able to ride to school with them, making the bike commute for the whole family possible at least some of the time.

While I'll be covering the USPCC all week the big story is that the USPCC is coming to OUR TOWN!!! I'll be volunteering early on Saturday morning in Golden and I've been working out my photo strategy for the big Golden to Denver stage. Nothing definite yet.

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