Cycling Season 2011 Event Recap
Last year, I wrote about the cycling season and the events a group of friends and I participated in. This year, we got together at the beginning of the year (again) and mapped out the rides we wanted to do. This time around, however, we were happy to have our wives along for the ride. Thus began yet another epic year!
(Click on the links below to see the associated Garmin data if you’re interested in that type of thing.)
- Elephant Rock (06/05/2011): This was the first big event of the year. I said last year that I wasn’t planning on doing it two years in a row, but it’s a great training goal and a nice “big ride” experience for the girls. The girls rode the metric century version of the ride, and we took a nice even pace with them until the course split. After that, we raced to try and catch them at the last aid station. We didn’t quite make it there in time (they had been waiting for about an hour when we showed up), but we had a great, albeit hot, ride in to the finish together.
- Denver Century Ride (06/12/2011): This ride began at Invesco Field (now Sports Authority Stadium) right by my house in downtown Denver. We again rode a century taking it easy until the course split away from the metric option. It was a nice ride, but we had some criticisms. The route was a bit rough with traffic and the jersey and T-shirt weren’t very attractive (I joked that I was even embarrassed to wear it to bed!) However, they took our feedback seriously and showed up this year with a brand new jersey (one that looks pretty darn good) and a completely re-designed route. I’m already registered for the 2012 version and I can’t wait!
- Mount Evans (07/10/2011): This wasn’t an organized ride, but it was likely the most difficult ride I’ve ever done. The final ride was almost 130 miles and well over 12,000ft. of elevation gain. Mt. Evans is the highest paved road in the US; so high, in fact, that my Garmin stopped being accurate up above around 12,000ft. (it shows our max elevation as around 13,000ft. when it was easily a thousand feet more). We were hailed on and blown all over the place on the climb up, and one of the guys in our group even snapped his rear derailleur right off his bike! (Luckily, we found a car driving down from the mountain with a bike rack that was gracious enough to drive him back into Denver) When we finally finished the ride, I wasn’t sure exactly what to think or say. It was simultaneously the most physically painful and wonderful thing I’ve tried and I can’t wait to do it again!
- Copper Triangle (08/06/2011): This was year two of the outstanding Copper Triangle Ride. This time around, both the fellas I typically ride with got to participate (last year it was just two of us) and we all had a great time! Our three families got a cabin right in the middle of the Copper Mountain Village and we all had a blast just enjoying each other’s company and relaxing before and after the ride. I don’t think we’ll do it again next year (three years in a row is pushing it just a bit), but we’ll definitely be back soon.
- Dear Creek Century (08/21/2011): This event labels itself as the “hardest century ride in the US” Considering how difficult Evans was, I went into this ride thinking I’d be able to skate through it. I was very wrong. My first mistake was riding a fair amount during the week leading up to the event. I put in around 60 miles before even starting the ride. Beyond that, I didn’t hydrate properly and ate very poorly during the week. In short, I didn’t take it seriously at all and it definitely cost me. After about 50 miles, I started feeling sluggish. After the finish, I got pretty sick and got home to see I had dropped about 10 pounds of water weight during the ride. Not good. I’m not sure if I’m going to do this ride again, but if I do I will definitely take it seriously.
- Tour de Fat (09/10/2011): This year, I rode a B-Cycle while Amber pulled Ryker in the Chariot. It was just the three of us this year, but we had a great time and enjoyed ourselves (as usual). The tradition of cycling with at least 1000 other folks in a giant parade topped off with a beer or two after the ride is something I look forward to every year.
- Other Rides: Alongside the rides here, the girls did the Venus de Miles ride while the boys volunteered. Beyond that, there were numerous rides in Golden, Boulder (Jamestown, Sugarloaf, Flagstaff, Nederland), Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Monument, Lyons (Oscar Blues is a fantastic destination), and the list goes on. I also had a great time riding with my beautiful wife multiple times during the year including climbing Lookout Mountain, riding to Golden and just getting coffee in the early spring. Often, riding is about enjoying the scenery and talking with interesting people and she’s definitely the most interesting person I know.
I’m not sure we can seriously top 2011 and I’m not looking to try, really. So, here’s to 2011 and having fun, doing hard stuff, drinking good beer and making worthwhile relationships even more so. 2012, you have some big shoes to fill!