Sunday, January 11, 2009

4 hours and 40 mph

Saturday we had a 3 hour “easy ride” on our training calendar. The roads were dry and the sun was trying valiantly to peek out, even though it only warmed things up to about 42°. It was enough, however, to entice us away from the torture of the basement-bound CompuTrainers, so we rode outside. [We have a hard upper limit of 2 hours for our indoor trainer rides. Mentally, even with movies for distraction, that is all we can take. Physically, that is the limit, too. You can’t really stand and get out of the saddle on CompuTrainers, so 2 hours is all my tender tush can take.]

Since we were supposed to do an easy low Watts/low Heart Rate ride, we headed east, away from the mountains. We rode the 44th Ave. bike path from Golden to its end in Applewood. Then we rode 26th into downtown Denver, getting on the Platte River bike path near the Children’s Museum. We headed south to C-470, then west and back home. The ride was about 55 miles, and generally pleasant.

Along the Platte River Trail near the Englewood golf course.
Yes, I am as cold as I look.

We figured it would take a little longer than 3 hours to do the whole loop since we were not pushing hard. We were on target for maybe 3 hours & 15 minutes to 3-1/2 hours until we made the turn on C-470.

Holy crap.

The wind picked up and it was epic. I’ve ridden in worse, but it is never any fun. Either you are blown to a complete standstill, or you battle for balance and position, trying to keep from flying into the ditch or into on-coming traffic – neither option is optimal.

I didn't get any photos during the windstorm. We put our heads down and concentrated on staying warm and out of the ditch.

We made it home in one piece after about 4 hours.
Even with the wind, we both rated the ride as a much more enjoyable workout than riding inside.

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