Since I’ve lived in Colorado, I’ve done a handful of 100-mile rides. Each time I take on triple-digits, I feel like I do it a little better. I start at the right time, I wear the right layers, I eat the right food. So, of course, it was time to up the game. In August I’ll be riding the 140-mile version fo the Steamboat Gravel race, and I’ve been telling myself that I should do a few 200K+ training rides. But really, it’s just a great excuse to take advantage of phenomenal spring weather.
I took the day off work yesterday and enjoyed mostly empty Colorado roads. I started around 7:15am at 40-degrees with light tights, arm-warmers, a vest, and a light jacket. After a couple of loops around the local lakes, I decided that I could do the remaining 80 miles with a less clothing. I stopped at home for a quick wardrobe change, and was back out with less than 5 minutes of down time. I love the 30-degree span of Colorado weather, but occasionally it’s tough to dress for.
I headed to Boulder County. The rest of the day was between 58 and 68-degrees. A couple of decent climbs up Lefthand Canyon, and a glorious tailwind home for the last 18 of 124.6 miles. I think what I love the most about weekday riding in Colorado (and early-morning riding any day) is that you can feel totally alone in your feat. I’ve got nothing against the constant waving of weekend warriors, but I love the dreamlike state that you can enter when you’re at it alone.
After a shower and a recovery smoothie, I was already plotting my next 200K ride. More gravel. More climbing. More solitary country roads.