I got to finally check off one of my goals in my bicycling bucket list. I when I say bucket list, I have not idea what I'm actually talking about, because I never really wanted to watch two old men courting in a movie. One of the things that I have been dreaming about for the longest time is to get onto a climb of epic proportions. The valley has some good climbs, but they always seem to make up for being so short that they go straight up. I wanted to climb a grade that seemed to go on forever.
Well on a recent trip to Colorado I finally got to mark that off the list. I flew out there for Valentines Day to see Sara and before our valentines dinner we did what only a cycling couple could enjoy and decided to go for a bike ride. She had her bike there, with all her new presents from me, and I rented a Trek 1.2 from University Cycles in Boulder. Our route was a simple one, mainly two roads, the start of the ride was beautiful, 40 degrees and sunny, but with a heavy headwind. I pulled from the start and allowed Sara to save same energy. The climb started immediately but at first is was quite shallow. We climbed about three miles until we hit Sugerloaf road and that's where the fun began, it steepened up to stretches of 10% grade and a ton of switchbacks. After about half a mile it leveled out and Sara I climbed another 12 miles to above the tree line where it was cold and snowy. In all we climbed 3500+ feet over 15 miles. I gotta say I felt good and was pleasantly surprised. I wasn't sure how I would handle altitude and not riding outside on a bike for a month before this but I felt really good.
The descent on the other hand was not as fun. The bike I was riding had a horrible speed wobble where anytime when I got up to speed the bike shook beneath me. Add that to the fact that I was not properly dressed for the descent, which made me freeze enough to stop every two miles or so to warm up. Luckily, towards the bottom the road straightened out and I warmed up enough to really open up and get some good speeds going. With a straight road, slight downhill and a tailwind, Sara and I were cruising along at about 30 mph. We ended up back at University Cycles, turned in my bike and then grab a sub. Really happy with the ride and the weekend. I'm so lucky to have had this opportunity and Sara in my life.