OMG! What a change a few days can make. On my drive to the Velodrome this past Tuesday it was -21 F when I went past Niwot. Here it is less than a week later and I’m riding comfortably. Not sure it’s true, but we’re fond of saying …. “Only in Colorado!”
No wind, bright sunshine and crystal clear skies the color of deep frozen ice. Just gorgeous. I rode north along what is becoming my standard 1.5 hour loop. It took me 11:08 to the first stop sign, and almost twice that, 22:25 to the second one. Kinda cool the way that worked out — I’m a numbers person so had it been 22:16 you’d be seeing an entire post about number relationships. Lucky for you, I was 9 seconds off the pace.
I turned east on Cty Rd 14, then north onto Cty Rd 21. Gotta love those Cty Rds. These two roads had a face lift this fall and the surface is as smooth as a baby’s….. well, it is SMOOTH. Rolling along is effortless. Nothing like the dreaded chip seal I have to endure near home. I climbed west along 14th Street SW. The climb is probably less than a half mile, but it quickly passes thru the 2% and 4% grades and spends a fair amount of time at 7% and 8%. Most “normal” folks would dread seeing this hill in front of them and look for an alternative route. I guess I’m not normal because I always smile when I see the hill rise up in front of me, like I was greeting an old friend. Today I wanted to attack it and try to keep my speed up above 10 mph. I felt good and knew as soon as I hit the grade that I would win today’s battle. I did. When I got over the 8% section I didn’t back off though and use the remaining quarter mile for recovery, I powered thru the remainder of the climb and didn’t let up until I had turned onto Cty Rd 23E and was cruising down the long hill.
The next stretch meanders along for a mile or so with minor ups and downs. It is a nice recovery terrain that ends with a short incline and intersects with what I call the Hog’s back road. It is really S. Cty Rd 20, but whatever you call it — it’s a great workout! A long, steady climb. Part way up the climb I came upon a cyclist repairing a flat. I stopped and offered help and moral support. Not sure he needed either, but I was feeling social so struck up a converstation anyway. Turns out, the fellow is quite a cyclist. Not young, but not old. Probably in his late 30’s or early 40’s. He was riding a ‘Fixie’ with 46×17 gearing. Said he really preferred it. Said you never had to worry about whether or not you were in the “right” gear, cuz you were ALWAYS in the right gear. He had recently crossed over the 10,000 mile mark with it and said that he’d ride it pretty much anywhere. Today he rode up the monster hill (my description, not his) by Horsetooth reservoir that gave my buddy Dave fits when we joined the century ride out of Boulder (already in progress…) last summer. I just can’t imagine cranking up a steep hill on a fixie — but I admit, now I’m intruiged! My track bike has 49 x 15 gearing and I don’t think I could do it with that. I’ll have to run some numbers and see how the gear-inches work out and match it to a gear on Scooter. Then I’ll try to ride this ride using just that one gear. What could be more fun.
Todays Stats (no zone data since I used the Garmin instead of my HR watch):
Distance: 23.5 mi
Ride Time: 1:29:58
Ave Speed: 15.7
Max Speed: 29.0
Elevation Gain: 859
Elevation Loss: 910 (interesting since this is a loop…barometric pressure must’ve changed)
Est. Calories: 1257
Ave HR (with a long stop to visit): 119