Boulder Day 2-Peak to Peak Hwy or Boulder-Ward-Lyons

For my second day in Boulder I was to do a solo ride, while Rob was running the route of the Boulder half Iron man, and Sara and Christie were doing their own run.  I had thought to go out to do the Mountains that were behind the house.  I went on Bikely to scope out a route, and made one that was only 37 miles and let me go up the mountain and then come back down.
I woke up early with the weather being cool in the high 60's and cloudy with Fog.  I got my cue and got the bottles filled up with water and Power Aid.  I also brought a 3rd bottle in my jersey so I wouldn't go through the problem that I had the day before of not having enough to drink.

The first thing I noticed was that the 60miles the day before had done a number on the undercarriage. Rob's seat was harder, and narrower then I am used to.  So I lubed up :-)   I decided to be cruel to myself, and instead of going around Lee Hill I thought I would go over it, since it would be less mileage. 

The first thing to note is that Rob's bike is a regular 39-53 with a 25 in back.  I am used to riding a 36-50 so I knew the gears might be an issue with this ride.  Climbing Lee Hill  reminded me of the climbing I usually do on the hilly rides on the east coast.   Pretty darn steep, with some steeps, and not too many miles.  As I was going up Lee Hill I was getting worried, cause I was on the lowest gear and breathing up a storm.  I kept it up and eventually I got to the top.  I was a little worried, cause if the rest of the ride was going to be like this my knees would be toast!  The downhill to Lefthand Canyon Dr. is crazy steep going into a full U-turn, I took it nice and easy since I wasn't in a race or anything.  
Right at the cloud line
Once I got to Lefthand Canyon Dr. I started the gradual climb up to Ward.  Now this kind of climbing is not to my liking...  It was a shallow grade of 4%? maybe and I was running the upper end of the cassette, but was not pedaling slow.  The climbing never let up, so I never got a breather.  I would stand to change the tempo of the climbing, but the lack of steps was taking it's toll on the boat anchor of body weight I am carrying around.    As I was climbing I was seeing a number of cyclists coming down the mountain wearing arm warmers, and jackets.  The weather was still cloudy, cool, and muggy.  I was wearing a muscle jersey after the 90+ degrees the day before.  The only thing keeping me warm was that I had been climbing for an hour or so.   It got to the point where I had goosebumps on my arms.  As I was getting into Ward I was hitting the clouds, thinking if it isn't sunny on the decent I am screwed.   
Once I got on to Peak to Peak Hwy, I realized why I had seen a fair amount of bikers.  They were part of the Sunrise Valley century going on.  They were going the opposite way that I was going.  I must have seen around 1000 bikers throughout the ride.  Peak to Peak Hwy was nice, and had some great views.  Thankfully the sun decided to show itself so I was finally not cold.
As I was starting to descend I was looking for a road called Jamestown, and by this time my cue sheet had gotten a bunch of sweat on it and was soggy(so I couldn't read it).  I ended up taking a right on Rt. 7 but still descending.   At mile 38 I knew something was up, since I should of been done with the ride.  I wasn't that upset, cause I was still descending, but I didn't know if this was taking me to the other side of the mountain away from Boulder.   I was thinking to call Sara and see if they could come pick me up since I was not going to be able to make it back over a mountain, and we had plans that I needed to get back for(I had no cell signal).  I happened by a park, and I thought to just look at the Kiosk hoping there was a map or something.  They had a brochure on the parks in the Boulder area, that had a map.  With the map I could see where I was and realized I could get back ok, even though it was going to be a little bit of a drag.  After 18 miles of descending......let me repeat that 18 miles of mostly going downhill that is something I am not used to.  I got into Lyons and then took Foothills back to Boulder.  I was now riding with a lot of the Century folk, Foothills has a nice big shoulder, but it is a busy road.  There are a few up and downs that you have to do, but finally I made it back.  

