Thursday, June 30, 2005


Ride the Rockies, Day 2

Day Two, Monday, June 20th, loomed big. 92 miles; 6,000 feet of climbing, almost all of it in one steady six percent grade that goes on for 20 miles with absolutely no break.

But first, a beautiful early morning spin through Colorado's wine and orchard country just east of Grand Junction. A little head wind, but nothing too bad.
Colorado early morning countryside
Sunshine, blue skies, a well-tuned bike and a day in which to enjoy it all; what could be better?
spring flowers in countryside
My main objective at this point was keeping enthusiam in check well enough to pace myself for what lie ahead. It was soooo easy to just want to hammer and keep on passing people. Stopping to take this photograph of these beautiful sweetpeas helped my regain perspective. I got off the bike, took a deep breath of the fresh dry air, let the Gods of Nature into my being and was rewarded with a fresh "new day" "SEEing" of all that was around me, and a KNOWING of how Blessed I was just to be here; to be healthy and to have the means and the spousal support to put me here.

From here, and after a brief 5-mile interlude along I-70E, we entered the quiet and gentle climb along the Plateau River you see below.
Plateau Canyon stream
As we rode along, headed east into the sun, the road piched up a bit, just enough to let us know what was coming. About five miles in, just outside the little town of Mesa, the road suddenly pitched UP, . And we began to climb. And Climb. And Climb. I was grateful that I had cooled my jets a little; there was a long way to go before reaching the top of the mesa at about 10,600 feet.
bikers climbing up road

The grade was not bad, just relentless. It never leveled out or let up, so the pressure on your legs was constant. The only way to handle it was to just settle into your "zone" and be patient; any sudden sprints or accelerations just upped the pain equation.

Halfway up, the view opened up and we could see the entire Grand Valley below and to the West.
Grand Valley, Colorado
It was due to be 98 degrees in the valley during the afternoon, so it was good to be gaining at least some of the altitude before it got any hotter. Still, the sweat was pouring and the thirst was building.

Suddenly! A VISION.

Two ranch kids selling cold Gatorade!
kids selling drinks to bikers

Strictly out of the overwhelming goodness of my heart and human generosity, I stopped and bought not ONE bottle from them, but TWO; The first of which I chugged and the second I poured into my now empty water bottle.[sometimes I'm such a good human being, supportive of small children, thinking only of them, that I amaze myself!]

Getting back on my bike, the climb continued. I was making between six and seven miles an hour most of the time. Finally I started getting up into the aspen and evergreen forests. Patches of snow started appearing in shaded areas.
evergreen & aspen forests
My altimeter slowly climbed above 9,500 feet and headed for 10,000. My legs felt good. Time for another picture break as others climbed toward me.
bikers climb toward summit

Only a few more miles and "Up Around the Bend" and the climb would begin to mellow for a mile or two before swooping up the the broad, flat-top summit of Grand Mesa, billed locally as "the largest flattop mountain in the world."
lone biker climbs past cliff

One more steep section, then a rolling mile or so and: THE SUMMIT. All survivors at this point stopped in the chilled air, celebrated however briefly, scarfed down some food and drink, then pulled on jackets for the long descent into the valley and heat below. The Denver Post reported the next day the over 500 riders, out of 2,000 were "sagged" to the top, having pulled off the road and stopped somewhere along the climb.
Bike riders at the summit

After a quick PBJ and a drink, I pulled on my windbreaker, got on the bike and headed down the grade. Within a mile, I was glad to be wearing the jacket as the wind at 40 mph was freezing. That didn't last long though, and less than half way down the mesa I was getting hot, so pulled over to peel off the extra layer. The heat hit me even at this elevation. The valley and plains below looked hazy and hot.
Grand Valley, CO, summer day
Coming down off the downhill, the heat smacked me in earnest; it was going to be a long 15 miles into Delta, a hot headwind and the end of the day's ride. Fortunately a rider pulled by me about then. Within a quarter mile it became obvious we were well-matched. I pulled up along side him and asked him, "How 'bout working together for a while?" He agreed, so we took turns pulling, upping our pace a bit in the process and making the ride much more fun. It's amazing how much better you can go when you have somebody to alternate in front, fighting the wind while you take a quick breather sheltered behind. I have a power meter on my bike that measures the wattage I am putting out, and when I was pulling, it was hitting between 225 and 300 watts. I'd duck back behind and get to cruise along at the same speed at about 150 to 210 watts. We pulled this way for about 10 miles, then slowed and rode side by side the last four miles into Delta. He was from New Jersey and we had a good chat, the perfect end to an excellent day of varied and challenging riding.

