When we hit the first mile-long incline, I said “Really? That’s the ‘challenging’ part? Psh, I’ll be fine!”. Colorado, I should’ve known you better.
D took me out on my longest bike-ride to date, and I tried to refrain from being neurotic about the distance on G. Not at “40” exactly?! Uhm, no, really, it’s okay. I don’t want to spend another 2 minutes on this bike seat.
Avoid neurosis? Check!
All photos courtesy of D’s Iphone.
I had been wanting to try the Ride-to-Golden for a long time; this request was usually matched with a reason that my legs may not be up for it (Long Run, Ryders, and/or a combination of those two + not riding my bike more than the 2 miles to work). But yesterday, my attitude dictated that we had to at least try – I had to do something that got me off the Cherry Creek trail.
D agreed, we suited up, and I said “Let’s get it up to 40 miles!”.
Ambitious attitude, at its best.
He rides to Golden and back for an “easy” ride, but warned me many times that it’s hilly. See my reaction above – to sum it up, naive.
Climbing out of Denver wasn’t a ride in the park (instead it was straight ahead on a neighborhood road, through a few suburbs), but nothing that jolted me out of my comfort zone.
Once we got closer to Golden, the options were: turn right into the intersection of a few highways, through a round-about (they have those in Denver?! I thought DC & Annapolis took the cake on that) and into downtown; turn left and go through a hilly neighborhood to avoid highway traffic. Clearly we went with the latter, at this point I thought “hilly” was relative.
I was wrong.
We rode through the downtown Farmers Market + Festival, the School of Mines campus and up to the base of Lookout Mountain. I barely made it to the park after the initial climb, and parked it.
There was no way I had a full climb in me, so I sat to eat and D rode on. Adios! My stomach needed some TLC.
About thirty minutes later, my bike-buddy returned and it was time to ride home. We skipped the hill-dominant neighborhood and survived the round-about. We discussed where to get lunch when we got back, which was motivation enough to keep pedaling. We avoided a storm, and thanked Denver for the 70* sunshine.
Left: This riding-home thing is awesome! So many declines!
Right: A feast for two, courtesy of Whole Foods.
39.22 miles (I know….”.22? Really?!”), check!
Elevation Gain: 1,667 ft
Thanks to D for taking it slow with me, eventually this rides won’t be so painfully long!
All in all? Huge Success!
Next time I’m going for 50 – maybe we’ll get to Boulder.
Now, cyclists, it’s your turn to weigh in! I know 40 miles isn’t “long” for most frequent riders – but sitting on that bike seat for 2+ hours is never pleasant, in my opinion. What’s the secret? What magic product am I missing out on?