22 February, 2009

50° My A$$!

these are the flatirons. i see this as i drive into boulder

holee shmokes it was muh-freakin' cold today. the weather service said it was going to be in the mid-50s. i don't think it ever hit 40! so the game plan was to do a long ride today. 90 miles (145 km). ouch. near the 2/3rds mark kenny and i decided to cut it to a 70 mile (113 km) ride instead. the last time kenny and i did a 70+ miler it was a month ago. needless to say, our legs couldn't tolerate the endurance of doing such a long ride with some stiff winds.
at the start of the ride, we met at chip's. it was warm when i arrived (or so i thought). later kenny arrived and he said it was cold. so i busted all the neoprene out and here comes chip out of his place: no shoe covers and no beanie under his helmet. two guaranteed, cold deal breakers. we didn't get but 45 minutes into the ride before he bailed complaining of the cold. i don't know about you but we have racing to do less than a month away. two weeks to be specific. that boy needs to get some miles in. the weather wasn't perfect but at the very least it was doable.
at carter lake we (jimmy, kenny, and i) turn around but the two other teammates-james and andy-continue to masonville for their 90 mile training ride.
l-r: andy, jimmy, james, and my boy kenny...

this is carter lake, pretty desolate today due to crappy weather

at the magical three hour mark, it's slowly turning into a death march for me. the weather never relented (i.e. no reprieve with the cold temps and gusty-arsed gusts of wind) and we're still riding at tempo with jimmy. i'm out of the saddle for any little incline with the legs burning but not cramping. that's a good sign actually not cramping. it's telling me that i can handle a little bit of stress for a longer period of time. if i cramp, sometimes i have to pull over to have a moment of verklemptitude.
kenny and i are going at lactate tempo now. jimmy accelerates to put the lactate finishing touches on his legs, that means the fat dudes, with the hairy legs, and the fairing on their recumbent can put the smackdown on kenny and me. it's pretty much like this for the next hour until we head back to chip's place in north boulder. to be fair though, kenny was taking much longer pulls than me when we were a pack of three. with jimmy, i was kinda motorpacing and taking a pull every now and again.
at chip's we decide to eat at illegal petes across from the university of colorado campus. i'm guessing i'm still in caloric deficit after that mini-death march. when i get home i make sure i drink at least two cups of green tee to remediate the free-radicals having a rave in my primary movers.

15 February, 2009

Mt Vernon-Lookout in Reverse Today

woke up to this...

old man winter's starting to loosen up his grip a bit and i was able to ride today. it was still cold as all hell but at least it was above freezing. to keep the neurons fresh i did the lookout mountain/mount vernon loop in reverse; furthermore, since i'm not getting a ton of pre-season miles in, the miles i'll get in'll be climbing miles.

at the top of the climb i take this picture of our beautiful state, along one of the prettiest interstate highways...

it's safer to ascend lookout mountain than to descend. holy shmokes, you'd think i'd know better since i live above 7500' that north facing switchbacks--especially in february--can be hairy due to shady, ice patches. i swear i thought i was going to biff it at speed at this one particular icy patch. i didn't hit the brakes in the hopes my traction would hold out. i figured if i would fall, i'd just slide on the ice until a guard rail or the large rocks would prevent me from going over the cliff. neither happened and i was able to ride out the switchback (albeit soiling my chamois). it's deceiving with all this sun shining that 100% of the road will be ice-free. it truly never is ice-free until late march or april out in golden (even then the record breaking snowfalls are mostly in march).
took a cool pic of a hillbilly who lost control of his f-150 pickem up truck when he couldn't negotiate a switchback. a state trooper up top's looking at his driving masterpiece...

after i descend-and i am FREEZING-i decide to climb up to the red rocks amphitheater to heat up a bit...

notice the angle of the auditorium seating using the rocks as your reference

06 February, 2009

Arapahoe Basin w/ colleagues

peep the picasa slideshow kids...
some of a-basin's higher than loveland pass (which is right next door)

