Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Weekend in Denver, 2009

Friday the 28th Lynn and I met Jason, below, for lunch.
I met Jason a couple years ago when Lynn started coming out to Denver for work. They worked in the same office and Lynn found out he rode mountain bikes. He set me up on some local trails back then.
Jason is an EXPERT rated rider who was in contention for the overall Winter Park Series Champion for his 30-34 age group. He finished fourth today and got 3rd overall. He is an excellent rider.
His team won 1st, as well.

After lunch Lynn and I went up to Fort Collins for the New Belgium and Odell beer
tours and a round about way back to Denver via Estes and a stop in a small town called Ward on hiway 72 for dinner....the tours maybe were not such a great idea for the race on Saturday at Winter Park....???

The Race.... it was an ordeal. Got to Winter Park in plenty of time to get ready.
25 miles of riding, which wasn't so bad, but the first 6 was uphill and the climbs weren't over with that gut buster. 4,000 feet of total climbing. As they were getting us lined up, the race guy said the lowest elevation in the whole race was a dip in the road 15 yards in front of the start...I felt like puking right then!

I did fine in the downhills, passing a lot of folks. But to be honest, they were beginner rated riders. I learned, though that beginner out here may mean something different than beginner in the midwest.

So many had flats due to the rocks, glad I was tubeless. I took a number of videos slamming downhill, some 2-3 minutes long as I maneuvered around a number of riders and getting air a few times.
For some reason, the vids only ran 15-20 seconds and not the 2-3 minutes I expected. For some reason the camera shut down, need to learn why.
Missed 90% of all the good stuff! But here are a couple short reels.
video
video

Starting at 8,000 or so elevation and going up to 9,000 feet, maybe I wasn't quite used to the thin air, but I also sure wasn't trained for that kind of constant uphill work.

It wasn't purdy, but I finished. No matter what the results, it was a great day to be on the mountain.
I got back to town, showered and meet Lynn at her convention and conferment.

Aron Ralston was the guest speaker, only one person fainted as he described his ordeal of hacking off his arm!
I had actually met Aron while kayaking in a race up in Duluth, MN back in 2004, I believe. A year after he sawed off his forearm and hand. We chatted some out on the water during that race. I told him I couldn't believe they gave him a yak without a rudder, as it takes so much more arm work to paddle plus steer without one.

When I brought up Duluth as he signed his book for us this past weekend, he said he remembered our meeting, but who knows?

We had dinner at the Wynkoop Brewery in Denver Saturday evening. We left Sunday after a muffin and coffee at the Corner Bakery on the 16th street mall.

Decided to head north to the Black Hills. We got there in time for me to get an hour ride in out in Custer Park. Lynn rode ahead to the next road crossing and got to see 2 huge bull elk cross the road in front of her. Also saw a fox, many antelope, deer, buffalo and turkeys. Lynn was excited!

We stayed in Rapid City and got to Madison at 10PM Monday, just in time for me to get clothes switched and head to Chicago for a conference on Tuesday.....

Back to the grind!

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