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Showing posts from January, 2013

Shouldering the fall - and the fun

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Another warm weekend with nothing to do but ride my bike. Awesome! I was even luckier that Nick wasn't riding with the guys on Saturday and could ride with me. We both wanted something different, so decide to head up to Ute Valley Park. I've only ridden there twice - once many years ago when rocks scared me and during The Dirty Du Duathlon last year. Way back when, Nick stuck to the easy trails so I wouldn't kill him and the race just used the outer perimeter trail. So I really didn't know what to expect in this ride. I asked if I could ride my HT - wanting the power numbers for a least one ride this weekend. Nick didn't say no, so I took that as a yes. The ride got off to a bad start when I realized I hadn't charged my Gamin and had no battery left (first world problems for sure). So after a delay to push as much power as I could and hopefully get all three hours of riding, we finally headed out.

Nick had the route all planned in his mind - Santa Fe north, th…

Playing hooky

After spending most of the last three weeks hiding in the garage for my workouts because of the freezing temperatures, i was looking forward to some sun. Last week, it was so cold I wanted my down coat while doing my workout in the garage! And there had been plenty of other, equally cold days to limit outside activity. With highs projected to be near 60s for Wendesday and Thursday, I knew I was going to take advantage of the weather. But with just starting my new job, it was gonna mean playing hooky. It's a good thing lunch takes forever at my new building! More then enough time to escape for some fun.

Wednesday, as soon as I saw my last patient before lunch, I clocked out and bolted for Palmer Park. I had my bike with me and I was on a mission for some fun in the sun. And it was a great day to play. I didn't ride anything really technical - just meandered around on the easier trails. It was a planned recovery ride, so I didn't even have to push the pace. All I had to do …

Pueblo - Finally!

After our last attempt at a weekend get away to Pueblo State Park, we were a little concerned when we loaded up the Turtle and hit the road. Other then the lingering smell of antifreeze, the camper ran smoothly and we had a smooth drive down. It was already busy in the main parking lot so we just headed to the campground to stake a claim. Once again everything was working well so setting up didn't take much time. Then it was time to ride! Two long days of riding in warm weather, on dry trails with plenty of time for fun, technical and fast.

Saturday was canyon day. Up and down, working the technical skills both directions. I was doing my best to keep up, but to ride smoothly I had to slow down a little. Then rail it to catch back up - so it was hard riding for me. We did Freeride down, up Skull Canyon, down Broken Hip - I made the tight switch back with made me happy. Then up Stonehenge - huh? I didn't think anyone ever rode up Stonehenge! Well, when I looked on Strava, more …

Back to Work

The "real" kind of job - the one I went to school for. It's been fun the last  four years, traveling around the country, training hard and not working much. But not working doesn't pay the bills, let alone the expenses for the "fun" stuff. And while I've been lucky with some of the races and making some money on my bike, I'm not at the point where it's a source of income. So I've had my eyes open with the companies I work for - looking for either a part time position with some consistent hours or a flexible full time position. I've been wanting the consistency for a while - both for my sanity and my training. I just do better when I have a set schedule and I use my time better to get things done. It's less stressful to know what days I have to get up early and what days I can sleep in. And less stress means better training, which means better racing.

Well, end of last year I found out that the PT at one of the companies was leaving. …

Night Time = Fun Time

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After freezing my toes, nose, tail and waterbottle last week, the chilly temperatures for this week's night ride seemed practically balmy. It was a quiet night, with clear skies and just a little wind. Perfect for riding! And there was a good group assembled at ProCycling for some fun in Red Rocks. Nick tagged along as chaperone again (I feel better when he's around - having seen some weird things on the trail at night.) With a better sense of where we were heading this time, the group pedaled over to Red Rocks. I picked a route similar to what we'd done the last time in Red Rocks, but staying off some of the harder goat trails in the valleys. We were the only people out riding, but I think the noise of five girls and Nick scared away all the animals! I only saw a few deer on this ride.
Across Codell's with a stop to practice switchbacks. Up the climb to the Hog's Back, then across the Hog's Back. That trail is always fun, but always hard. There's no way t…

