Tuesday Night Worlds

I finally got an invite for Tuesday Night Worlds! Okay, so I kinda invited myself along since I was supposed to do a race simulation type workout, but... It was cold and damp and I really didn't want to ride by myself! Nick indulged me and said I could come, but they wouldn't be waiting for me. Well, that's pretty much what I expected, so... Up to me to keep up! I will admit to being really nervous when we rolled into the Chutes parking lot. I wasn't sure I was ready for that kind of ride. The plan was to head up through Stratton, all the way up Gold Camp, then back down on Columbine and into Stratton. All trails I know, but never really ride fast.

We pedaled out into the woods and I was immediately on the back. Not off the back, but dangling. I was keeping close to Matt, surging to catch his wheel then falling off the pace. As long as I was within about two bike lengths, I was happy. It wasn't easy and I was at race intensity the entire climb. Near the steepest part of Chamberlin, right before the junction with the Chutes I lost contact. Made up some of the gap on the flatter part just before Gold Camp, but was not in the main group at the top. Uff dah! And no rest for the weary, either! The minute I crested into the parking lot, the guys were off again and I was left to chase. I made the catch and decided to just hug wheels. Take advantage of the draft while I could. Gold Camp was hard - I was drifting off Shad's wheel, sprinting to catch back up, desperately catching my breath while trying to hold on, then watching the elastic snapping. Repeat and repeat - the entire stretch of Gold Camp. Finally, the elastic broke for good at the last turn before parking lot.

A quick stop for some warm clothes, then the race was on again. I wanted to challenge myself with the descending and climbing on Columbine, so slotted into third wheel - behind Nick and Shad, but ahead of Matt. And drilled it to stay there. I hardly ever ride Columbine fast, but with two guys ahead and one behind, I had no choice. On the gas up the short steep hills, smooth and fast around the switchbacks. I missed one and had to run a little to stay in front of Matt on a climb. But once we hit the Spring Creek turnoff, I was able to relaxed and get some breathing room on Matt. Nick and Shad were switchbacks ahead already at that point, so it was me and my lights alone, racing down the trail. I had to keep alert the entire descent - speeds like that are my race pace. It was fun but super hard riding.

I don't know if I'll get another invite for Tuesday Night Worlds this year, but just the one ride was awesome. Getting faster!


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