I’m writing from a breezy couch looking out on a mountain side, listening to one of my favorite music mixes and systematically devouring a whole wheat pita with roast turkey, swiss, sprouts and assorted veggies. Today’s miles and climbing are in the bank. Could be I’ll play some guitar a bit later. This COULD most definitely lead to gloating…vacation is a wondrous invention.
Yesterday and today I did two acclimation rides below 9000′ – though I could definitely still feel the altitude. The first sortie was 24 miles and 1500 feet of climbing. Today’s ride included a bit of gravel, two CAT 4 climbs and very fun steep rollers along Vasquez Creek: 40 miles and 2615 feet climbed. Part of the charm of Winter Park is that there are grand mountain vistas everywhere you look…there are NO BAD RIDES.
However, my foray onto the gravel was brief due to two realizations. First, that I found myself on a serious climb, and second, that descending loose gravel on skinny tires does not lead to a long and prosperous life. After two miles and 450 feet of climbing, I turned around and picked my way down [ever so carefully] back to the pavement. Once there I climbed up to YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch, and then descended for five miles at 30-40 mph back down to Tabernash. After that, the aforementioned roller coaster along Vasquez Creek road, complete with perfect meadows suitable for rest breaks.
Tomorrow I climb the north side of Berthoud Pass [11,306′], descend the south side, and then turn around and climb back up to the summit. I am told that my wife and a few friends will meet me at the top with cowbells and water. This will be my last training day before the Copper Triangle on Saturday, and hopefully a measure of my fitness and adaptation to the altitude.
I could go into detail about excellent post-ride food and recovery while enjoying the view from our balcony, but that might lead to gloating.