My buddy, Art, being Art, had arrived about 1/2 hour before me, with great tales of passing 90 gazillion people on the climb. All told, from the time we had left our hotel in the morning until we were settled at the finish area in Delta took me seven hours and Art six and a half. So we both felt pretty good about our day's ride and looked forward to a shorter day the following morning. Time to kick back, sweat and eat pasta.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005


2005 Ride the Rockies, Day 1

Sandstone formationDay One of the ride opened Sunday morning. I started the ride through the lowlands out of Grand Junction about seven a.m.; cool high desert air and beautiful sunshine. Just west of the downtown the road began to lift. Art and I kept a high cadence, riding our super demo bikes and passing gobs of people with more brains than we hed. But, 'Hey,' it's a short ride today, 45 miles and our legs are fresh; plus the Trek Madone begs to be pedaled! We started the climb into the Colorado National Monument and I was dumbfounded about 1/2 mile into it to pass a man on a hand cycle, legs truncated at mid-thigh and an IV drip into his arm. He was churning up the steep climb full bore. Wow! Talk about courage and the human will. Plenty of his other fellow hand-cyclists were also attacking the climb just as well....
...Made me fully realize that my climbing with a super-light bike and strong, healthy legs is truly a blessing. One to be praised and thankful for each day. And it also made me nod my head to the wonders of the human heart and spirit.

The loop through the monument is about 20 miles of curves, climbs, descents and spiraling hairpins edged by moon rock cliffs. Right as we started the descent I had the further good fortune to hook on with three very fast, skilled riders and we plummeted down, down, down to the bottom, sweeping through long turns at high speeds and puckering up on the tighter hairpins. These guys were pushing it, but still within the limits of sanity. They rode fast, but in a highly predictable manner that made it safe to ride with them. At the bottom we high-fived, then took off for the 20 miles or so back into town, rolling through farmland, housing developments and into an aid station offering cold water and water melon. I grabbed a sample of both, as it was starting to get hot. Wolfed it down, then grimaced as my stomach did a quick flip-flop of protest making me wonder for a second if that icy combo would stay down. Fortunately it did, and the ride back to the the starting point was fun but uneventful. Day one was done, and an afternoon of goofing around and rest stood at hand. Time to begin thinking about Day Two to come. 92 miles and a ball-buster, twenty mile climb of about 6,000 feet.

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Ride the Rockies 2005, sign-up

On Saturday, June 18, Katherine drove Art and I over to Grand Junction, CO, to sign in and get ready for Ride the Rockies. It's about a 3.5 hour drive and we arrived, relaxed, late in the afternoon and after registering, noticed a Van and Tent with a big sign out front: "Ride Lance's Bike here."bike demo
Now how could any self-respecting bike geek resist a sign like that?" We sauntered over, met Eric & Josh, two very cool guys working for Trek who told us, sure enough, we could demo for free a Trek Madone [Trek's Tour de France bike] any day we wanted. Katherine looked at me and said, "Hey, no time like the present." [I love that woman!] So Art and I hustled to the pickup truck, got our "old" bikes and like the bike sluts we are, immediately turned them over in exchange for two shiny, 16-pound trek racing bikes. Ahhhhhhhh. And, of course, being of sound mind, promptly threw them in the back of the truck and headed for the red rocks of the Colorado Monument right before sundown.Colorado National Monument
We stripped down at roadside, climbed into our biking gear at the bottom of the climb up into the Monument [it's about 20 miles one-way through the whole monument.] Katherine said she'd see us at the top, where she'd take a hike out through the rocks as the sun went down. I jumped on the Trek, started to climb and promptly fell in love...

...The Madone proved quick, light, solid. It rode like it was on rails and we laughed and shouted all the way up the six mile climb. Too awesome! Then we turned around to fly back down to the bottom. Way, WAY too cool! Lean low into the corners at high speed, then peddle out of them while still turning, lining up for the next switchback. Arriving at the bottom way, way too quickly, we stopped at a pullout and waited for Katherine to come back down from her hike. I snapped a photo of the cliffs and moon. We stood around for a few more minutes, looked at each other, grinned and said, "What the heck," hopped back on the bikes and began to climb once again, this time slower and standing. Again, the bike felt great, every ounce of power going right down into the road. Katherine came by us about 1/3 of the way up, so we turned around and raced her to the bottom, loaded the bikes in the pickup and drove back to town in search of pasta. We were indeed ready for the next morning's official start of Ride the Rockies.

