Monday, May 18, 2009

Buena Vista/Salida/Leadville Weekend

Let’s cut to the chase – sometimes I’m a dumb ass.

Last week was sort of hectic around here – our friends who winter in Puerto Rico every year arrived in Denver on Tuesday, and spent the evening at our house, rather than driving straight home to Glenwood Springs. My brother Pat was in town for a conference and he also arrived on Tuesday – so we had a full house (on a school night) and stayed up past our bedtime.

Thursday Phil and I both played hooky and spent the day with Pat. Well, first we went for a pre-dawn bike ride, then Phil went to work for a half day, while I dragged Pat uptown for breakfast and then along Clear Creek for a long walk.

Then we played 18 holes of golf.

Then Pat said he’d really like to see the new Star Trek movie – and the 730 pm show was our best option. Ok, as you know, we are usually in bed at 830 pm, and we’d been up since 415 am . . . but it sounded fun, so what the heck! [It is really well done – even if you are not a big old Star Trek geek it is very entertaining – two thumbs up!] We didn’t get home until about 1030 pm. Friday was a very long day . . .

But, of course, when we got home Friday night there was no rest for the weary. We had to pack up our road bikes and assorted gear and boogie on down to Buena Vista so we could ride in the Buena Vista Bike Fest Century on Saturday.

Here’s the dumb ass part – I remembered to bring 3 different weights of skull caps, 3 different options for my bike gloves, several different jerseys, shoes, helmet, sunglasses . . . but no camera. So, this is a boring dang blog entry because I have no photos to share. Grrrr.

We were on the road by 7 am – and it was 42 degrees and very overcast – I was glad I had my warm gloves and skullcap.
Phil, however, also forgot several important items in his rush to get loaded up and on the road – including his gloves (and tool kit and sunglasses . . .). Luckily he had a really sporty pair of heavyweight camouflage-pattern gloves from Cabela’s in his vehicle, so he wasn’t entirely SOL. The day ended up being cool enough that those gloves worked just fine, even if he did get one or two fish-eyed looks as he pedaled past more fashion-conscious riders.

The Century route goes from Buena Vista over to Leadville, around Turquoise Lake and the Mineral Belt Trail, then back to Buena Vista – which is, theoretically, all downhill.

Not!! Or, if it is, the screaming headwind we fought for 30 miles robbed us of any downhill advantage. I really hate when that happens.
We finished the ride in about 6 hours and 15 minutes; a really respectable time for us. In addition to the good saddle time, we also got several hours at elevation – critical for our Leadville race training.

After we cleaned up we headed over to Salida. We plan to spend Labor Day weekend in Salida so while we were in the vicinity, we thought we’d scout out hotels, mountain bike trails and coffee shops (Phil’s criteria, not mine). We happened to stumble upon the “Cruiser Crit
and it was a hoot!
From brawny men in flowered dresses to a belly dancer, a pirate and a guy in chicken suit – the costumes were inventive and fun. We are already looking forward to our Labor Day get-away!

Sunday we rolled out of bed, ate a leisurely breakfast, packed up and headed over to Leadville. We figured we might as well get in some more miles at altitude, so we rode the Turquoise Lake loop and Mineral Belt trail again. My knees were sore from the ride Saturday, but my legs felt good – which is a good sign. I think our fitness is where it needs to be and we’re ready to start putting in longer rides with more climbing. Oh joy . . .

1 comment:

  1. It was an excellent weekend! Well, except for the headwind at the end of the day! Thanks for taking a couple pulls to get us home! Love, PK