Photos to come...
We arrived Tuesday morning at around 7:30am at Denver Airport and after Cassidy did laps around the rental car facility at full speed for 20 or 30 min, we were off in our sweet Kia mini van. There are 2 things I have learned about myself on this trip so far...well, one I actually already knew but was reminded: 1. I love riding my bike up hills and 2. deep down, I am a mini-van man.
After a quick stop at Regis University, so that I could prove it actually does exist and truly has real classrooms with teachers and black boards in classes besides herbology we were off to green mountain for a quick ride.
Green mountain is a city park of lakewood colorado, 15 minutes from Regis and right across the highway from redrocks. The riding consists of a smooth, fast single track loop and a couple miles of fireroads. I think the loop is about 6 miles or 7 miles. I used to ride that trail 3-6x per week while in college and would always do it in the same direction. 11years later, I was back with my single speed ready to give the first steady climb a try with my 32x17 gearing and 29er tires. I also wanted to shock my legs and body a bit in preparation for the coming days at altitude so I decided to ride 4x 5minutes hard intervals during my loop. I set-off from the parking lot and grinded my way up the 15 minute, non-stop climb to the summit of the foothill. The gear choice definitely was hard in some spots but overall I'm not too worried about it. From the top, you can see all of Denver and north up to Boulder. It felt great to be back there.
The descent takes a fire road down some steep sections of terrain and I have to confess that I never really knew the true power of my 29er bike until that descent. I used to be able to go down with very minimal, if any brake usage. This time, I think my skin would have melted cus I was just going way too fast not to brake.
The last section is fast, flowy single track which takes one back to the parking lot. From there, there's an option to connect green mountain to a sweet ridge or Red Rocks across the highway. Today however, an hour was all I needed.
I ended up with the falling data:
Ride time: 59 min
Avg HR: 147
Ascent: 1700 ft (recall that my total ride time included a huge down hill and relatively flat single track so the majority of the climbing was within about 20 minutes of biking!!!! i love colorado!!!)
Aftewards we went off to 75 beers on tap and lunch at Falling Rock Tap House in downtown Denver then onward to summit county for the evening.
Day 2: long drive from summit county to durango. not much to say except that Ouray is amazing and you should go there. Also, we stopped at silverton for me to ride a bit: about an hour on fire roads, but all were above 10000 feet and I managed about 1500 vertical feet of climbing.
We arrived exhausted to Durango with a baby who was not going to let us put her back in the car in order to attend any of the events...so we ended up ordering pizza (Homeslice, which if you're ever here...check it!) and crashing at about 9pm.