In my neighborhood, you don’t tell Spring has arrived by some vegetation sprouting — you tell it by when all the cyclists return to the roads. Using this guage, I think Spring officially began today. (And, we turn the clocks forward tonight too!) I say this, even though it was still a bit chilly and the wind was steady and brisk the whole time I was out riding. Not five minutes from home, a group ride made up of several “clumps” or riders and folks caught between clumps went by going the other way. The first clump had 50+ riders in it as did the second main group. Overall, counting straglers, I’d say there were 100-125 riders. Awesome sight. I wish I had my camera with me today because there was a super-cool shot of them rounding the corner onto Woodland Rd with snow-capped peaks of the front range behind them. Kinda like a wintery version of a Tour de France shot!
For me, today was a struggle. Yesterday I ran…yes, my full-back built body … and took pictures while the Rocky Mountain Fjord Horse Club particpated in the kick-off parade for the Denver Horse Expo. They rode and drove with the Colorado legistators thru downtown Denver (about a 13 block route) that started and ended at the state capital. I mention this because as a result, I have a sore left achilles and somewhat tired muscles. Did I mention that I ran this in my hiking boots and “street” clothes? I think that was my main mistake!
Mentally, I was OK today — which is a good thing, because I had to really rely on my mental fortitude to get me through. And, to be honest, these “mental” training days are every bit as important as the physical ones. Had I just said, “Nah, not today” and turned back early, or not gone at all — it would signal an issue for me with respect to my upcoming cross country ride. On that ride, you don’t get to say, “Nah, I don’t think so….” — you get up, and you PEDAL!
I headed to the hills for the first time this season. I rode 3-4 miles up So. St. Vrain Canyon — and wouldn’t you know it, once I started climbing I felt better! I just love the challenge of climbing. I didn’t go farther because my legs were a tad tired, and it was getting colder the higher I went. Pair that with the wind and I was downright chilled. Luckily, I brought an extra jacket and a second pair of dry winter glove that I put on for the descent. I was toasty and smilin’ when I got to the bottom. Something else a little different about today’s ride. I wore a small GoLite backpack with my snacks, a frame pump (doesn’t fit on Scooter though…) and my extra clothing. I found that it really didn’t bother me. I can see that it might hold in heat during the summer months and for that reason, I’m not planning on using one regularly on the tour.
Unfortunately, I forgot to re-charge the Garmin after my last ride, so I don’t have any GPS/elevation/heart rate data today. I think there was more climbing today than I’ve done on any other rides this year. But, nothing earth-shattering. Just a good solid day.
Stats for today’s ride (all off the Vetta C-16):
Distance: 47.1 mi
ODO: 1010 !!! YAHOO!!!
Ride Time: 3:19:25
Ave Speed: 14.2 mph
Max Speed: 37.3 mph