Saturday, October 10, 2015

September 21 - October 11

General lack of structure lately, but here is the coming and goings as of late.

9/21, Monday - AM: Bike: Flagstaff Mtn - 18 miles, 1900', 1:21 - PM: 1st Flatiron - 3 miles, 1900', 1:36
Opted for another morning ride up Flagstaff road, I'd really like to get faster at the climb, but this morning I was just enjoying the cool mountain breezes. For RMR Monday I decided to take a demo pair of Hoka's up the direct route on the 1st. The traction isn't so bad, but you cannot feel in any way if your foot is secure. Thus, it took me a lot longer than usual. Marched up to the ridge then down to Saddle Rock for some extra vert. Turned my ankle running back down, which I should have known would happen wearing Hoka's, ugh.

9/22. Tuesday - The Slab - 3 miles, 1400', 1:12
Met Eric at the Craigmoor trailhead to go scout tomorrow's route, Syzygy. the face itself is definitely a choose-your-own-adventure sort of thing, lots of options ranging from 4th class to 5.5. I was practicing the downclimb a few times when Matthias practically leaped to the ground doing his run of the course early.

9/23, Wednesday - TdF 2: The Slab - 4 miles, 1500', 0:36
Took the approach much more conservative this time, maybe too conservative. I was 4th to the rock, but immediately passed David on the scramble. Nearing the top, I was momentarily happy as I believed I was in front of Stefan, but then he appeared on the skyline taking whatever route he pleased. Such is the luxury when you can practically solo 5.11b! I came off the downclimb in 4th and timidly made my to the trail and maintained my place to the finish. Apparently I was only 15 seconds behind Stefan, but I never realized with the winding trail in the trees, otherwise I may have pushed a bit more. Then again, I was pretty satisfied to have finished without re-tweaking my ankle. Dang ankles have been made of glass for the past couple months!
Working my way up. Photo: Stuart Paul
9/24, Thursday - Bike: Gold Hill - 25 miles, 3000', 2:10
In an effort to get into the hills and heal my ankle I was back on the bike. I hurried up Boulder Canyon and hopped over to Sunshine Canyon via Poorman Dr. The climb up to Gold Hill ended up being way further than I thought, which wouldn't have been an issue had light not been waning. Coming down Fourmile Canyon, I was having some chain issues and ended up losing traction on a turn and flipping over the bars. I was wearing my helmet and proudly somersaulted across the dirt road, but still ended up with a good bit of road rash. I remember back when I used to skateboard a lot falling was a learned skill, however silly that sounds. I'm happy to have come out relatively unscathed. Overall though, it was an incredibly beautiful evening with yellowing aspens and subtly pink sunset and the wreck only composed a couple minutes of what otherwise was great ride.

9/25, Friday - Sick

9/26, Saturday - Sick

9/27, Sunday - Sick

9/28, Monday - Green Mtn - 10 miles, 2900', 1:59
Standard RMR Monday. I was happy to have a headlamp for the jog home. That along with the weather forecast of ten inches of snow on Longs Friday night are depressing signs of summer's end.

9/29, Tuesday - 2nd Flatiron + Green Mtn - 9 miles, 2900', 1:50
Kept the pace easy and steady. A light drizzle meant I was restricted to the Freeway, especially without sticky rubber. Hiked up to Green passing Hillary and Josh; tagged the summit and skipped down (only one ankle turn, its getting annoying) to catch up then finished back to the trailhead with them. Felt good to get a couple Green summits from home the last couple days, back to basics.

9/30, Wednesday - TdF 3: Regency, Royal Arch, 5th Flatiron - 4 miles, 1900', 1:14
Not necessarily a high placing today, but I had a good ascent topping out in 5th, which seems to be where I belong (now that Anton is back, I'm pushed out of 4th). Felt good on the Regency tailing Anton till he blitzed the downclimb faster than I could blink, he was gone. I managed to on-sight the downclimb on the west face of Royal Arch reasonable well, with only one quick pause to find a hold. I put some space between me and Darren on the 5th, but I downclimbed too far and had to reascend to the correct ledge. I took the downhill easy with Jason and we took the wrong trail down, and of course snuck in a little ankle roll farther down Skunk Canyon. I didn't really place too well but it was grand old time.
Figuring out the downclimb off the Royal Arch with Darren closing above. Photo: David Glennon
Nearing the top of the Regency, Eric Lee (who took this pic) has been getting some fantastic pictures thus far!
10/1, Thursday - 1st Flatiron - 7 miles, 2000', 1:30ish?
Jogged up to Chat feeling tired but that lack of energy double on the hike. Ended up spending some 37 minutes on the rock with stops and and so forth. My ankle felt extremely fragile so I walked most of the descent before jogging home. Elapsed time was 2hrs, but I spent so much time walking or flat out stopped I'm calling it 90min. Time to take a break from running.

