THE ROAD TO LEADVILLE: Friday Frenzy

The upper Yampa River valley on the way to Steamboat Springs.

Saturday August 7, 2010 – I’m sitting here in Steamboat Springs, CO, it’s a typically killer summer day and I’m going to be throwing my leg over my MTB here in the next hour or so. Yesterday was kind of a frenzy of TCB (taking care of business) and I never did get to update this thing.

Our alarm went off at 515am yesterday morning; Susan had to be at work by 7am and is on call all weekend and I wanted to get all of my training done before heading off to Steamboat with Coop. We had our morning coffee and I had a toasted bagel, a banana and a bad assed pancake with peanut butter, yogurt and store brand artificial maple syrup. We headed out on road bikes – it was barely light: 555am – and immediately disagreed about where to go and what to do so we rode together to the end of Pine Street and split. What’s up with my wife not wanting to do a set of 20-40’s first thing in the morning?

A quick set on the Antelope Hills road climb near town, a 15 minute warm-up first, of course, and I was into 3 hour of AMU. I headed north on 135 toward Crested Butte – saw Susan on her way back to town – but then took a right at Almont on the Taylor Canyon road. The higher HR’s (150+) were attainable but not easily. I spent about 20% of the time pushing a big gear and the rest spinning more. I hadn’t ridden this road for a couple of years and I found a sizeable section a ways up the canyon to be rougher than hell. I went just past EOP, about 37 miles from Gunnison high up on Taylor Park. While Gunni and most of Taylor Canyor were clear, a layer of gloom was hovering over Taylor Park. Spectacular.

Another file photo from Crested Butte. If I could only ski one pitch on this mountain, it would be this one, Big Chute. Lots of different, challenging lines.

I achieved the desired HR’s all the way through until my last 10 minute zone of 155-160. Nothing doing. I couldn’t get the ol’ ticker to pop up over 150. Oh well, not to worry, I wasn’t blown I just couldn’t hit the zone. I finished the three hours just past Almont so had a nice 25 minute cool-down back to town. Muscularly, I felt so much better after this ride than I did after the 2 hour AMU from a few weeks back. I could barely walk after that one.

Straightaway I was off to the gym for weights. Lifting right after a hard ride? Why not? When you have time issues, the proper and generally accepted principals for training are out the window. I’d rather just get the work in, in whatever fashion, than to stress about the details of sequencing, recovery and all of that other wavy gravy science. Most of us don’t have time for science! Out of the gym and packing for ride4yellow, a plate of leftover pasta was consumed in fits and starts as I worked to pull disparate pieces together, trying not to forget anything: helmet, shoes, gloves, bike, Coop’s violin, etc., etc. To this point, the only thing I know that I forgot was his tennis racquet. He’s being dropped with the Shifters, our dear friends from Arvada who have two boys and just happen to be up here for a weekend of mountain biking, swimming, tennis and general relaxing recreation in the mountains. He’ll go back with them for a week in Denver and then meet us again in Leadville on Friday.

Okay, too much information in the age of information and short attention spans (and I didn’t even go into the twins’ day!) The drive was beautiful, Steamboat is awesome as always, my hosts, Ben and Megan Coates are top shelf and now I’m looking forward to a twoish hour ride around Steamboat, no agenda, nothing too hard. Here’s the data for yesterday’s ride, Data: Average HR for 3 hours: 146; Vertical gain: a gradual 2,000 feet. Max HR during 20-40’s: 161. Total ride time: 3.75 hours.



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