Looking Forward

Making resolutions seems so cliché - things painted in broad strokes without real meaning or purpose. I've never been big on resolutions or announcing goals to the world. I much prefer an open minded approach towards life improvement. It's not always about changing personally, but shifting the way you view and interact with the world. I always make goals and identify what I want to improve upon. 2013 will be no different - I have big goals, some personal things to address this year and the usual assortment of things to improve. So here goes - some goals for 2013.
Take more pictures. I'm always envious of other blogs with well crafted stories and stunning photography. Too often, I have the story but without the pictures to help with visual impact of where we have gone and our adventures. I have a good camera - small enough to carry and it takes good pictures. Even if I only use 85% of the photos, I'm bound to improve the stories I'm telling. So this year, I'm go…

Weekend - interrupted

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We've been bad RV owners this winter. We haven't used the turtle at all since our trip Salida mid October. We haven't done any driving around town this winter! So Saturday morning, when we loaded up bikes and gear for a weekend trip to Lake Pueblo, we were hoping for the best. Unfortunately, that wasn't what we got. Cruising down I-25, just south of Circle and Nick sniffs. "Smell that?" A few seconds later, the smell of radiator fluid fills the cab. Then a small backfire and Nick says "that's it, we're done." We creep along until the S Academy exit where we can safely pull over. The entire engine is steaming now, with billows of white smoke pouring from every opening. Apparently, that was an improvement over the grey purple cloud coming from the tail pipe! We hung out for a while, hoping to limp home on the slower roads. Nick was sure the turtle was dead - cracked engine or something. When we got home, I unpacked and he called his dad, who s…

Embracing the cold

It only took two pairs of socks, winter shoes, knee warmers under fleece knickers, wool base layer, heavy jacket under Gore jacket and wool gloves under winter mitts. Oh, and a windstopper baclava! Yeah, last night's ride was just a little chilly - started out at 20 and dropped from there. But we are so lucky where we live - instead of dealing with a long climb and hypothermia inducing descent, we headed over the Bear Creek Terrace single track. After meandering through east Beat Creek for a few minutes, we got stopped at the light on 21st street. My bottle was already slushy!

Across the street and we just played around. Took every trail in the area, up and down, working on some technique and smoothness on the dry, crunchy snow. I wasn't fast at all - my legs still feeling the training of the prior three weeks. Nick was just riding away from me on the climbs, but I didn't care. If I rode easy, I was able to ride steady and stay warm. And staying warm was the primary goal! …

Running for EPCSAR

Ahh, the annual Rescue Run, held in sleet, snow or 30 below. I decided New Years Eve to jump in the 10k race - it seemed perfect Rescue Run weather - freezing cold and snowing. Well, while the temperatures were not quite 30 below on New Year's Day, it was definitely one of the chillier Rescue Runs I've done. But it's always a fun time and supports an organization that does a lot of good and one I hope I never need - the El Paso County Search and Rescue. The Rescue Run is one of the main fundraisers for EPCSAR and serves as a good kick start to the 2013 season.

The cold kept many runners huddled in their cars until moments before the race. As the time ticked closer, herds of people appeared, streaming towards the start. The race actually started a few minutes late because of the numbers. I was up with two Colorado Running Co runner - Amanda and Connilee - and when the fun went off, we started out together. Amanda was doing the 5k, so I wasn't worried about her when she…

2012 in the Rearview Mirror

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Everyone says that you should do an end of year - end of season review. I don't normally do that because I sit down and analyze every race right afterwards. But after reading a few other end of year reviews, I realized I was looking at it too narrowly. The year isn't just about the races - it's about the miles, the trails and the adventures. So, in no particular order - some of the best (and a few worst) adventures of 2012
Best 24 Hour Race - 24 Hours in the Sage You can't beat the party at 24 HitS. The KOA hospitality is on full display, with Dave's Kitchen cooking up some hot food around the clock. Nick and I have raced here four years and each year it just gets better and better. This year was especially memorable because we had a fantastic race. We were both on fire and ready to ride hard. Nick had a smart start lap and then kept the pressure high every other lap. While my fastest lap time was a little slower then last year, I took over two minutes off my avera…