Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Reflection of USA Pro Cycling Challenge

Saw the USA Pro Cycling Challenge Stage 2 race today from the peak of Independence Pass. Got to see idols pass by at inspiring speeds. When I saw Basso, I nearly lost it. When I saw Andy climb, I checked off where it reads, "things to see before I die." When I saw Christian Vande Velde, I was in awe at a local hero tucked in an aero climbing position that I nailed for the first time last week. I could hardly cheer them on because of the tides of emotion coming over me. Suddenly, the cold I've been trying to kick has been cut at the knees. Positive days heal. The emotions, dreaming, and thoughts continue, a recent text to my Dad after the race...

USA Pro Cycling Challenge road race. Best & most talented cycling race north america has ever seen. Nowhere in the world do pro racers climb over 12,000 ft. They did that 2X today and I was at the top of the 2nd Pass. Surreal. I almost lost it when I saw my idols for the 1st time, tearing up the mountain. I'll race road next year bc of it and bc of a strong road ride the other day. I actually believe my body's strengths oddly excel more on a road bike to the point where I feel it's part natural talent like my time trialing, sustained climbs, and several other ways that would make me a better road rider than mtn biker, some are gifts I was born with. I guess there's only one way to find out, I just have to decide to commit to it.

Here are some pics and videos of Stage 2...

Awaiting the lead group in the crazy bright sun, soon to be gone.
This was only the beginning of the fun! Adam from Wheatridge Cyclery was pretending to be Andy Schleck, storming past riders on the climb!
My campsite from the previous night. Gorgeous, free, and my favorite site in all of Colorado!
The top of Independence Pass was littered with bikes.
Here's a choppy video, but understand how difficult it is to keep steady while your emotions are going nuts. With that said, go Andy, go, go, go!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Go Big or Go Home

Recovering for six of nine days after Crankworx seems to have served me well. Ever since I finalized my race schedule early in the year, I promised myself two full weeks off the bike after Crankworx. No dice. On August 10th, I couldn't take it anymore and had to ride like a bat out of hell.

I woke up early that morning and knew I had to bag a ride I've been thinking of for quite some time. My goal was originally to ride from the apartment to Estes Park and be back before dark. I'm not quite sure what I was thinking. That would have been 185 miles with some heavy duty climbing, so I cut it short to 150 miles by doubling back on Peak to Peak Highway when I reached Peaceful Valley. Yes, the name suits the area. I headed back into the bowl where Nederland sits to make a routine stop at Buffalo Bill's Coffee, a fantastic shop in a caboose that serves great espresso and fresh mini-doughnuts, perfect fuel for the long way home. Garmin stats here.

Since then, I got a few good 50 mile rides under my belt with the road and mountain bike. Today, I bagged another ride I've been meaning to do and made it up Squaw Pass and back to the apartment. I'm super stoked about the ride since my legs finally feel like they're back and ready to race. I've never felt stronger on a road bike, despite the hours I've spent climbing and hammering this week, see below. Garmin stats of this ride here.

I'm aware I haven't visited the blogging world much lately and I'm cutting this session short to get some sleep for maybe a ride in the morning. All in all, this past week was seriously a dream come true. To get three dream rides (forgot to mention a ride from the apartment to 3 Sisters Park via Mount Falcon and LOTB) accomplished all in one week, has included plenty of justice (maybe next post), exhilaration, suffering, laughing (at pain), and exhaustion in preparation for upcoming races. But most of all, to simply do what I was born to do...have fun riding bikes.

45 miles from home and just getting started to climb 15 miles, awesome!
An hour and twenty straight minutes of climbing this... get a site of this. Gorgeous!
Obsessed much? I admit that the Breck Epic was on my mind all week. Next year!


Ride like you mean it