  • 2 hard days, but two totally different experiences I liked the day two terrian better
  • Decsending through the canyons made my trip, something that I will remember.
  • Great to experiance 20+ miles of climbing before topping out.  
  • With my build the power climbing with steps suits me better.
Maybe next year do an extended vacation with more biking.
With the Crew before the airport


Boulder Day 1-Carter Lake

Carter Lake
Well Sara had been meaning to visit one of her best friends Christie since she had moved to Boulder CO.  I had met Christie several times, and her Husband Rob, who is a triathlete.  Rob and myself had talked about biking a little, but we had never ridden together.
Before the trip I knew that Rob and I would get in at least one ride.  I was going to try and ride his bike instead of renting or lugging my bike out there.  I found out later that Rob used to work Velonews/Triathlete and knew the head guy at Cervelo.  So Rob had a SL-3 for me to ride, and he would ride his P-3.  I brought out my ancient spd Dura Ace pedals I use, since I ride with Mt. shoes all the time.  I also brought out my 130mm stem to go on his 56cm bike(I ride a 58 normally).  He said there was enough post.  I put on my stem, and raised the seatpost, moved the saddle back, and when I tightened the clamp-POP I broke the seatclamp.  We went to Excel sports and got another Clamp that was a Cervelo clamp, that was made the same way, but had been beefed up where I had cracked his.  The clamp cost me $35, but was a lot cheaper then renting a bike.
56cm SL-3 That rode for the weekend

One fast dude
The ride we did was on a 90+ day we did a rolling ride to Carter Lake.  I am used to riding a compact, and was interesting being back on regular rings for the weekend.  On our way out we were hitting some pretty high speeds on Foothills road.  I did some digs on Rob, which he might have been surprised by.  This was the first time I have ridden with someone on a Tri Bike.   For the riding we were doing, it was interesting cause once we got to the high 20's I needed to draft behind Rob, and in the 30's I couldn't let him get too far away from me or I would loose him.    There were some small hills, nothing too big, the biggest being the climb to the lake itself.  The gearing was fine for that, but I was worried cause I was to do another ride the next day with more climbing.

The ride back was almost the same way we came.  The ride down the hill we came up to get to the lake, I gave Rob some room, and the last turn off the hill he was in his aero bars, and must have been doing 35-40 so I really couldn't catch up to him.  He waited for me at the next turn. So as we were going back.  I was starting to loose it, I didn't drink enough I think.   I also had said that I would be good for 50, and it was the last 11 that really got me(we did 62).  I would have been fine if I could of just gone my own pace.  Rob was being nice and would slow, and I would suck his wheel at 20 then 18,and 16 I just couldn't keep the pace.  After the ride, my legs hurt so bad that I really couldn't stand I had to laydown for a bit to recover.
Was a good ride, I think I can ride with Rob pretty well when I am in shape.  I think I surprised him on how I rode the small hills there, but I didn't have the power with endurance when I am in shape too keep my speed on the flats.

I saw this a lot during the ride back, I was a wheel sucking fool


Lewisburg PA, 4X over the Ridge with the Big Guy

I knew I was going to be up in Lewisburg, PA in mid-July because Sara's parents were allowing me to store some things at their house. After a hectic Friday packing the Uhaul and an equally hectic Saturday unloading it, I thought I needed to do a ride on Sunday for body and soul. The route that I planned to do was one that I'd plotted out two years ago that was very similar to a route that I'd found on the Bucknell cycling website. The route had three climbs, with one being pretty darn big. Sara and I had come down the big one on the tandem.


The ride started off fine--foggy as per usual for a summer's day in Central PA. Going south on Stein was the right route to take, considering the road is blown out and would have been pretty unsafe if I were to be coming down from the ridge that way. Once over the ridge, I crossed over Rt. 304  and got onto some nice small roads, even crossing a nice little bridge on a road strangely called Little Mexico Rd.. I missed a turn or two along the way to New Berlin.

It was early in the morning, and it was very different going through New Berlin this time as opposed to when I went through it with Sara during a craft show. The small town was all quiet. I went up the ridge to go north out of the town and took Mountain Rd. to the left to go diagonally. This road ended up being a dirt road--and a little grippy at the beginning. I had to stay seated to keep traction, because if I didn't my wheels would spin out. It turned into a downhill that was still gravel, but a little more hard packed. It's always a little unnerving going 30 mph on road tires in gravel.

