Split persona of Colorado

It's more then a joke in Colorado - the crazy weather. It's really part of life. This weekend was a typical schizophrenic springtime trip on two wheels. Saturday - sunshine and 70. No fooling - I rolled up to Starbucks for the group road ride wearing just jersey and shorts for the first time all year. No arm warmers, no vest, no knee warmers. After the last time I'd joined the group, I was hoping for another successful outing and maybe getting over Link Hill again. That was the goal at least - always the goal. On the rollout on Platte, I knew it wasn't to be this time around. The pace was already high and I was already struggling to close the gaps forming. Someone was in a major hurry! The group was also weird, with a lot of people I didn't know and more aggressive vibe then normal. Instead of my usual of trying to be in the first few riders, I drifted back. If I wasn't going to be able to do any work at the front, I needed to stay out of the way. After the right, I tried hard to stay in the pack, but something was freaking me out. I just wasn't comfortable in a group of that size with riders I didn't know and trying to ride that hard. I eased off just a little and let the main group go. It wasn't what I wanted to do, but I felt more comfortable right away in the small bunch of stragglers. We got organized pretty quickly, although some of the guys weren't very good about pulling though. We kept the organization going all the way to the turn to Hanover. The main group had been going pretty hard and were already coming back. I was annoyed that I hadn't even tried to stay in the main group, but happy with how hard we'd ridden in the chase pack. We'd almost made my normal turn around at the bridge.

I did manage to stay in the pack for the rest of the ride back into town. They were still going hard, but not attacking any more so I felt much more at ease with the size of the pack. I still avoided doing any work at the front though - I wouldn't have been much help at all. This time we rolled right down 85/87 thru Security and Widefield. Not a huge fan of that road under most circumstances, but the group was amazingly well behaved on the ride north. We had no issues with cars or traffic at all, despite the number of vehicles on the road. I stayed to the inside of the shoulder, well away from traffic. At the turn onto B-street, I opted for climbing, knowing that I would be dropped again. Sure enough, as we made the turn off B-street, one of the fast guys attacked. I tried following the group, but not on that steep hill. Time for some solo climbing to the zoo, then home. Legs were tired, but I actually had my fastest time up to the zoo. Hard work paying off! I could tell I wasn't used to the heat though - I brought three water bottles with me and used all of them! Working on my tan lines while working on my fitness...

Then came Sunday. A complete 180 from Saturday. Cold and cloudy when I woke up and started breakfast. With a long mountain bike ride on the schedule, I knew I was relegated back to the Canyon where I've been riding all week. The decomposed granite of the canyon makes it the perfect get away when the weather is wet. It also meant I'd be riding the Stumpy - and while I love that bike, I really want to get some time on the Camber before the end of May. Oh well. I'm a little jealous of Nick - he's gotten plenty of time on his Camber, unlike me. But with the looming snow and already falling rain, I wasn't gonna take the race bike out in the slop and wet. Unlike the last few workouts where I was dodging people on the road, there was no one out. It was cold, windy and wet but utterly quiet. We had only tracks on Columbine and free reign on every other trail we rode. We actually beat the snow home, cutting the ride short just a little because of the weather. And I still had to run. I think I ran in the snowiest part of the day! But got it done...

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