22 June, 2012

'Tis Hot

that's 36° Celsius for you metric losers (just joshing).
After an enlightening ride with my Natural Grocers Dirt Team (Kenny, Tim X2, and Brian)-in which we all are doing the Firecracker 50- last week preparing for said race, I rode on with Dr. Tim.  Not only does he play one on T.V. but he is one, so when it comes to training advice, I'll listen.  Even though we didn't get in our planned 50 mile mix of on and off roading due to some fierce looking storm clouds rolling in, the training gist I got out of one of our many conversations was the magic number of 4.  He said there's really no need in training more than 4 hours off-road to prepare so that's what I've been doing.  Been coming close.  After that day the most I got was 3.5h with Billy and who did I see on the trail yesterday?  Tim (again).  He's rocking.  He saw me at hour 3.25 and my tongue was draggin'!  On a related note, I was the receiver of two pinch flats as I was riding my old 29er.  My Guardian's tubeless so I guess I ride sloppier than I thought.  I try to pick the sweet line being that both my 29ers are hardtails.
a more dialed-in cockpit version 2.0
This was yesterday, now I'm rocking the new and more dialed-in Airborne Guardian.  Put a narrower, riser handlebar with a 0° rise, 120mm stem and much longer seat post to get a more aggressive stance when I turn into an XC racer wannabee (I actually have a USAC license and actually race, not last place mind you, but one DNF on the first race of the season).
It was HOT!  So I wanted to do Mt Falcon-Parmalee loop-Lair O' The Bear as a big circuit.  Probably 24 miles with about a smidge less than 3000' of climbing I'm guessing.  As I'm climbing-in Colorado if you mountain bike you start either climbing or descending-the very first part of Falcon some iPod wearing pedestrian warns me, "There's a rattler a'ways from you on the trail."  Not only is it hot and I'm sweating like an obese man at a buffet at Sizzler, but now I'm hyper-aware and hyper-sensitive that all tree roots that I see are indeed roots.  It reminded me of the days I lifeguarded at the YMCA, especially my shift during the toddler learn to swim sessions.  I'd be a scanning fiend looking for any toddler drinking an inordinate amount of pool water (I actually pulled three kids total who tried to daredevil it and got too far from the edge and I yanked their thrashing bodies back onto the ledge).
So not only was I overheating but I was also like Nightrider's LED on the front of that Firebird (yes I'm dating myself) scanning and listening to the pre-strike rattler sound.  Of course when I free-wheeled (as opposed to free-balling) that sound too sounded like the rattler (coincidentally, free-balling makes no sound-or a slight swooshy sound?) so I had to keep on pedaling.  After what seemed like an eternity, I saw no rattler so I hunkered down and focused on the hot-arsed, exposed ascent.  You know what I'm going to do next time to jack with a hiker?  I'ma say, "Rogue Ninjas ahead and they're out for blood especially when you rest."  I will punctuate my sentence with "foo' (fool)" so 1:  they'll think it's normal mountain bike vernacular and not heed my warning; or 2:  there really might be ninjas and to continue might be a foolhardy test of living.  Get it?
albeit the commute was hellish, the scenery was lovely and I'd take mountains over beach anytime.
At the top of Parmalee you can see highway 285 as a road in-between the valley.  I used to travel that road daily when I lived in these foothills.  It was a 106 mile round trip excursion, more if you added miles as me being a soccer dad and even more hours during torrential snowstorms.  What prompted me to stick to that hellish commute?  It was a mountainous Garden of Eden though on the weekends looking out over our 5 acres at 8,600'.  Now I'm a divorced, single Dad living less than six minutes away from work.  Quite a trade-off I'd say.  There's more trade-offs too numerous to mention on this particular blog.   Maybe another time...
The effort at White Ranch with Billy the other day coupled with the heat really took a lot out of my legs and it showed in my efforts today but I was still determined to finish my predetermined route. Why?  Because my other ninja, Eric (no relation to rogue, trail ninjas), had this lovely aphorism on a nice piece of vinyl that I proudly display on my top tube where it meets the steerer tube.  "Fly or Die." 
because, "Harden the Fuc* Up" took too much space.
I don't wanna die, nor is man capable of self-sustaining, no-simple-machines flight.  It's an enigma don't you think?  Eric is an enigma too (wrapped in a riddle-I heard that somewhere so sue my plagiarizing arse). On Parmalee, after you climb out of the blast furnace, the single track is fast, sandy, and underneath the canopy of evergreens.  The nice dessert after a main course of Hot (with seconds).
Nice singletrack under the canopy don't you think?
After I climb out of the upper Mt. Falcon parking lot,  I have to hit the roads to get to the trailhead of LOTB.  I turn into road-geek and try to rest the legs on the nice, smoov, asphalt as I soft pedal  through the small town of Indian Hills.  LOTB is more roller coastery with a net downhill.  Most of it too is shaded.  There are a couple of technical parts.  Here's me...

What's wrong with this picture?  Leave a comment if you got it.
attempting this...
I can clear it.  Don't believe me?  Ride with me then (and can you bring your cute sister?  thanks).
Here's another rocky uphill.  I can make it all the way to that darn tree.  Then rogue ninjas come out and punch me in the bread basket and taunt me asking rhetorical questions like, "Why do you, grown man, wear spandex?" then laugh, and then I look like a fish out of water, holding my break basket.  Damn you trail ninjas!!

Named after Doors singer...NOT!
After a nice, twisty, singletrack downhill, I hit the road again (Highway 74) to take me back to the beginning where I parked in Morrison. 

Morrison is kind of a touristy mecca but bikers and rock climbers flock to this place as well and it's not that far from Red Rocks amphitheatre (as opposed to the extinct Red Rocks amphibian).   I need to train wisely so at my truck, there's a cooler with a recovery drink for me.  At home I have another recovery drink and it's this (it is summer after all)...
and yes I did graduate from Texas.  Hook 'em!

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