Winter is putting in a brief appearance at Telluride today. It snowed enough last night that there is a blanket of snow on everything this morning. The temperature is hovering around freezing and there is a slight breeze. Not my favorite riding conditions, but something I better get used to since I’m planning on riding outside this winter as part of my training for next summer.
I was glad I brought a wide range of clothing. I had my wind-paneled tights over my bike shorts and three layers on top – a silk shirt, my heavy riding shirt and a wind shirt. Up top I had my trusty “Turtle-fur” cap under my helmet. On my feet I had winter booties in addition to two pair of thin socks — a pair of Smartwool liners topped with a pair of Pearlizumi summer socks — and a double layer pair winter gloves — liners and over gloves — on my hands. My face was the only exposed area — and tomorrow I think I’ll use my new “Turtle-fur” face/neck cover to take care of that too. With all these clothes on, I think I look like an outdoor version of the Pillsbury Dough boy. It is rather amazing that I can still move!
When it is this cold, a long, fast steep descent from Mountain Village to the old town of Telluride is not at the top of my list of fun ways to start the day. So, Scooter and I opted for a car ride down into town to the Post Office. From there, we headed back out, the first few miles riding on a relatively flat bike path to the route 145 turnoff. As soon as we took the turn towards Mountain Village, the grade started to increase noticeably. It jumped quickly to 3-4% and then to 6% on its way to 7%-8% for the majority of the mile long climb. I really enjoyed the climb. I felt my muscles and lungs working hard. It was a serious climb and my heart rate was between 145 and 152 the entire time. I could see my breath and inspite of the intense work, was not overheating at all. I was actually quite comfortable. Guess dressing right has a lot to do with it.