So we commenced on our hike, and had a lot of fun. About 3 miles total in distance was hiked. I was surprised, some of the descriptions of this trail that I found said it was really poplular, so I figured it shouldn't be too challening... I guess in the summer time it might not be. Much of the trail this time of year still had plenty of snow on it, and the foot traffic had trampled the snow into some icy patches here and there. To top that off, the exposure of the trail was quite intimidating at times. One slip on the wrong spot and you're going for a ride! I don't suspect that the landing at the bottom is too soft either. Anyway, below are a few of my favorite photos. You can view the whole album here. I think my photo taking is getting a little better, but it still has a long way to go. I also bought a nice circular polarizing filter a while ago, and I keep forgetting to use the darn thing!
I thought this rock looked pretty cool. Kinda looks like there's a skull from some animal on top.
I was trying to be creative here... Not sure I succeed all that well. It looked better in real life I think. This might be another case where messing around with HDR imaging would come in handy. I really need a tripod before I can really make my attempts worth while though.
So anyway, on with the title of this post... The weather today was/is absolutely wonderful, crystal clear skies and 60+ degrees. I thought to myself, "self, why don't you go bike up that road you found yesterday." So that's what I did, and it felt great. I mapped out a route to get over to hill, made a course using the course creator developed by Brad Culberson, and uploaded it to my Garmin 305 GPS / bike computer. Sadly, I couldn't get my heart rate strap, or cadence sensor working. I think the batteries finally bit the dust in them. Oh well. That wasn't going to stop me from enjoying my ride.
I managed to navigate my way through Golden, avoiding most of the really busy roads, though, I also managed to go down a road that was gated at one end. Always fun to hop a fence in roadie shoes as cars and other bikers whiz by. Oh well. After a ten mile warm-up I made it to the base of the hill. I decided I was just going to go up at a pace I could handle, and knew I could sustain for a long time. Since the ride was new to me, I wasn't sure what kind of exertion I could put into it.
There were a ton of cars at the base, all with bike racks. We had seen a lot of riders yesterday while driving, and I think there were even more today. I managed to catch a couple people and pass them on my way up, but some managed to catch and pass me too. Unfortunately, I think more people passed me, than I passed. It was really tough to not hop on the wheel of others as they passed. Was probably a good thing though, I'm convinced that a bunch of people where at least semi-pro, or at least on some organized team of some sort. A couple groups had coaches talking to them out a car, etc. They probably woulda pushed harder just to drop me. I made it to the top, and took a 10 minute breather up at Buffalo Bill's grave.
At my rest, I had the chance to eat a Chocolate flavored PowerGel energy snack. All I have to say, is that if you really, really (and I mean really) like chocolate frosting, you just might be able to handle this stuff. The consistancy is that of a smooth creamy frosting, and the taste is quite chocolaty. It was just too much for me. I felt like all the sweet taste buds on my mouth where hyper stimulated. It took me most of the 10 minute break to choke the stuff down. All I had for a chaser was some Lemon / Lime Gatorade Endurance mix... Yack! The the Gatorade itself I thought was pretty good. Good flavor, not too sweet, and tart enough to keep the thirst working. The pouch I had made a quart, which I found kind of annoying, since my water bottles where 24 oz (as are most bike bottles).
At any rate, I made the wonderful decent back down the mountain feeling great about the climb. Good thing I brought arm warmers with me. I would have gotten cold without them. I haven't ridden since last November, not even on my trainer (I know, I've been bad), and here I was able to climb this thing. I thought I was crazy at the start of my ride, but I did it! Then it hit me... almost home.... Please, please remind me again why I decided to live in house at the top of no small hill, especially after what I had just been through. It was torture! I kept thinking to myself "how am I supposed to have a propper cool down when I have to go up this thing at the end of every ride? arrg" I sucked it up and finished, but not strong. Oh well.
Motionbased Stats are here.
It was a neat ride. Will certainly do it again. Great views, and I got to see some other people enjoying their hobbies. On some of the sharp turns on the climb up (switchbacks), I saw a group of people playing with remote control gliders, riding the wind currents coming up the mountain. I also had a paraglider person swoop over my head as well. That was cool.