What else does a newly tuned up bike need, except a nice MUD BATH! In typical @longrangerjustin style, I literaly ran across town with all my bike gear in my @ultimatedirectionusa Fastpack 15 to catch a bus to Golden to pick up the Sherpa Bike aka Surly Ogre aka Adventure Buddy from @goldenbikeshop, and took ‘er on a 50+ mile curcuitous route back home featuring some nice gravel roads, a LOT of climbing, and a little bit of unavoidable slop- but I’ll take it, as it’s February and I’m riding bikes in a #cyclocross skinsuit #onesie, and life’s pretty good while riding bikes. Oh, and I got this amazingly dorky bright orange safety construction hard hat helmet thing to further enhance my visibility on the road. I actually think it goes well with my UD Fastpack- and beard! Thanks to @goldenbikeshop/@bentgate_mountaineering for helping me get a bike rolling as I get through all the not so fun accident stuff. Be good to your bike mechanics!
Monday, 2/63/17 – bouldering @ Movement 2 hours, core/hip mob. work, 1 hour bike
Not too much to report – another day at the gym, putting money in the bank. Broke a strap on my right climbing shoe, and brought another pair in to be resoled.
Tuesday, 2/7/17 – Gold Hill: 29 miles
Took the single speed MTB up Sunshine Canyon, facing stupid-strong Chinook Winds and a snow squall. I knew I was in for a treat today when just gaining the start of Sunshine Canyon was trying. It’s a steep hill on the single speed – although I feel like I’ve done it a few times before. The closer I got to Gold Hill, the worst the conditions became. Even though my goal was to get to the highway – or even Ward, I decided to just call it at Gold Hill, and descended via Gold Run to make a nice loop of things. Conditions were much better back in town.
Wednesday, 2/8/17 – Bouldering @ Movement, 2 hours
No real highlight for today. My left hand, I swear, is literally broken. Sigh.
Thursday, 2/9/17 – Run to bus station: 3.4 miles, Golden to Boulder: 54 miles
It was def. time to pick up my bike from Golden Bike Shop – the question was, “How?” The evening before, I got together all the bike gear I needed: shoes, tools, clothes, etc and packed my UD Fastpack 15. I then got up early in the morning o grab the 8:15 am bus, and ran to the bus station! Made pretty alright time, given all the gear I was schlepin’. Had breakfast + coffee in Golden waiting until the shop opened, then took delivery of my finely tuned-up bike. Thanks, Golden Bike Shop!
They did a fantastic job, and I was happy to once again be reunited with such a fine-looking bike. Bought a brilliantly loud-colored helmet, and I was off to ride back home where I started the day – to wait for the next bus would take almost 6 hours! I know a better use of my time…
Of course, taking the highway – the loud, busy, boring highway seemed like a less than ideal track, so I instead pointed ‘er west and up!: west on Golden Gate Canyon Road, right on Crawford Gulch Road which circles back to Golden Gate, onto highway 72 for a hot minute north, right onto Gap road, onto Gross Dam Road, and finally onto Flagstaff for a hearty homecoming descent into Boulder. Pretty good route, if one’s looking for some elevation gain!
Friday 2/10/17 – Gunbarrel, 13 miles
A quick ride to UD World Headquarters and back, to pick up some gloves I wanted for Sunday from Jacob. The winds back were… challenging. Made me a little nervous for Sunday’s conditions! If it wasn’t super snowy, perhaps it could be super windy! (please please please please please!). I should probably do more exploring around the dirt roads right near my house. I always tend to go towards the mountains.
Saturday, 2/11/17 – Bouldering @ Movement 2 hours, Green Mountain, 12.6 miles
With pretty fresh legs, and good trail conditions, I decided to test my running fitness before next weekend’s Red Hot 55k, and give it a little gas on my 6+ mile route to the top of Green. I managed to PR my initial time by twenty-one minutes (1:11:54), running about 99% of the entire course – including the final rock steps up to the summit of Green, which I haven’t done in… well, a little while. Still feel I could personally take a few more minutes out of that time, once conditions get even better, and I get um, better conditioned too. This run gave me a bit of confidence for Red Hot, so mission accomplished.
Instead of tagging Bear/SoBo, I finished up a little earlier as the weather looked pretty unstable, and just made this an out and back. I needed to save something for tomorrow! Made the descent in 57:14.
Sunday, 2/12/17 – Old Man Winter Rally! 91 Miles
My first, “race” of the season! This was somewhat of a comeback ride for me, as it marked about a month since I got into an accident with a car. I haven’t really been riding my bike all that much outside of this week outside of commuting and the like – or spinning, so my only goal was to go out and have some fun.