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Sunday, June 26, 2005


Ride the Rockies hits Finish Line

bike event finish Ride the Rockies for 2005 hit the finish line on Saturday after 405 miles through the high plains, three high mountain passes and slogs through some wind. I rolled into Breckenridge at 10 a.m., so in the next few days I'll sort photos and post a blow by blow. I can tell you right now, though, that it was an awesome ride and I think I've got a bit more muscle mass than a week ago. I feel healthy and good. And today, Sunday, I got my mountain bike out of the shop, brand new drive, rear shock and front fork rebuilt... so I'm ready to roll with the summer and fall endurance races. Should be fun.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Ride the Rockies

Into day 3 of 7. Good but hot weather. Today was an easy day: 35 miles with
only 1500 feet of climbing, compared to 92 miles and 6400 feet yesterday
and about 3000 the first day.

Tomorrow will be longer and harder once again, heading into the mountains,
including a windy ridge.

Awesome, great stuff -- and hard to write on a Blackberry. Bye for now.
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

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Friday, June 17, 2005


Ready for the Road

Bike ready for Ride the RockiesOK, the bags are packed, the bike is ready. The carbs are eaten, the chain is lubed and the brake pads are new. It's Friday night and tomorrow morning Katherine drives Art and I to Grand Junction for the start of the 2005 Ride the Rockies. Sunday morning we wheel out through the Colorado National Monument, a short 45 mile loop through some incredible red rock country and the beginning of the journey. I'll be out of touch except for maybe a couple of quick email blogs from a blackberry (whereever it works,) but promise a full report including pix when I get back a week from Sunday.

Weather looks hot with scattered thunderstorms in the mountains. Oh Yeah; this should be GOOD. Thank you, God!

This mountain biker is now officially "Roadie" for a week and then I will be back to my beloved fat tire bike, hopefully stronger and ready for the summer/fall racing season.

Let's pedal. Got some MILES to put on!

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Thursday, June 16, 2005


Mallard Rising

Mallard duck takes flight
Spring Life takes Flight on Prairie Pond.

Beauty and Freedom

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On Prairie Pond

springtime comes to a prairie pond
Last Sunday, Katherine and I returned in late afternoon from an outdoor concert and took a walk around one of the three ponds near our home. The wind was blowing, sun reaching low in the sky and life spoke clearly all around. It was "one of those moments."

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Tuesday, June 14, 2005


2005 Ride the Rockies

2005 Ride the Rockies map

Next Sunday it begins: the 2005 edition of Ride the Rockies a 405 mile bike ride through Colorado. Last year I did part of the ride; this year I'm doing the whole shot. A first for me; I've never done a week long bike trip before. I figure it will be great training for...

... the upcoming Leadville mountain bike races. Get up every day, regardless of weather, physical condition and plug away for another day. This year's ride encompasses one mountain pass of over 10,000 feet and two over 11,000. Since the Leadville Silver Rush (a 50-miler) averages over 11,000 feet, and the One-Hundred tops out at 12,600 feet, Ride the Rockies will at least get me up high enough on three days to get the lungs and blood pumping a wee bit.

I'll be out of touch while riding, but will keep a journal and post it after the ride is completed. And I will, of course, be carrying my trusty digital camera

Stay tuned. Should be great fun.

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Saturday, June 11, 2005


Sucking Wind at Altitude

Friday was a day of darkness, thunder clouds, gusting winds and, for me, a resulting 'two more hours on the indoor trainer' (groan.) At one point, pea-size hail stones began falling and bouncing around, bringing my neighbor, wide-eyed, out of his house, fearful that his less than a year old car soon would be dimpled as a Tiger Woods golf ball. Fortunately, we were only on the fringes of the storm and no giant hail stones followed -- which is always a huge threat in Colorado.

Today, in contrast to yesterday, has been a day of threatening thunderheads, but no storms. My biking pal, Megan, and I headed out to Golden Gate Canyon Park, about 45 minutes NW of Denver to do a little semi-high-altitude mountain biking at around 8,500 feet...

