Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Long Ride Like it was Summer...sort of

While not a balmy day here on the Front Range, it was still not bad. Mid to upper 50's and a a breeze blowing out of the west but nothing terribly disturbing.

My last long ride was two hours that I did indoors watching television. Nothing wrong with that, especially in the dead of winter when not only the cold, but also snowy and icy roads can keep you in.

Nevertheless, I was especially happy to be able to do my 2 1/2 hour ride outdoors today.

Today's ride is one that I've done before heading more or less south from my home and the east all the way into Elbert County. It's characterized by several rolling hills and few that are just steep. I spent a lot of time in the little ring today and it helped.

One of the high points is right on the Douglas/Elbert County line at about 6400 feet. My picture does not do justice to the view. With the breeze blowing, the air was clear and I could actually see the Flatirons over Boulder.

It may have been sunnier closer to the mountains, but it was more or less overcast where I was. Otherwise, I think we would have easily cleared 60* today.

It's not my fastest outing ever by a long shot and some of those hills slowed me down to single-digit MPH. This is one of the smaller ones

I had to keep telling myself that its good training for both the Boulder Peak and the HITS which have some HUGE hills (in the mountains no less) so better to start preparing a few months ahead of time.

Of course, in true Newtonian fashion, there were opportunities to go down after going up. This is near the bottom of a hill when my speed was picking up.

Because I was moving along so good. that little rise you see in the background presented no real problems.

After another nice drop, and then a slight climb, I got to head down hill for a while. No pictures here since I was hitting speeds in the upper 20's but here's the elevation profile to give you an idea.

As you can see, from about mile 28 on, it was mostly a downhill ride. The last little hill was actually more drawn out than this graph suggests.

Who knows when I'll get to do another outdoor ride like this in Colorado (though Hawaii is another story). For now, despite the cold and the tired, this guy was happy to be riding his bike outdoors on a Sunday afternoon:

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