Gravity pulled and I pushed. We got that !@#$% mountain bike down Bear Creek Canyon in no time flat. Miles and miles lay behind me.
The ride back was thankfully not the proverbial "long" one. The upside, if you will, of 3,400' of climbing over 29 miles is that when you turn around and point your wheel toward home the hardest part is over.
I left Arvada at 5:25am this morning. The sun had not yet risen and the temperature was about 45F. I hit Morrison at 6:35, Kittredge at 7:45 and Evergreen at 8:00. Once I left the road at Evergreen Lake and began the slog up the Dedisse Trail into Alderfer/Three Sisters it took me another hour to reach Bluebird Meadow, my goal for the day.
It was along the Dedisse Trail I resolved to throw out the clipless pedals once again. I've ridden harder trails with more success and more enjoyment in tennis shoes on flat pedals. The only benefit I'm getting from the eggbeaters is a slightly higher average speed. So I need to crank harder. I don't need clipless pedals.
I rode 57.5 miles in 5 hours and 50 minutes: 9.9 mph. My training goal is forty miles further and 9,000 feet more of gain at 11.1 miles an hour.
It was only 47F when I blew back through Evergreen. It never really got warm today and it took me about three hours this afternoon to finally stop shivering.
Mandy and I watched Ride the Divide and Race Across the Sky 2010 before making an attempt at being productive around the house. Then I worked on the shed a bit and now I'm wiped out, tank is empty, brain is shut down...