So that took some edge off how much I thought about training really seriously--not that I train really seriously. Living in one of the best places to ride mountain bikes, or road bikes for that matter, I would still go ride a good bit. I also told Anne that I would drive us to Minneapolis Minnesota to see her family where they were all getting together for a week. That is my secret weapon!
So the first races I decided to do were the Growler training series races at our local area called Hartman's Rock. They are short one hour races followed by pizza and beer that are training for the quite hard Gunnison Growler. The Growler is a 64 mi (70 mi actually) mountain bike race on mainly single track Memorial Day weekend. All of the races are put on by Gunnison fast guy Dave Wiens. Each race I got faster and more into mountain bike mode. Riding starts slow here as the snow doesn't melt until April in the lower areas here but I was in pretty good shape from nordic and back country skiing..
Coming off the Growler I felt pretty good and in descent shape. Now what bigger race should I try this summer? I finally decided that maybe the Vapor trail 125 might be interesting. It is 125 miles, starts at 10pm, climbs a ton and covers a lot of classic and hard single track at high elevations. So maybe I should go ride a bit....
July 5th I was riding old monarch pass and the classic Canyon creek trail and Dave W calls the house. Anne answers and he asks if I'm around. She say's I'm riding my bike. So then he asks if she minds if I do Leadville. She is a bit of a secret bike race fanatic I think. She likes watching me and helping but I think she really likes to watch the fast guys like Dave come through also. So I get back and I can tell something is up. Just have to call the office and I'm in. Hmmmm I'm sure I can do OK but it could be a little harder as the race is just a little over a month away and we have a solid 2+ weeks of travels planned. To Minneapolis and then to Mancos for Derek and Di's big wedding. So I tried to put a lot of rides in before the 13th when we took off early for the Black Hlls and Badlands.
Had some good rides that week. Three good road rides (Monarch pass, Taylor res, and the CB group ride) but only one big mt bike ride at CB lowerloop/Slate duez/Paradise divide/403/401 and I got rained out at 403 and had to bail. Then on the trip out, I rode a couple of longer rides and some shorter ones. One good one was the paved road in Badlands--42 mi, 2200ft climbing in 2:15 and pretty.
Lila picking George's nose.
Here's the campground in Badlands. No water, but it was free and bison wandered through every morning.
Bison in the fields all around the camp....
Canoeing down the St Croix by the "Cities"
And the new fashion trend starter! Rode with a group of Minnesotans (actual residents--locals as it were and ran into the family going to the milk carton boat races... So old swim suit better than spandex....
So it turned out I got about 15 hrs of riding and a few slow rides to the beach at the lake over these two weeks.... Then we came back to Gunnison for a couple of days on the 25th.
The 26th I headed out from Pitkin to ride over the Alpine tunnel, Tincup pass, and back over Cumberline pass (all over 1200') to Pitkin. About 45 mi and 6100' of climbing. Unfortunately as I began to climb the steep and rocky Tincup Pass, I realized that I had indeed contracted what ever Julian and Lila had got from the cousins. This consisted of fever, great thirst, tiredness, and funky spots all over my belly. So I began to feel really tired and thirsty. By the time I started back up Cumberline, I was really wobbly and not feeling very good. About a mile from the top and just a few more hundred feet, I hopped in a guy's truck from Arkansas and got a ride to the top. He thought I looked bad apparently. I got home and was covered with little spots and was very tired. The next day I managed a slow ride at Hartmans...
Then on to Derek's wedding in Mancos. On the way to Mancos, I recovered enough to ride from Telluride to Mancos. While in Mancos, I did a couple of short mt bike rides and then I rode back to Telluride on the the way back. Anne drove the kids and then we played in Telluride to see how the other half live. So the race was now only two weeks away.... I rode as much as I could the next week and then just a bit the week before the race. It was nice not really stressing about the training and hanging with family--Especially the Whalens and keeping burglars out of their house (should score points with the Mother in Law).
Next the Race!