Monday, July 23, 2007

Cycling Bliss

Durango Day 1 – 7/14

Arrived in Durango around 1, got checked into the cabin and ready to ride by 2. Rode over to the Telegraph Trails, I was really jones’n to ride. I haven’t ridden in 2 days, way too much time off. Hit the base of Horse Gulch road and began the climb to the Meadow Loop. Hit the Meadow Loop, paused and smiled to myself… aaah, it’s good to be back… the fun was about to begin. Rode around the Meadow Loop to the base of the climb up to Pulaski’s Point and was pretty surprised at how good I felt at altitude.

The climb up to Pulaski's Point, the lower trail is the old telegraph lines, the upper trail is the grind to the top

The climb up to Pulaski's Point

The ride begins at about 6,600 feet and probably tops out at around 7,500 feet maybe? Not a lot of elevation change but a lot short climbs, some of which are pretty severe, enough that I was reduced to my granny gear a few times. It typically takes a day or two to get myself somewhat acclimated to the high altitude here. Today it seemed as though I never left! If you ever get a chance to make it out here, you gotta ride the Telegraph Trails. My total ride time was about 3:15 with an average HR of around 151.

Durango Day 2 – 7/15

My first epic of the trip, the Kennebec Pass Loop. Somewhere around 50+ miles of high altitude off-road riding. Left the cabin and began the 2 ½ hour climb to the ‘Notch’, a few hundred feet above Kennebec Pass at just over 12,000 feet.
The first hour was pavement, the next half hour was gravel and the last hour was some technical jeep roads. Some of the climbs on the jeep road are so technical and steep that I had to drop it into my granny gear a few times. There were a number of times when I came real close to stalling out and dabbing. Once at the top I stopped for about 20 minutes of chill time and enjoyed one of the most amazing views that my half blind eyes have ever had the privilege of seeing. I ate a Clif Bar, drank some water and began my way down to Durango via the Colorado Trail… nothing but 26 miles of sweet singletrack.

This... is why I ride.

Need I say more...

About 70% of it was downhill, the remaining 30% is climbing… steep climbing, some of which was so steep that I had to hike-a-bike. I pushed myself so hard going up a couple of the climbs that my legs started to cramp a little. Ended up with about 5 ½ hours of ride time, an average HR of around 151 and some very tired legs!

Durango Day 3 – 7/16

My all time favorite road ride, Durango to Silverton and back. Leaving from the cabin I end up with a total distance of around 109 miles. I could tell almost as soon as I started the ride that my legs were very tired from yesterdays efforts. I continued as planned figuring that my legs would eventually come around. As I started the first climb of the day my legs told me that if I persisted with this nonsense, I’d be in for a very long day. It should come as no surprise that I did persist, and it was a very long day. I still thoroughly enjoyed the ride, beautiful scenery, a lot of tough climbing and some screaming fast descents. In the end I had 6 hours of ride time, 8,800 feet of climbing, and average HR of about 141 and once again, a very tired pair of legs.

More posts to follow.

Thanks for reading,


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