Against better judgement, I went for a ride with my ex-coworker Chris Lane yesterday. I had used my legs up quite a bit the day before doing a time trial type ride up the Poorman loop but wanted to do a longer, tuffer climb. Chris is a leaner, sleeker rider who rides a XC racer type bike so me showing up 15lbs heavier on a 6" travel bike with tired legs was like bringing a knife to a gun fight.
Chris has always killed me on the climbs, then we reverse spots for the descents. Yesterday was really no exception, except I think I've managed to narrow the climbing gap quite a bit from last year. Yesterday I was able to keep Chris within about 20 yards about 90% of the time. He got away from me every now and then, but I would pull back up to his wheel in other areas. We are two very different climbers, so our strengths and weaknesses show quite evidentally as we yo-yo back and forth up the hills.
The route we took was especially punishing for me since I had never been up this way. We started up Sunshine Canyon, which is 4 miles of pavement that averages about a 7% grade, with short sections in the 14% range. After 4 miles, we traveled down Poorman over to Four Mile and then up to Logan Mill, which is a steep, winding dirt road that is about 3 miles in length.
We took a brief stop at the bottom of Logan Mill and then started up. Per the usual, I seemed to get stronger after about an hour of riding and rode side by side with Chris up much of Logan Mill. Within about a 1/2 mile of the summit, you hit the hardest grade and Chris pulled away from me a bit here. We regrouped at the top, took in the views near Arkansas Mountain and then started our rampant descent back into Bouler.
Getting back to the truck I was running late as usual (I always think I'm a faster climber than I really am), so I grabbed my stuff and headed home. I really felt pretty good considering we climbed somewhere between 2500-3000ft and did about 20 miles. Forcing myself to do these path/dirt/paved canyon rides around here is certainly paying off for me this year. It isn't a joyous time to grind out miles of dirt road climbs, but I'm getting out, dropping pounds and getting faster so it is all worth it.
Today I'm just going to do a nice, easy spin at lunch. Tomorrow I'll try and hit a trail somewhere and hopefully hit another trail on Sunday.
The elevation chart: