If you’re lucky enough to be in the mountains, you’re lucky enough!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Last week, for some reason, I started musing about doing the Silver Rush 50 Mile Mountain Bike Race  on July 16.  I did it years ago and ended up having one of those Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad days.  I (we) trained hard that year.  The course starts at an altitude of 10,000 feet and goes up from there.  Riders hit the 12,700 foot mark four times on the out and back course.  We trained on parts of the course three times before the race, spent lots of time over the weekends riding at altitude in Winter Park and Breckenridge ranging in altitudes from 9000 to 12,000 feet.  I drug Steve on so many 40+ mountain bike rides it's not even funny (he is a good sport).  Most were fun and scenic, and some were not-so-fun," just get-er-done, rack-up-the-hard miles" kind of rides.  Quite frankly, I was well trained, confident (which I normally am not), and expecting a good ride.  My goal time was 6 hours, 15 minutes, which was quite realistic and doable on an average good day.  My "secret" goal time was 6 hours (5:59, really) - possible on a perfectly fantastic day which I thought COULD happen!  Long story short, it wasn't a good day.  Among a few other little maladies, altitude sickness was the "big one" that got the best of me which was odd considering the amount of altitude training we did.  My actual ride time recorded on the bike computer WAS 6:15 but the elapsed/finish time was 55 minutes over my goal time.  Embarrassed and demoralized,  I tried to put on a happy face but was feeling far from the gracious countenance I tried to project.  Bummer.  Big time. 
Deerfield Reservoir - Black Hills, SD
Over this past year, I finally realized that the poor ride  that day was the sub-conscious catalyst for my move away from the bike. So now, I MIGHT be ready to get back on the bike and redeem myself - never mind I haven't been on a bike for over two months.  We'll have to hope for intelligent muscle memory, right?  :-)  Who knows - once I get a few rides in (hopefully it warms up soon),  this whole notion of redemption and Silver Rush might get thrown out the window - my desire to ride just hasn't been there much over the past years.  But, maybe the desire won't wane and the bike training might commence.  My initial "training" plan will be to trail run 3 or 4 times a week and ride twice - starting first on the road bike, concentrating on just building miles in the legs (and bottom side) - one long mileage day and one shorter.  We'll see if two days on the bike is sufficient.  And hills.  Lots of hills.  We live in a great area for hill training.  I used to be a decent climber - hopefully this older body can re-capture some of that efficiency.   Eventually, the mountain bike will be the main tool for the long ride.   Of course, we will be FORCED to do lots of rides and runs up high - a fantastic excuse to head to the mountains!
 Mid Mountain Trail - Park City, UT
Now we'll see.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  I reserve the right to change my mind.  Possibly several times.  :-)

Happy Trails this week!
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