The next part of the ride was probably my favorite, going along the ridge on the north side, where there were flat-to-rolling roads. I encountered the Amish going to church. Some of them were riding bikes, but in their normal Sunday clothes rather than in spandex. I also had a first-time experience of following two horse-drawn buggies, which were going at a pretty good clip but were slower on downhills because they couldn't freewheel like I could. I overtook the buggies on a downhill section, and the kids in the back seemed amused.

Then came the big climb on RT 235. The climb was actually too my liking--somewhat stepped, but still tough. It took a while to get to the top, but what goes up must come down. The downhill was pretty straight, so I was able to let it hang out and ended up going 50 mph at some points. As I worked my way back to New Berlin to go over the ridge again and head to Sara's parents' place, I took some back roads instead of the more direct route to the town. I went through some rolling, hilly sections, finally going up one last hill that turned to gravel. As I                            I was riding another gravel downhill, disaster struck. I got a sidewall cut in my tire, which basically ended my ride. The kicker is, I was only 50 yards from the gravel ending and going to pavement. I called Sara to pick me up, and luckily she was home and willing to do so. Interesting to note, I was able to ride three or four miles on the flat, tubeless tire, in the process catching 2 girls on mountain bikes who caught me after I'd flatted. Sara came shortly thereafter. I got a nice warm reception and we rode home together in her mom's car.

I ended up with a little under 50 miles on the day and only didn't do the last five to Sara's parents' house. So it was a good ride. Next time I will cue it to stay away from the dirt roads.


NJ Beach weekend Day 2

From July 4th

For the Second Ride of the Trip I decided to do a shorter slower ride.
I saw from the New Jersey department of tourism that have a 50+ mile ride
that goes from Stone Harbor to CapeMay and back.  I was going to use this route,
but instead of going to the west side of the peninsula I was going to go straight
north through the middle of the peninsula.
I went out south out of South Harbor.

 There were several Bridges that I had to cross that cost $1 or so but free if biking.  The view was nice an I was enjoying the nice summer weather with highs in the 70's in the morning. The riding down south was not as crowded, but at the same time it wasn't a great place to get a workout on.  I saw that you could ride the boardwalk in the morning in Wildwood so I went up there with every other person who was out and about.  There were the cycle cars which are like a car with four passengers who all pedal.  They looked fun, would like to try it sometime.

The Glass field on the side of the Road
I finally got to the Cape May lighthouse, and it was really funny getting cause once you got to the tip, it was like being in the country.  The roads were not city streets anymore.
There was a vineyard, and some farms down in CapeMay.  I went around the to the west and then headed north over the bridge to exit the technically a island of CapeMay(since there is a canal that separates it.  As I was headed north I found a nice path that I rode for a bit unfortunatly it ended and I was back on the road.  I took Rt. 9 which was not too fun, and then back over to the sea.  I heard some crunchy sounds and I relised that I was riding on a glass field on the side of the road.  Somehow I didn't get a flat.  As I was heading back I saw that the car was gone from the hotel, So I called Sara and she told me that it was up at her Uncle and Aunt's place.  So I rode another 4 miles up there to make it a 50 or so mile day.  The riding was OK, if I did it again I think I would have Sara drop me off on the way to the beach, and would ride to it behind her.  In that way I could get some of the nicer country roads.

CapMay is an island since there is a canal you have to go over.


Beach Ride Avalon and more

Did a ride the second day at the beach.  It was still nice with low humidity.  The roads were a little more crowded then I thought they would be.  The moots was riding nice since I had the new bars on it, which make it fit the way I thought it would.  The beach riding wasn't that great because you didn't really ride next to the ocean, as much as you would like.  I also ended up with a bit more miles from one or two wrong turns.

The Best riding on the ride were the roads near Belleplain State Forest.  Seems that you can mt. bike there, so would be interested to see a map of the trails.
On the Way back I found a great bakery and had some carrot cake. The cars were backed up and going 10mph to the beach while I was doing 20+ next to them. Ended up being a pretty good ride, but the legs were fried after 61 miles spinning non-stop.