Estes Park, Finally
Today we rode up to Estes Park for the first time this year. The weather has been abominable this spring, meaning rides to the high country have been limited. Estes Park is one of my favorite rides; it is the combination of the challenging terrain and the breathtaking views.
This ride has been a weekly staple for a few years, and in that time I have ridden superbly, I have had melt downs and I have called for rides home. It is a true test of fitness. Given all that I have been through over the last few months, my expectation for today’s ride was low.
My day started with a swim at FAC. I was joined by BDC and his buddy Grant. I often preach about the importance of a long swim (i.e. similar in theory to the long ride or long run), so that is what we did today– a warm up of 10×100 followed by 2×1500. No groaning, that is fun! After the swim, we warmed up in the hot tub.
Riding to Estes Park requires a lot of gear. I always use my CamelBak and fill it with lots of calories and The Right Stuff. I also bring along a gel flask filled with PowerGel, SaltStick tablets, a jacket and tools. My pockets were stuffed, because I also added arm warmers and full gloves. You never know what you might need…
A point of contention among my riding buddies is tardiness. In an effort to make everyone more accountable, BDC decided to implement a roster. Everyone scheduled to ride signs in when they arrive and if they are late, they must mark down the number of minutes past the start time they arrived. A DNS is when someone
doesn’t show without calling. Today’s roll call was: JZ, BDC, Billy, Shane and Grant. Everyone was on time.
The favorite bathroom spot, just past Carter Lake.
The road to Estes follows a creek. People tube, fish, and frolic. Some days you can see Big Horned Sheep walking in the mountains.
Apparently there are really good cinnamon rolls here. I have never actually stopped for one though.
This is the view looking down from the top of Devil’s Gulch. It is steep. It is long. It is painful. It won today. I was almost ready to get off my bike and walk to the top.
Luckily, I had this beautiful view to reward me at the top!
All in all, it was a good day. My numbers on the bike were a little off, as was expected. But, most importantly, my ribs felt good and I was able to do a nice, easy run off the bike. I am not yet where I want to be, but I am a lot farther along than I was even a week ago.