I’ve been on the Front Range of Colorado hanging out with my Mom, the dogs, and preparing for a research interview in Denver this a.m. In between moments of cutting the grass for Mom, walking the dogs, and catching up on work, I was able to get out on the course of my next race.
Two words: Hills.Hot.
Fortunately I planned it just right and the latter was not so much an issue. In the streak of 90 and 100 degree heat, Saturday was a mere cool 82. Perfect for an afternoon of hill climbing, because that is what this course gives you. And not just hills, but rocky, rooty, sandy, technical hills. Some might say, a true mountain bike course.
I used to ride these trails a lot when I lived in Fort Collins in my undergrad and then in my first four years of teaching. They were my go to weekly rides and I even helped build and maintain the trails.
I was humbly reminded of why I bought a full suspension mountain bike at the time.
Here’s how the ride on the potential course went (although this is a bit out of order and I am going off of last year’s course and it could change).
3.2 miles up a service road that has 20% grades.
Down Mill Creek-a steep craggly, rocky, rooty descent-yee haw!
Up Loggers. Had to get off and walk as I kept skidding out in some steep loose sand.
Up Carey Springs.
(Are you getting this theme of “up”)
Then I went “off course” and decided to ride Spring Creek down to the park.
Total ride: 2.5 hours and about 20 miles.
It brought back memories of my first training rides when I got into mountain bike racing five years ago. Memories of Wednesday night social rides with the mountain bike club. Hill repeats up that service road. I couldn’t help but not only reminisce, but compare. I remember heart rates, times, and mental anguish and I wanted to know that I could still do it and do it better.
I felt good on Saturday, but let’s see what September 15th at the races holds!