...By 10:00 a.m. we were on our bikes, a little chilly as the mountain air hit us, but soon sweating like pigs as we climbed. In typcial front range fashion, today's trail was out of the parking lot, 200 meters of gradual grade, then BAM; here comes "the CLIMB." We wound up through the aspen and pines on moist, slightly tacky single track. My legs felt fine, but my lungs and cardio system exploded into protest mode real quick, "WHOA... Whoa... HOLD ON here, Dude! We are NOT liking THIS! This ain't right! Stop! STOP!"

Me: "Yeah, yeah. Well, pals; just a little bit further (like about two miles) and you'll get some relief. Not to worry. I'll take care of you; honest."

I'm not sure what happens when you first start start hard excercise at altitude, but it's like your lungs and cardio just don't want to accept what they have to do. They almost temporarily shut down or something. And all you can do is just ride through it and know that within 15 or 20 minutes it's going to get better. I think maybe your capillaries dilate, your lungs finally 'open up.' Your body reaches a point of equilibrium wherein it finally accepts the task before it and begins to transport enough oxygen to muscle tissue to perform and keep going.

I've want to learn more about this. It seems to be universal to everyone I know who rides or runs at high altitude.

Anybody know anything about this?

At any rate, Megan and I spent three grand hours of grinding up talus slopes, over roots and floundering over rocks. First one of us would be in front, then the other. A good ride, mountain biking that demanded the very best of us, using every bit of body muscle, balance, brain power and timing we could muster.

So we sweated and puffed on the climbs, froze on the fast downhills, and enjoyed it all, getting back to the truck within three hours and before any storms hit -- though we sure saw plenty of them welling up all around.

The one big thing I got out of today is that I need to get up to altitude a lot more -- soon!

We've had a wet spring and the snow up high has been a long time going. Even today, at under 10,000 feet it was pretty boggy and muddy in any low places and the snow line was not all that far above where we were.

My lungs and heart worked today... but not well enough to be comfortable at this summer's up-coming Leadville races, the 50-miler on July 16, and the hundred on August 13.

These are two of my three big goal-events of the year (the other being the 24 Hours of Moab), so, I guess I'd better get back on the road bike in order to spend as much time as possible at 10,000 and above doing the next few weeks -- until the high trails clear some more.

Gotta do it. Though days like today tell me over and over that mountain biking is just always going to be where my true bliss lies.

And that's just how it is... even when I'm 'sucking a bit of wind on those high climbs.' It's a grand sport. It gives life.

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Friday, June 10, 2005


Eat, Ride, Rest

As my summer biking events draw closer I have entered the more intense period of my year long training... And it's interesting how it seems to be working. The always tight, important linkage between exercise, diet and rest has become ever more critical; the room for error narrows. This week is a case in point...

...One week ago today, Friday, we got home from our trip to North Carolina which has caused a [self-chosen] break in my training.

Saturday was a rest and get organized day with only a light, short spin just to get the heart pumping.

Sunday was the Elephant Rock 100 mile road ride, a rolling, non-mountainous ride with 5,200 feet of climbing. My legs were strong because they were well rested; my cardio sucked, average heart rate 10 to 12 beats higher than pre-sea level no stress beach week. I finished in a total time, car-in-parking lot to car-in-parking lot in six hours, 31 minutes; ride time was 6:07. Not race pace, but respectable and all I could handle without totally wiping myself out. Still, my legs ached on the drive home and I crashed early Sunday night and slept like the proverbial rock all night.

Monday, I woke up tired and drained and was a day-long carbohydrate eating machine. I did a light upper body and core workout at noon, took a short steam and felt much better. After work, I did an easy 45 minute spin on the trainer; endurance pace, no high heart rate, no pushing sore muscles. I felt really energized after finishing. Not normal, but much much better.

Tuesday morning, most of the leg soreness was gone, but I was still dragging a bit. After work, Jamey and I did a tough, 90 minute mountain bike ride with lots of technical singletrack climbing, semi-nasty rocks and exhilarating downhill. My legs and power felt great climbing and my heart rate range was sliding back toward normal, though still a little elevated. My eating had normalized. I was careful not to overeat.

Wednesday: I woke up feeling great; ate light and though slightly hungry through the day, kept the calorie intake down below what I would be burning for the day. After work, I went out by myself to one of the nastiest singletrack foothills around and put in a hard two hours of technical climbing and rock crawling ugliness. Legs strong, cardio OK. The ride and the challenge felt great and though I stressed myself pretty far, I got back the car really pumped.

