27 May 2010

Lucky Seven

Cycling SunriseDay 1

First morning commute with only two layers this year. Baby prairie dogs and goslings lined portions of bike path. Crippling headwind final 20 miles of the day. Had to push hard to reach 60 miles, but made it.

Peek-a-Boo!Day 2

Too windy for Indy Pass, so did Waterton Canyon on mountain bikes instead. Murphy's Law day. Totally flooded kitchen floor with gallon of ice-cold water while filling Camelbak, unaware valve was broken.

Cyclocomputer malfunctioned; recorded 15.6 mph uphill in headwind. Fleetwood Mac: "Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies." Mountain bike cyclocomputer also boasted fixed elevation at 2,072 feet. In Colorado. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Shot 496 photos of bighorn and goslings. I proudly pronounce my trigger finger ready and fully conditioned for Ride the Rockies.

Look, Ma! No Sleeves!Day 3

First sleeveless ride (and day!) of the year. Road biking seemed way easy after mountain biking in extreme wind yesterday. Passed on climb by huge group training together. This what my next six weekends will look like.

Serenaded by a MeadowlarkDay 4
Extra a.m. miles in case I couldn't ride in p.m. Predicted 50 mph winds materialized. Ten times more blowdown on the way home than in a.m.

I'm varying my morning detours, alternating drink flavors and breakfast, and taking sunrise pictures in different spots every morning in an effort to keep from getting bored with the daily high-mileage routine.

Intoxicating LilacDay 5

From Sleeveless Sunday to Three-Layer Tuesday. 45 degrees to start! Warmed up fast once the sun came up. I pass rows of lilacs on the way to work every morning, and the fragrance is intoxicating! Tailwind final 15 miles of the day! Baby prairie dogs refused to pose for me.

Commuting starts with three nice downhills early (predawn) in the morning and finishes with three steep, heaving climbs in the evenings. Ride the Rockies will be the opposite. I'll ride up, over and down mountains, canyons or mountain passes each of the seven days except one. Day 3 will be a slight climb all day. Of course, Ride the Rockies is a new route every day for seven straight days. No chance of becoming bored with the scenery.

By the Light of the MoonDay 6

I think this is the first time I've done six consecutive days in the saddle since 2003.

Trying to log five or six hours a day in the saddle with eight or nine hours in the office, too, every day this week is beginning to take a toll. I turned down a ride at 40 miles tonight because I felt strong and thought I could make it all the way home. Then the headwind kicked in and became progressively stronger the higher I climbed.

I could have called The Lizard at any point to pick me up. Rescue me! Two miles from home, I began to lose my will to keep pedaling. And then came that 12% grade. Yikes. I was so tempted to make that call. But I didn't. I made it home without any help. And I did NOT get off and walk my bike!

Have you ever been so tired you didn't even want to change out of your sweaty clothes before falling into bed? And I still have to do this one more day...

Joy!Day 7

I DID IT!!! Yeehaw! Do a Little dance! Make a little herbal tea! Park the bike tonight!

I'm tired. I don't have enough hours in the day to get everything done when I ride this much. I don't look forward to the same old route every day. I didn't get in enough high altitude climbing. I don't have a clue how I'm going to carry two camera lenses every day of the tour. But I made it! I did seven days in a row! I think my body is ready for Ride the Rockies!

PS: I published this post before I knew how many miles I would be able to pedal on Day 7, and now I've finished calculating. 319.1 miles in 7 days. Had I known that, I would have gone another .9, no matter how tired I was. But this still is pretty darn good. A bit intimidating knowing this year's Ride the Rockies is 213 miles further. But I won't have to put in 8 hours a day at the office during Ride the Rockies. And we'll have rest stops where I can stretch and pig out every 15 miles or so!


  1. Jiihaa! Great. Lovely photos.

    And yes, the photos in my blog = my (our) garden - the Summer in Finland is fabulous, sometimes :).

  2. Excellent job. I stand in awe.

    I get so punked with my 15 mile roundtrip communte more than 4 times/week. I am such a wussy baby...

  3. Woo hoo!!! Way to go. And, you got some great photos along the way. I especially love the bird silhouette against the sky.

    You're officially ready!

  4. Wow - I have no idea what Ride the Rockies is, but it sure sounds like you've done a great bit of preparing! I love seeing your pictures and reading about your biking. I don't bike much anymore, but have fond memories from the two summers in Iowa when I rode on RAGBRAI. I need to get the bike out and get back into it. Thank you for the inspiration!

  5. Wow!! I am SO proud of you. Commuting with that kind of mileage, putting in a (more than) full workday and doing it all over again the next day... you're one tough lady.

    If it's any consolation, I'm not EVEN doing that kind of distance and my daily commute/soccer playing/working/commute is, uh, wearing me out just a tiny bit.

    Knock wood, next week should be better. Actually, just knowing how hard you're training makes it better already. You go, Snowcatcher!

  6. you must be very strong. I can´t understand how you can do it. And you are taking the pics too? Marvellous!

  7. You take such stunningly beautiful photos. The bird silhouette against the sky is super fantastic!
    Good luck with the bike riding!

  8. Unbelievable, you're an absolute trooper. I really don't think i could do anything like that. The mere thought of all that exertion makes me wince!


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