still batting a thousand skiing with alec. 'twas another lovely day skiing in colorado. i had to leave early because i'm going to take my lovely daughters to their valentine day's dance at their elementary school tonight. this was alec's idea: go skiing on our parent-teacher conference exchange day. turned out to be an exceptionally good idea folks. it was a nice turnout. we invited a boat load of people and here's who showed up: a dude from social studies and his girl, two sharp dudes from the p.e. department: simon and chris; and the rest were from science: larry, alec, tom-tom, george (whom we call jorge), chris and his sister cassie, and me. great turnout.
it wasn't the usual let's kill ourselves (alec and i) on some nutty terrain; rather, let's make some turns and be rather social. no ipods. this wasn't the case after lunch though when chris, simon, alec, and i decided to do pallevicini. we didn't over do it but we did hit it fairly hard. it was a blast skiing with my colleagues. a-basin just recently expanded their terrain so we spent some time back there. the snow coverage was great. although the sun was playing peek-a-boo all day the snow felt like styrofoam. definitely no powder but everything else was exceptional.
one nutty exception: tom-tom was a hostile projectile today (i.e. alec's brown heat-seeking missile). whenever a group'd get ahead from the bunch they'd wait for the others...
tom-tom as hostile projectile instance: one. tom was cruising in the new expanded area and he tried to thread the needle between alec, me, and chris magrin who were all stopped and waiting. he tagged both alec and my skis then biffed it trying to go around chris. crazy bastidge. alec and i looked at each other and silently (and mutually) thought: WTF? fast forward a bit and
for lunch, we meet at the cars and drink some maredsous, jorge's trail mix and fritos scoops, and imbibe his grandfather's (ARGGGHHH!) homemade moonshine.
l-r: simon, chris, alec, larry, tom-tom, and jorge

that moonshizzle was lethizzle! it'd make you speak in tongues. i usually never drink when i ski but today was so celebratory and unique i had to imbibe. just two beers. nothing to make any state trooper have a reason to pull me over or anything.
after lunch we hit it again and we hit some runs in the middle of the mountain. granted there's nobody here really but us. the snow here's super packed the speeds can just get loopy if you don't scrub some speed off when you turn (i like turning) as opposed to going straight.
tom-tom as a hostile projectile, instance: two. alec, chris, simon, and i gun it from the top and we meet in the middle to wait. tom emits this crazy yelp before impacting alec. not only was tom in warp speed but he placed a lick on alec that was national hockey league body check quality. alec must've moved at least ten feet from his original spot and bent his ski pole. tom had a mini yard sail after the collision. again we mentally said WTF?
the snow's exceptional and i had to leave so i suggested we do pallevicini. it's the one to the right of the lift on the bottom picture. if you also notice there's a matterhorn-esque wall at the very top that eventually becomes less steep. this is what happens when the group you're with has some skill.

here's another picture going up as we parallel pallevicini. notice the angle of the slope with the trees straight up as a reference point.

here's simon, chris, and alec all smiles at the top of palli

here's chris, alec, and me about to drop-in on the matterhorn lip.

yessir. another lovely day. if i'm lucky i'll get my bottom handed to me again tomorrow on the old denver spoke ride.
oh man. just got back from my first elementary school dance. 3 (or 4) words: little...people...moshpit. wow.

02 February, 2009

The Old Denver Spoke Ride Saturday

i figured instead of going easy on saturday, i had to hedge my bets just in case the weather turned south sunday (which it did). so, i did the old denver spoke ride. the rider turnout was large. i figured with this many cycling hominids i can chill in the back and get a nice pacelining workout. everything was working out beautifully until the gruntish climb towards arrowhead golf course. remember now the pack was huuge. i move up to position myself with the faster riders so i don't have to close gaps. this burns a lot of needless energy. as a pack we're moving nicely and then i hear the jack-in-the-box song in my head then pop goes the weasel-meaning me. when i pop, i'm at the tail of the third (and unbeknownst to me, the last) group. i figured i'd peel back and hit up the group directly behind me. there was absolutely nobody behind me. this huuuge pack, at the beginning, was now whittled down to maybe a dozen or so riders. as i limp in to the summit of the turnaround we wait for more stragglers but no one shows up so we roll. again, i'm chillin' at the back, and don't you know? a gap forms. yes at the downhill portion. the leaders are absolutely drilling it on the downhill like there's no tomorrow. so we-the lazy guys-have to turn into this hard charging paceline from hell to close the gap but there's no way we're closing the gap. even the guys in the back of the leaders are pedaling furiously. it sucks being about 8 car lengths behind the leaders, with blood coming out of your eyes, and your legs absolutely pegged at terminal rpms, with lactic acid oozing out of your pores and you can't even close the gap by an angstrom. oh shnap, what is that i hear in the background? not pop goes the weasel again...pop! i'm off the back. well ain't that some sheeeyite.
i head back to the start and for penance for being dropped on a downhill i climb up deer creek a good bit until the downhill into tiny town. it's february here in colorado so the road up's still icy and covered in a sand/gravel mix. once i descend, it's about 2hours, so i do an hour cool down to total the time to three hours. ouchity-ouch-ouch. yeah boy. let sunday be snowfest, i got some time in today!
sho 'nuff sunday was a stinker. it hovered around freezing with a lovely 10 mph wind. i hit the rollers instead and let my manly bits go numb. all this so i don't lanternerouge this season...jeez.
other than boxing or mma, i know of no other sport where you have to tolerate such a high level of self-torture.