I didn’t post yesterday because I was pretty wrecked. My bride described me as spacey – not referring to Kevin Spacey, in case you wondered – more of the speaking in three word sentence with long pauses in between kind of spacey.
At the start I was nervous with pre-event jitters, and my legs felt like frozen lumps of man flesh as we rolled out on the way to Loveland pass. The first 28 miles was all climbing with no breaks for recovery, gaining 4400 feet in that distance. What’s a guy to do? KEEP PEDALING. It works every time.
I arrived at the summit [11,990′] having eaten enough gluten free non GMO enduro snacky things to fuel a steady cadence through the two ramps that hit 9%. My coach warned me to expect a 20% drop in power output above 10, 500 feet.
He was right.
But the 40 mph descent afterward was my just reward for all this effort. Rolling at the speed limit we were able to move out into the traffic lane and use the whole road surface to set up for the hairpin turns. Wowie, Zowie, Yupi, Woot, Woo Hoo.
One picture was all I thought to get. It was that kind of day. I spent the afternoon and evening working my recovery routine, whining and getting a lot of sleep: hoping for a more pleasant day to follow.
45 miles, 5802 elevation gained.
The more pleasant day came to pass.
We did nearly 70 miles over Fremont, Tennessee and Engineer passes. The descents were stupendous, albeit a little sporty due to a grabby, constantly shifting wind. At times like this, grab the top tube of your bike between your knees and hold firmly.
The rhythm was back, and I was climbing with a hint of aggression, but I still had a nagging tightness in my legs. At rest stop three it came to me that I should try a bit of stretching. Which I did. It’s always the little things that hold the key that opens the door. Yep, it was a really, really good stretch, and a really, really good last 20 miles. Down in the thick air around 7500 feet, I hummed along at 21-24 mph.
I got the kind of day I needed to carry on tomorrow.
68 miles, 4395 feet ascended.