Posted by: Jennifer Sage | April 21, 2009

Training for the Giretto – my longest outdoor ride to date

Skies finally cleared and temperatures rose a bit yesterday, after many weeks of thwarted outdoor rides due to snow, rain, ice and/or cold. Not like it was balmy or anything – the thermometer said 55 degrees and I doubt it got any warmer. I was still bundled up, but not as much as the past two rides I’ve posted.

Unfortunately, I let my day get away from me (phone calls, email, something called ‘work’) and didn’t get on the bike until 3:30. But I managed to fit in 62 miles in 4 hours 10 minutes. Seems like a pretty slow time, but the way out to Eagle was headwinds (I could only maintain 13-14mph) and the way back was a slight uphill. I took a picture of a flag flying straight out – which to a cyclist means one thing: headwinds! (And potentially tailwinds, too). But the photo didn’t turn out well.

I rode to Eagle to our new house where my husband was installing the door trim. Ah man, do I feel guilty that he is working so hard and I’m out riding! But fortunately, he is very supportive of me (albeit a little envious, understandably).

There’s a road called Brush Creek that heads southeast from our new neighborhood-to-be. I’ve never been on it so I added that to my bike route. It’s 9 miles one way from our house and is spectacularly beautiful, little used road, passing by horse farms, a luxury private golf course and gated community nestled in a valley, through aspen groves and a narrow canyon, with a stream following the road the whole way, and ending at the White River National Park boundary. There, the paved road turns to dirt and apparently you can drive up and over a pass all the way to Aspen (I’ll have to explore that once we move there). I am so thrilled to know that this is my backyard-to-be. What a great quick ride that will be! 

My ride total was just a little over 4 hours. I could have gone longer, but it was 7:45 and almost dark. The legs felt pretty good, but the only bummer is that I’m tired of riding by myself all the time. I even got a little sad, and a low morale can have an effect on how you feel when riding. Gotta get out of this funk!

62 miles is a long way off from 120 (our longest day at the Giretto), or even 100 miles. I hope to fit in a century next weekend, but my time is running out to get distance. I’ve got to start focusing on some serious hill climbing. Spin classes are great, and I climb a lot indoors, but it is not enough. Bachelor Gulch, a local 5 mile steep climb, is my litmus test for my climbing fitness or when I’m preparing for the Alpes. That’s on the agenda this week…


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