On training, I've been focusing exclusively on the bike and with a new cycling coach and my power numbers have improved substantially over last year. That's good because I'll be racing a lot this year, on the dirt, on the road, and on the grass (cyclocross). For various reasons, triathlon will be taking a backseat for now as I enjoy my time on the bike and the occasional running race.
|The lions couldn't care less that we were sitting 5 feet away from them!|
|This is my favorite picture... Notice the stuffed sheep key chain on this Warrior's backpack. Turns out this lion killer is a big softie!|
|At the top|
|We got stuck a few times...|
We were mindful of the fact that just getting accustomed to the altitude in the valley would be a bit of a challenge since Boulder lies at about 5500 feet of elevation and we live at sea level. And further, all roads out of Boulder go up into the Rockies. But we weren't dissuaded. Neither were we dissuaded by the fact that we were both coming into this training weekend already in the negative on training stress balance, Becky significantly more so than I...
Armed with yummy drink mixes and a riding route, we headed over to University Cycles on Pearl Street to pick up our rental bikes. What can I say about this place? Its simply an awesome cycling store. The vending machine outside for bike nutrition and tubes ought to have suggested a great experience inside, but the cake really goes to their rental bikes. I'm talking top of the line 2013 Cannondale Supersix Evos with complete SRAM Red grouppos. Plus the people at the shop were super helpful and nice. They suggested a climb up to Ward and back, about a 75 mile loop so we decided to tackle this as a warmup.
|yeah, we're goofballs|
|The views were just magnificent|
|Pretty nice day to be out on bikes|
|Umm, where tf is the road?!|
|So glad to be on paved road again!|
At this point, I was feeling a bit tired and would have been happy to spend the next day just tooling around but Becky had other ideas. So off we went on another 90 mile ride on Sunday morning, this time to Estes Park. Surprisingly my legs felt pretty good and we passed Teejay Van Garderen out on a fast bike ride. The altitude got to me a bit at the top as we spent a good chunk of time above 9,000 feet. But this was well rewarded with a bombing descent into Estes Park. The views here were not just magnificent, they were magical. I would go back and do this climb again just for the views.. and the descent. We both hit about 50mph on the bikes on the way down and it was awesome.
|At the bottom of the descent into Estes Park|
|Two happy campers|
Wildcat 100 Mud Bath
It rained and rained and then it rained some more. This was all before we arrived in New Paltz, NY for the Wildcat 100 mountain bike race. Becky had the bright idea of this "exotic" race that has been on her bucket list for a while. I wasn't too keen on 100 miles so opted for the more forgiving 100K option.
Turns out that this is a shit race. Very poorly organized, poor course markings, and terrible trail choices. The rain didn't help at all and made the already make-shift trails through cow patches and orchards into slow slogs through deep mud. A bunch of us riding together got lost due to lack of trail signs, but the worst was having to do 3 extra miles at the end when I had already done 67 of the 66 miles I signed up for (as per my garmin, which always under-reports if anything). Those last 3 were in mud filled single track where it was impossible to ride a bike... Even the pros were crying about conditions at the rewards and the race director was booed onstage...
But it was an experience and I finished despite the trying conditions and some bike problems, which is great. and I didn't have any spectacular crashes. Becky was lucky and found a riding buddy, Greg, along the way and the two of them chewed up the 100 mile course together.
Here are some pics that speak for themselves:
|Glad to be done|
|Yeah.. thats mud!|
|I don't know why I was smiling here. This must have been early in the race|
|And she's smiling at the finish. wtf?!|
|Yeah, long day|
|Becky with her riding buddy, Greg|
Upcoming: Cycling in the Alps + Work travel to Lima, Berlin, and Moscow