Yeahh! Back to normal.

Thursday: good high energy, no soreness, but a little drag in the legs climbing up stairs. HUNGRY. Ate oatmeal for breakfast, bagel with tiny bit of honey for mid morning snack, veggie burrito for lunch. Did moderate level upper body/core workout at noon; felt good doing it. No fatigue. All was on track. Did high endurance pace 45 minute spin on trainer after work. Started feeling hungry again, so Katherine and I went out to our favorite local Indian Restaurant [THE DANGER ZONE] and I had tandori chicken (no skin, low fat), which was great. BUT... Ate too much rice and flatbread, had a glass of wine; in short, I over ate, in spite of best intentions and being "on diet" all week... Which led to: not sleeping well... Which led to feeling still stuffed this morning and dragging in general.

Not a major disaster, but I could have done better; taken better care of myself.

Point is: at a less intense time of training, this small error in eating really wouldn't have had much effect.

But right now, working this close to the edge, it definitely was NOT optimal, and my performance on the bike today will be off because of it. And that's one less training day that reaches its full potential.

Sound like I'm obsessing?

Maybe so, but that's really what endurance training is all about; taking best possible care of our physical and mental health.

The beauty of it is, endurance training leads us to take better care of ourselves... Which leads us, in turn, to a better, healthier life.

Specifically, in this instance, my enjoyment of THIS morning, THIS moment, is less than optimum. It is less than it would have been, had I more carefully watched my diet last night. In short, through my own choice and action last night, I stole a bit of today from myself.

And so goes the balancing act that is endurance training.

So goes the balancing act that is LIFE.

I love it.

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Thursday, June 09, 2005


Interesting Site of Pennsylvania Off Road Riding

Here's an interesting site about a mountain biker's off road adventures in Pennsylvania. Well done site sponsored by the state tourism board, but no hard sell... just cool "adventures" that anyone can experience.

Sent to me by an anonymous blogger, and worth a look

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Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Elephant Rock Massage

tired bikers get post ride mssage

Bike bodies need love too.

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Horses in Pasture

If you're going to be a horse,
no better place nor time than this!

[Hey, Verne; what the heck are all
those bikes going by today??]

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Elephant Rock bikers

Open Road,
Blue Skies,
Steady Cadence
Miles gone,
Miles to go.
Don't git noo bettah!

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Spring Rocky Mountain Day

7 a.m. and all is well.
Glorious day and the Elephant
Rock Ride is underway

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Re-entry and the 100 Mile Ride

It's been four days since returning from North Carolina: one day of unpacking and rest, one day on the bike, and two days at work. In short: the oft-dreaded "re-entry" period. And re-entry implies an exit in the first place. Here's how it's gone...

...When I lifted off from Denver International Airport to begin the trip, squished in with my fellow passengers at the start of Memorial Day Weekend, I had the definite feeling of being a stranger in a strange land. What are all these people doing here, eating McDonald's burgers, slurping big drinks and looking generally frazzled? I'm form-fitted into a window seat, wondering how big people even get into these seats, when "the guy who will be sitting next to me" arrives: Harley jacket with a skull on the back, leather vest underneath, and a HUGE box of freshly hot-greased Kentucky Fried Chicken. Now the plane is packed, the air is close, the ventilation system isn't really working all that well and the grease is literally oozing out of the box seams. He smashes himself into the middle seat, pops the box and the full hot-grease effect rolls into my nostrils as he proceeds to eat, lip-smackin' hot chicken.

My stomach's nausea buttons SCREAM, "This is not a good thing."

Fortunately the guy is not also an "arm rest grabber," even though he could sure use the space. I determine that I am going to make friends with this guy, while at the same time confirming to myself that I must actually be from Mars, cuz this whole scene sure seems foreign. I think of my skinny bike geek friends, while looking around me and thinking, "Damned, if this is normal, I sure live in a weird subculture backwater. I mean, there's not a person around me wearing a heart rate monitor or sporting lycra.

My seat-neighbor turns out to be a pretty decent fellow, once we have got our penis measuring out of the way and talk to one another as human beings. He's going to Chicago for the weekend to see his kids, and I'm on the way to NC to meet up with my wife, who has gone a few days earlier, my son, who's joining us from Texas, and some friends and family.

