A great cycling weekend was had this past weekend as we celebrated the 4th of July. In honor of the 4th, I tried to get in 4 rides.
Loaded up the family on Saturday and heading off to the little mining village of Leadville. We rode the Mineral Belt trail that encircles the town. In the summer, the cyclists rule the trail whilst in the winter it is a cross country skiers paradise. It is only roughly 11 miles, with it split at half climbing and the other half descending. Then we poked around town, ate lunch, and shopped.
Sunday brought some clear skies in the morning so I headed out to climb Vail pass. It is a 10 mile descent from Breck to Frisco and 12 mile climb through Copper Mtn to Vail pass. I left early as to avoid the throngs of people. This is an easy climb compared to riding to the pass from Vail or any of the other area climbs, but it is still always enjoyable.
Monday was for doing a little pre-riding the FC50 course. Met up with SC and headed out for what turned out to be a bad idea. Made it up to the first section of single track off Boreas Pass road and the skies started to spit. By the time we made it to the first mine, it was sleeting. We trudged onward until we intersected the road to the Iowa Mine. There we made a downhill line to town. We quickly descended out of the rain/sleet and hit the road for an almost 40 mph cruise to town. The chill set in quickly but made it home in one piece. Missed the BlunDurd Hundurd up north (Happy Bday to Paddy!).
Sunday was a time for 50 miles of suffering. Actually, not much suffering just a long day in the saddle. I had a plan and I tried to stick to it, but the legs said something else. I started out at a moderate pace wanting to go easy on the first lap and then pick it up a little on the second. The legs felt good after the first lap which I completed in about 2hr 45 min. The second lap started well as I cruised the road section passing many of the guys/gals that blasted me on the previous downhill. Made it to the first real up and the legs couldn't turn the gear I had. It was faster to walk than try and pedal. I was pushing a 32x18 on a 29er which was the biggest gear of those I polled. I am sure the guy that won the thing was pushing a bigger gear than I. I made it to the finish feeling pretty damn good. I lost over 30 minutes compared to the first lap and ended up completing the 50 miles in just under 6 hours. Drank a beer at the finish and ate some veggie chile before the short ride home. More beer, a shower, more food, hot tubing with the kids, and topped off with fireworks. SC did a great job on his ride! The SS winner rocked the course in 4hrs 9 mins.
A great way to spend the long weekend.