Saturday, January 3, 2009

The past two days have been filled with lots of riding. This is the time of year that I love the most, minus the cold. From about mid-December till mid-January I am on winter break from school. Winter break is the most wonderful break because it is short enough that you do not have time for a job but long enough that I get to feel like a professional racer for at least 4 or 5 weeks. The only concerns I have are riding, relaxing, and getting my mind back to normalcy after the last two weeks of a semester where my brain goes to mush.
Right now, I have had the pleasure of riding a lot, especially as January began. Yesterday was a most wondrous 3 hour ride with some tempo intervals. I thought that doing a little exploring was a good idea, so I made the venture up to Carter Lake. It is pretty awesome place to ride up to with some nice views. Check this out:

This is from the top of Dam 1. I was checking out the map and it looks like after going around to the north shore and dropping down a little bit there is another road that will head all the way into estes park, hmmm… exploration for a long 4 or 5 hour ride?

Today was a wonderful privilege for me. About a week ago I was scheduled to do a 5 hour ride while I was enjoying the warm weather of Houston, TX. Well, I went out and it was turning out pretty well. It was cloudy, humid, but not raining. My legs felt good. As I made it about 25 miles out of Houston heading towards Austin I saw sheets of water moving towards me. It was awful, well, after about 15 minutes of getting soaked through I bailed and high tailed it back to Houston, 5 hours, 100 miles, and one very wet chamois did not sound like a good idea to me. So… this leads to today.
Today I was once again schedule for 5 hours. Well, the weather here in CO was looking a little cold, 35 as a high for Longmont, 28 for Ward and the possibility of snow. After the day before of 60 degrees temps, this was going to be brutal. I woke up early, grabbed some food:

(this is a Macky breakfast, ¾ cup of dry oatmeal, egg sandwhich, orange, blueberry-pomegranate juice, large coffee (not for macky though)). Then I suited up and headed towards Ward. To get to Ward it requires one to ride up a brutal climb, Left Hand Canyon. This is not actually brutal, but the last mile from mile marker 15 is pretty tough as it gets much steeper after you’ve been climbing consistently for 15 miles. This is the view just before that turn:

You can see at the end of this road where it turns out of the canyon and heads up towards Ward. This part always hurts!
Well the ride continued. I made it to Ward and just above at the pass. From there, I decided that a nice ride down the peak to peak towards Nederland would be good. The Peak to Peak was beautiful, snow covered, but rideable and no traffic. Also, sunny and though not warm, I didn’t feel cold, always a plus. This worked out till I headed down Boulder Canyon from Nederland, where it suddenly got very cold and damp, so I finished my 5 hour adventure freezing cold except for the last 30 minutes, where my legs decided to finally work again, that was nice.
Well, tomorrow is an off day and then I get a recovery day on the slopes of Loveland Ski Area, so check back for updates on my first attempt at downhill skiing after 7 years of snowboarding.

No comments: