Tuesday, July 20 – Yesterday, I left for Canon City at 515am. Beautiful drive over the Continental Divide and down the Arkansas River. Little traffic at that time, as well. I only had to work for a few hours there and I was back in Gunni  by around 1pm. More work, but I had the opportunity to sneak in a ride at any time. No go, though. I was feeling like a slug and never made it out. It was one of those days where I felt like my morning cup of coffee never worked.

Today, I spent the better part of the day buried in spreadsheets, checkbooks, and financial statements for Gunnison Trails, the trail advocacy organization I started here in 2006. We are in the process of submitting an application for official non-profit status with the IRS so I’ve been gathering the relevant information to hopefully submit our materials by July 31.

The twins had a baseball game in Crested Butte at 630pm and my plan was to roll the dice with the thunderstorms and try to cram in some 20-40’s up on the ski mountain at Crested Butte before their game. Mount Crested Butte is the original and my all time favorite place to do 20-40’s. Park down in town, warm up climbing to the ski area, climb a few hundred vertical feet up the mountain, then pull the trigger on set number one. Three minutes and twenty seconds later I’m dying but the tough access road climb doesn’t relent. Trying my best to recover at over 10,000 feet, I’ll keep climbing steadily for about ten minutes, then launch into my second and final set of four reps.

More of the same, dying after the fourth effort, then the steepest, rockiest, nastiest part of the climb to the top of the Silver Queen lift comes right at the end. There you are, over 11,000 feet above sea level and a million dollar view in every direction. Pull on a windbreaker if it’s chilly and zip back down to town. An hour and fifteen minute workout no matter how I slice it.

But today, as I rounded a bend driving to CB and looked at the dark clouds up valley, I pulled the plug on the ski area and went for plan B, the climb behind Almont. Much lower topping out around 9,000 feet, this rocky jeep road is similar to the CB version but a tad steeper. It’s also shorter so to get two sets in I had to climb it twice. The efforts went well and I got a max HR of 171 on my second set, which pleased me.

Back to the Exploder (a classic ’98 and a beauty), I loaded up the bike and headed north to CB for the baseball game. Of course, the thunderstorms never materialized up there and I could have done the workout on Mt. CB, but no worries, I’ll get up there for them in the next few weeks. The evening was awesome: warm, no wind and some clear skies before the sun went down. The twins’ team, Critter Sitters and Outfitters overcame the Crested Butte kids in an extra inning. While it’s not hockey, it was fun to watch, especially at the end.

As for training tomorrow, I have to work early and into the afternoon. I feel like I want to do something on the road but I’m not sure what.  I’m nodding off as I write this. Some decisions are better left until the morning.



  1. Does physiology or fitness determine max HR? I max out around 190bpm and can avg 170bpm for 2h. It seems high compared to the HR’s I see from professionals. Is there any method to bring down your HR? At the moment, I do one day of intervals midweek and usually a 20-30 mi mtb ride on the weekend.

  2. Dave Wiens Says:

    Pete, Everyone’s HR is different and there are many factors, such as age and physiology, that can affect HR. Just because your HR is higher than mine or lower than someone else as we’re riding along together, doesn’t, in and of itself, mean anything. Some people run higher, some run lower. I’ve had my ass handed to me by guys with a max HR of 165 and 200+ and everywhere in between.

    With better fitness, your body will run more efficiently and then you might have a lower HR for the same ride for the same duration. Or, you might have the same HR but do the ride faster. My suggestion is working on your fitness and don’t compare HR’s with anyone. Get to know your ranges and work within them.

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