Monday, August 17, 2009

Span the Rockies

A couple of big events this week.

I informed Mike Durner and Carmichael Training Systems that I would not renew my contract in September. It wasn't easy but after nearly three years of working with Mike and without a major ride at least through 2010 I decided it was time to push myself forward on my own. I'll see if I have the discipline to do that.

I totally endorse Mike and Carmichael if you have a goal and need (and you probably do) some help.

I rode the Span the Rockies charity ride Sunday, more or less.

The ride started at 6am and it was cold! Who would not imagined that an August ride would require arm and leg warmers. In Boulder it was 50 when the ride started and 33 in Ward. The climb up Left Hand Canyon was cold and into a cold wind. I didn't take my arm and leg warmers off until 11am.

I saw lots of wild life. There were lots of deer along hwy 36. I saw a golden eagle. There were beavers on Left Hand Canyon. Pheasants along the Peak-to-Peak highway. And Elk in Estes Park.

The ride along the Peak-to-Peak was spectacular as usual.

Long's Peak

The Span the Rockies ride was planned as a 200K ride with 9,000 feet of climbs. The route was basically up Left Hand Canyon to Ward, along Peak-to-Peak to Estes Park, back up to Peak-to-Peak to hwy 7 and down into Lyons. I really like the idea of the route. Normally I won't ride into Estes Park because there is no where to really go once there. But this event seemed to offer a chance to climb back out on the Peak-to-Peak.

Climbing out of Estes Park is a big challenge. The road is very steep with no shoulder. The climb is about 1,500 feet in 10 miles with some steep parts. But the real problem is the complete lack of a shoulder and the very heavy traffic. You have to ride in traffic for a long time taking your chances with RVs and 5th wheelers driven by tourist.

I expected some police support to help manage traffic on the climb. There wasn't any. So I decided not to ride that section and instead went down hwy 34 along the Big Thompson. In the end I only rode 109 miles and climbed 7,000 feet.

The Span the Rockies event was a great thought but the execution was weak. It was there first effort so they have a lot to learn. They were lucky that only 200 riders showed up. If it had been a 1,000 it would have been a disaster.

Overall a good week riding 171 miles, climbing more than 8,000 feet, for eleven hours, and burning 5486 kcal. Total workouts for the week was 14 hour.

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