Saturday, June 27, 2009

Texas is hot

Well, the day after the last post we ended up spending closer to 5 hours on the bike. It was some of the best riding on the trip though. The Rim Trail is always fun, and after that we hit the road to Lanedo, which is paved for about 5 miles, dirt for about 6, and all slightly uphill. That was followed by about another 45 minutes of singletrack climbing up to "four corners" and from there it was rolling jeep road to Sunnyside. Sunnyside started out as rolling bench cut in the side of a probably 60 degree or more hill, then turned into fast singletrack down the side of a less steep section, and finally into very technical switchbacks the rest of the way into Aspen. I'll just say I'm glad I had disc brakes.

We gladly took Monday off, did an easy ride across Cross Mountain and Government Tuesday, and hit up one last Aspen Cycling Club road race Wednesday evening before heading home.

The race was from Basalt up past Ruedi Reservoir and back, a total trip of just under 50 miles. My legs were still dead from the weekend, and I got shelled off the back after a couple attacks on the biggest climb of the race. Eventually I fell into a group of about 8 and we stuck together until the biggest hill on the return trip where we lost a few people. At one point we saw another group up the road, but we were never able to catch up. I ended up 16th, which wasn't great, but considering the riding we had done the couple days before the race, I'll take it.

Thursday we took the bikes to be shipped to Dallas and then jumped on a plane ourselves. A few hours later we made it home. Now I just have to get used to this whole thing where the temperature is like 3000 degrees. Although, the presence of Oxygen in the air is making up for it a little.
I'm taking a few days off right now, while the bikes get here here and whatnot, then it'll be right back to it until the 7th, when me and the parentals are heading back up to Granby for the race!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


The last couple days have been hard. Lots of good riding though. We took Tuesday off after the trip to Colorado Springs and Granby, but since then...

Wednesday was another Aspen Cycling Club race, this time a circuit race on Buttermilk Mountain (where the winter X-Games are). The course was about 15 minutes, 12 of which was uphill at about 15%. Four laps later my legs were quite sore and I finished in 12th. Could have been a little better, but I didn't know the downhill section and kept getting gapped through it. Oh well.
Thursday, Will's dad (John/Snow White) got into town, and we rode up and back down Independence pass. My time from the first gate to the summit was right at 1 hour 26 minutes. Back down was 28 minutes. We ran into Ride the Rockies - they were coming over the pass, so we got caught up in some of their traffic on the way down... That made it interesting though, passing a few hundred people down a mountain... SWEET!
Yesterday the three of us headed back to Red Hill along with fellow Texan Steven Hardy who is up here training for the 100 miles of Leadville in a few weeks. As per usual that trail was good.
Today John skipped out, but the rest of us rode the Government trail, which just opened today after Elk Calving Season, into Aspen then went up Smuggler mountain, down into Hunter Valley, and so on. Ended up with about 3.5 hours total!
Tomorrow should be about as long - we're riding the Rim trail, up into Lanedo, then down into Aspen. My legs are already tired enough, so that'll be good fun.

Picture fun time!

Independence Ghost Town, on the way up the pass

View from the top

Perfect helmet for long road rides...

Maroon Creek from the ride today

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Here and there

This weekend we took a trip to Colorado Springs for a UCI race and Granby to preride the course for Nationals.

The Colorado Springs course was interesting - most of it was on a wider than singletrack but not jeep-road gravel path type thing, but then there would be big piles of rocks that it was impossibly to take a good line through. Then on the start line, they decided that all of the Experts were going to have a mass start!
Luckily I was on the front row, but that didn't stop about 10 people from other classes who could ride slightly uphill open stuff but had to stop and walk as soon as there was a rock more than an inch tall from getting in front of me before all of the rocks...
Eventually I got back around most of them, but still had no idea who was in my class and who wasn't. Basically the rest of the race was me trying to pass anyone who I could, and I guess it kinda worked, because I ended up 5th in 19-29 and 2nd in 19-24.

At Granby they didn't have the entire course cut yet, so we got to ride up the mountaian, then take 3the easier downhill courses back down. Unfortunately, our legs were tired for some reason, so we only felt like going up two or three times, which meant we only got to go down a couple times (which was pretty cool - the course we took had ~70 jumps and berms!)

Anywho, we're back in Snowmass now, just in time for some waiter to think he was sneaky enough to pocket a $20 and put some extra on my card... Then try to guilt-trip me when I caught him and and left a sup-standard tip...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Another Good Ride

After yesterday, I wasn't sure how I would feel on a long ride today but decided to go for it anyway! And... Good choice! Not only did I actually feel pretty good, it was no doubt the best I've been able to breathe at altitude so far, but the scenery was also quite nice!

Well, most of it, anyway...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Red Hill

A new trail got added to my top five favorites today, making the list (in no certain order):
-Oak Mountain State Park, Birmingham, Alabama
-Schwietzer Mountain, Sandpoint, Idaho
-Red Hill, Carbondale, Colorado
-Lincoln Parish Park, Ruston, Louisiana
-Cameron Park, Waco, Texas

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mo' CO

The last couple days haven't been much different than what I talked about in the last post, just riding and chilling and whatnot.
Except for Wednesday, when we had our first race of the trip - a Hill Climb Time Trial up Smuggler Mountain. The course was a 3 mile jeep road with about 800 feet of elevation gain. The course record set in 1999 is 10' 53" and as much as I would have liked to break it, I wasn't (and still haven't quite gotten) used to the higher altitude. I made it up in 15' 10" without being able to breathe for most of the time I was riding, so that can't be too terrible. That put me in 17th out of 23. After I get used to this whole riding in the mountains thing, I think I'll go try again to see if I can do any better!

I haven't taken the real camera with me on any rides yet (will for sure on Sunday, it looks like there will be some pretty sweet scenery), so here's a crappy AWESOME cell phone picture from Tuesday's ride:

Monday, June 1, 2009

This is kinda like Austin

Only the hills are longer and not as steep.
Too bad they're at 8,000 feet too. Although the altitude isn't as bad as I remember from last time I was in part of the world.

Me and Will rode for about 1.5 hours this morning trying to avoid the storms that won't go away. Hopefully after something similar tomorrow we'll be ready to race Lance (maybe) on Wednesday.

We're probably going to go see Star Trek later, and that'll be about it for the day.