So that was the exit; I rejoined the mainstream, didn't bike for a week, ate too much (but not crazily,) spent too much time in a car, watched the rain on the salt marsh and was inspired and cared for by some really great people for a week.

Fast forward to Friday, June 3, and we arrive home in Denver to accompaniment of torrential rain mixed with hail, a Saturday of rest and getting my bike stuff ready for Sunday's "century" ride.

Sunday morning dawned clear and crisp. Art picked me up at five and by 6:20 a.m. I was punching the start button on my cyclometer and pedaling out of the parking lot at the beginning of the Elephant Rock ride. It was nippy, but with the first big climb, I unzipped the windbreaker pretty quickly. And after a week of rest, the legs felt great, but my cardio was going right through the roof, about 10 to 15 beats higher than usual. Ahh, that sea level, good living. Payback time.

The day turned out to be stunningly beautiful; I backed off a bit and set a pace I could maintain. My nutrition (hammer gel and perpetuam) was working well and there was almost NO wind. Yesssss! Skipped most of the rest stops, but hit one at about sixty miles; scarfed down a full bottle of sports drink, half bagel with peanut butter and jelly, five cookies and another half bottle of water. Hmmmmmm, guess the old body was hungrier/thirstier than I thought! Didn't feel heavy or bloated, pulled back out on the road and got a nice sustained peak of renewed energy. Six hours and 30 minutes (6:07 ride time) and I had put my 102 miles in, before it really got too warm. Legs definitely knew they had been worked, though.

By the time I got home, a hot bath and nap felt great. Then to bed early, slept soundly, and yesterday (Monday) I did feel pretty tired. Did a short upper body/core workout at lunch and an easy 45 minute spin at end of day; felt OK. Today I'm less tired and the leg soreness is about gone. My friend, Jamey, and I will do a two hour mountain bike ride with some good technical climbing in it after work, and by tomorrow morning I expect/hope to be normal again.

Re-entry accomplished.

It's great to be back in the saddle.

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Saturday, June 04, 2005


Stepping back into Bike Life

Tomorrow morning I get up at 4 a.m., Art comes by at five, and we go to ride Elephant Rock, an annual Denver cycling event. I've never done it before, but figured a 100-mile road ride would be good training, plus fun to do with a large group of cyclists. I had planned on doing the 40 mile mtb ride, but heard from friends who know the route that it is kind of lame, mostly just gravel roads, so chose to do the road ride instead...

...After my week off, it will be good to be getting back on the road again. I did a brief spin this afternoon on trainer since it was raining cats and dogs outside. I had taken my road bike to the shop while we were in North Carolina, getting the wheels re-trued, since it had been developing a nasty, head-shaking wobble at about 45 mph; not exactly the most confidence inspiring thing when winding down a mountain road. Hopefully the wheel truing will take care of the problem, and I don't think tomorrow has any roads that will test that premise. Instead of heading up into the mountains, the ride cruises out to the plains. Rolling hills and wind are likely to be the biggest challenges. And hopefully the skies will clear and the storms stay away while we are on the road.

So, off to bed and a good nights snooze. I have some trepidations about my "out of prime shape," so tomorrow's ride will be the perfect re-entry; far enough to be challenging to butt and legs, but no race pressures. Should clear out the lungs and dilate the cardio vascular system. [Art's gonna bury me!]

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In Touch

Girl making a call from streamside beauty

Whereever we go, there we are.

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On a Clear Day...

Chicago as seen from the air

Chicago has to be one of the world's great cities. And on a clear day it shows itself in all its strength.

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Friday, June 03, 2005


Land of Water & Trees

North Carolina lake shore

Back home from North Carolina! I am now officially the "Man Who Grew A GREAAT BIG BELLY in One Week!" I chose to spend time with family and friends and not on a bike. Good stuff... but this weekend's upcoming rides back here in CO are apt to be a weeeee bit painful. :)

All in all, a great trip, great people, great travels within the state. Sea shores, sea food, beautiful lakes and trees. Spent lots of hours... a car going from place to place, and had lots of rain every day. But the "all day" rains were peaceful for somebody from Colorado our rainstorms tend to be quick downpours and thunderstorms in summer, snows in winter.

And now, a good night's sleep, and tomorrow: On the Bike.

Plenty of pictures to come!

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