10/2, Friday - Off
Spent the afternoon figuring out how to actually tune up my bike, which involved completely un-tuning both derailleurs.

10/3, Saturday - Bike: Sunshine-Sugarloaf - 37 miles, 5100', 3:21
Boulder was under a dense veil of clouds and I've learned how cold you can get on a bike so I donned tights and a long sleeve shirt to complement my usual lycra-lizard biking kit. I took Sunshine Canyon (with a little loop through Seven Hills) to Poorman where I could descend to Fourmile Canyon. I had planned on taking the trails of the Betasso Preserve to Sugarloaf, but I had forgotten its closed to bikers on Saturdays. So I continued up the canyon, finding Logan Mill Rd, which I'd seen Anton riding on his barely trail capable rig so I granny-geared up the steep climb. At this point I had fully risen above the clouds and was burning up in my tights and sleeves, I paused to strip down to shorts and a jersey. From the end of Logan Mill, it was a short climb up Sugarloaf before winding down the beautiful Switzerland trail to Sunset and back to Fourmile. I started climbing up to Gold Hill, but then decided I was done so I threw on a windbreaker and headed home.
Looking back to Boulder from the Switzerland Trail to Sunset
10/4, Sunday - Bike: Blue Sky Marathon Spectating - 28 miles, 3100', 3:20
I headed down to Fort Collins watch Jack run the Blue Sky Marathon and brought my bike along to get some biking in on their sweet trails

10/5 Monday - Bike: Ward-Nederland - 49 miles, 6100', 2:58
I took my usual "shortcut" over Lee-Hill and dispatched the the steep grades with surprising ease. The following climb to Ward felt unreasonably easy. Cranked right through Ward up to Peak to Peak HW which took me on a longer than expected but beautiful route to Nederland, yellow aspens all the way. I bombed down Boulder Canyon, passing Jack who was climbing near Boulder Falls and then Sage who was predictably running the creek path. I'm usually happy with a 16.5mph average for a flat ride, so I was ecstatic to maintain that on a hilly route that got up to 9000ft+.

10/6, Tuesday - Bike: Flagstaff + NCAR - 25 miles, 3400', 1:44
I was lazy with the route this morning and simply did out and backs on a couple local climbs, Super-Flagstaff then the much shorter and easier NCAR. NCAR is the cycling equivalent of the Freeway route, fun, short and relatively easy (or you can hammer the whole thing and get your heart rate to max out).

10/7, Wednesday - Bike: Flagstaff - Coal Creek Canyon - 38 miles, 4600', 2:39
Started off with Super-Flagstaff and descended the west side towards Gross Reservoir. I'm always for some reason surprised at just how pretty the 7000ft to 8000ft elevations can be and thus just how unappreciated they are. The road around the reservoir, I knew was dirt and road-bike-able, but after last nights rain, traction was especially tricky descending to South Boulder Creek. The subsequent climb up to Crescent however was a smooth and hardpacked delight even on the roadie. I had forgotten just how much elevation I had gained so the long and speedy ride out of Coal Creek Canyon was a blast on the wide curves. I'm not good at descending (specifically high-speed cornering), so I felt much better on the slight bends rather than the 180 degree hairpins down Flagstaff. Pushed the rollers on 93 to make it class on time. Got in some climbing with Jack in the afternoon, barely made it up (one fall at the crux on both attempts) "Twilight Time" a 5,10a or 5.9+ depending on where you look.

10/8, Thursday - Bike: 2 x Flagstaff - 21 miles, 3600', 1:40
Started off with a relatively relaxed climb of Super-Flag (38min), then did a loop around the Chautauqua parking lot before starting a hard lap up the Amphitheater. My chain fell off within the first minute, so the effort ended being just from Gregory Canyon to the Amphitheater turnoff, and with my tired legs I wasn't able to achieve much in the way of time.

10/9, Friday to 10/11, Sunday - Wisdom Teeth Surgery
Buncha days off for getting my wisdom teeth out. Hopefully, my ankle has gotten some good healing time from all the biking and days off. Then again, I'm on enough pain killers right now from the surgery that I can't tell if it is healed or not!

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