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

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