The past few weeks have been absolutely jam-packed with work, training, and more work. There hasn't been time for much else. I've got 10 spare minutes now before heading to a PT appointment for some more work on the ankle I injured in Sedona six weeks ago (it's getting better, but very slowly, but the most painful part of the injury has still not been diagnosed!).
Days on the bike have been including more intensity than the past few months...intervals, long and steady tempo efforts, and moderately hard climbing workouts. I've gotten back to 'time trialing' a few of my favorite climbs around the area, and the results are pretty impressive, with my times only lagging my times from a couple years ago by a couple minutes for 35-minute efforts, and I'm now doing these on a mountain bike instead of a road bike.
Last weekend I met up with these guys (and a bunch of others at the start of the ride, as well as Topeak-Ergon riders Jeff, from whom I stole this photo, and Yuki who is hiding from the camera) for a climbing fest. We logged 10,000+ feet in 5.5 hours of riding, and I think it's safe to say that everyone was shelled by the end of the day.
Yesterday I checked off two objectives on my list of rides I've wanted to do for the past couple years. One was to ride so far east that the mountains disappear from the horizon before turning around and riding home, and the other was to check out a desolate region of northeastern Colorado that only has a couple dirt roads cutting through several hundred square miles of land. I proposed the 180-mile ride to Caroline, and after mulling it over, she ended up joining me.
The route was pretty damn beautiful for being entirely on the plains...lazy rivers, bald eagles, pronghorn antelope, very little traffic, and gravel roads stretching as far as they eye could see.
The ride ended up being 175 miles, with close to half of that on dirt. We managed to make it home just after dark, doing the whole thing in 11.5 hours riding time. That's just over 15 mph, on knobbies...I'm still surprised at that speed.
Yesterday, despite having legs that felt pretty good considering Saturday's ride, I had another challenge to face. I spent 12 solid hours cutting fabric, sewing, pondering, sewing, being confused, sewing some more, and finally, triumphing over my very own home-crafted frame bag. Now I just need the frame on which it is going to hang...