Monday, February 7, 2011

February Riding

Gold Hill, Colorado. Home of the the Magic Schoolbus. I missed the best photo opportunity of the day on the Saturday ride because I couldn't grab my camera fast enough. It is parked just outside of a tiny little community that sits west of Boulder above 8K' and probably hasn't moved since the 80's.

Haha, I had to giggle a little at the bright and "magical" colors that graced this shaggin' wagon. I can only imagine what is was like in its heyday---circa 1974. After rolling through town, myself and three friends turned onto the well-known Switzerland trail. It was a slippery ride with my back tire going everywhere. The sun, however, came out in full brilliance as we cruised along in about 4 inches of snow. This part of the ride was somewhere between surreal and euphoric as there was snow beneath my tires and snow lightly falling amidst energizing sunlight. I floated along at one point , closing my eyes and just let the sun and sweet air fill my lungs. Nearing the end of the trail, it started to get colder and the sunlight gave way to clouds and huge, wet snowflakes.

After a quick warm up at the bottom of Switz, we started down 4 Mile Canyon. 13 miles of wet snow coming down HARD. The first 4 or 5 miles I could actually see the road, but after that my glasses were caked with snow and seeing the curves became a true luxury. 

4 Mile dumped us out at the Boulder bike path and back to the Ball parking lot. Overall, it was a great 40 miles. We clocked 4 hrs of ride time and I imagine a total of 5 hours considering we had about 7 warmup/add layer stops. Climbing up Poorman Rd and Sunshine definitely elevated the HR, but my legs felt light and strong. In a sick, twisted way, I really do crave big climbs.

The ride I had been jonesing for all week was the Sunday plan. It was a similiar loop with some more sick climbing---sans gears. Due to the fact that no side roads were plowed in Morrison after a foot or so of snow, I was not able to make it by 8:30 Sunday morning. The ride was aborted after 3 miles of climbing because of ice, so I guess my pain is assuaged somewhat :). The SS torch will have to be carried another day (credit, Mr. Dukes).

Here are a few pictures from Saturday many have seen on Facebook, but here they are again:

Anxious for some more of those rides, especially this summer at higher altitudes.

Arizona is getting closer....finalizing plans and travel. Looks like I am going to do some epic soloing for 3 days after 24 OP. Very excited to go share my sleeping bag with some friendly scorpions.   

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