I left my house ’round 8, and made it to Lyons in around 45 minutes in time to pick up my registration packet (and socks!), munch on a breakfast burrito, drink some coffee and line up for the start. No real anxiety – def. not the type I would feel for a cyclocross event – where the chance of crashing in the first minute is sort of high. I was riding my Surly Ogre – my offroad touring/bikepacking mountain bike, so I knew I would be at quite the disadvantage when it came to putting down a destructive time. The bike rides like a Cadillac, so even if it’s not fast, it sure is comfy.
I was off the back at the very start, and took the first few miles to try to get in contact with the main peloton, or at least a group of riders that were looking to work together. I… didn’t really find either, but just hopscotched between different fairly disorganized groups, surging ahead as I could. Fairly inefficient. This continued until we crossed the highway and started up Lefthand on brand new pavement. I’m generally a pretty good climber, but I can’t say I was incredibly fresh, or that having 2.25″ tires @ 60psi really gave me much of an advantage. I held my ground until the turnoff to the connector trail, and made a pit stop at the end of that, taking in quite a bit of calories, before my downhill trajectory on Sunshine Canyon.
Ugh. My bike handling wasn’t 100% here – a little bit of nerves, and perhaps not knowing the bike as intimately as I’d like – with the tires over-inflated as they were, it made less than the ideal platform. No real causalities to speak of, but I was happy to take the left towards Linden, and more than happy to have a very small gear to spin up that monstrously steep road. I remember thinking out loud, “I’ve never ridden up this road!… on purpose!”
Much of the Old Man Winter Rally course is similar to the Boulder Ultracross course – but in reverse. On that race, which I inexplicably won, I started my attack on the other side of Linden (Wagonwheel), making my way up the dirt switchbacks before rocketing down Linden. That race also used the connector trail down to Left Hand Canyon late in the race, and I was at that point, very much solidly in the lead. I can’t even imagine how I was able to take so much speed and not puncture on my 32mm cyclocross tires w/tubes… – tons of luck!
After Linden, Old Man Winter reverses the route basically from where it left the eastern side of the highway. There weren’t too many groupetos to join, so I put myself in Time Trail Mode and hammered as much as I could to the finish. I stopped again at the Reeb Ranch to answer nature’s call, take off a layer and put some more calories in. Felt much better after that, for sure.
I enjoyed the intense views of a very snowy Longs Peak while swapping wheels with a very strong 65 year old I hooked up going west on the highway towards Lyons, and reconnecting with some old, and new friends. After taking in some more calories at the finish, I rode back home to Boulder feeling… not so destroyed, but happy to have put in a solid day on the bike.
- Yet another week of only two runs, totaling 16 whole miles in 2:44. You would think I’m the laziest pseudo-serious runner in the world, but:
- 188.4 miles cycling in 14:44 in 4 separate rides.
- 1 hour spin bike
- 6 hours bouldering
- 1 hour core/hip mobility work
25:44:00 total time for the week
Finally, I think for this year, met a lot of my goals for the week, written down or otherwise: Did the Old Man Winter Rally!, as well as three other rides all on the MTB’s, and only one hour spin bike. Consistently worked on my aerobic conditioning, with only one day off (which I still bouldered on). There were big days and gentler, 1 hour days. Typing this up on Monday, I feel the mileage, but I certainly don’t feel worked by the mileage. Only a few runs… which is a little alarming, seeing as I have an ultra on Saturday… but good supplementation with the bike – balancing running/cycling will never, ever be perfect. Bouldering was also consistent, but not overboard.
Next week, is yet another race: The Moab Red Hot 55k! I’m again going into this race with the goal of having fun, making friends/connections, enjoying myself, and being a positive representative of myself and UD. The course is much flatter than what I train on or for, so my finish placement in the ranks won’t really be all that impressive. In general, if I can do a 7:30 pace over a coupla miles, I’m pretty impressed with myself. The front runners will be putting in much more than that for the entire race. Pure running speed isn’t something I posses – but this is exactly why I’m heading off into this race: it’s a weakness, so let’s own it and work to overcome my personal prejudice on who I am and what I can actually do. I’m confident I can run 99% of the race and do so @ ~9:30 pace, for a finish time between 5:30:00 and 6:00:00. This is a training race for me and all this training is to culminate in the Dirty 30 in June (and then be done with ultras for the year!) which I would like to solidly PR in.