• Training Day

    Trail Ridge Rd
    A higher altitude training day was needed today. Trail Ridge Rd in Rocky Mountain National Park fit the plan the best. The route pushes up to 12,300 ft...and you stay up there for a good chunk of time. You have 2 options with this route....ride up to the summit and then ride back to Estes Park. Or, ride up to the summit...then drop down to the west entrance station and turn around and head back. That is the option I opted for. Sonya joined me for some of it before I had workout specifics that had me pushing ahead of her. Today was the day to do this ride. Hardly any clouds in the sky.....until at least the later part of the ride.

    Trail Ridge Rd
    After warming up with Sonya for 1 hr, I pushed ahead. The early parts of the climb had a bit of snow....but not as much as last year.

    Trail Ridge RdGetting up there now. Hard to focus when my eyes are wondering around.

    Trail Ridge RdHello Alpine Tundra! How I love thee.

    Deep breaths at almost 11,000 ft. Effort and breathing about the same as last year...but moving much faster. After this point it was some gentle rollers before dropping down towards the west entrance.

    Trail Ridge RdThere was a little bit of road work going on. I had to wait here for like 5 minutes.....and on the way back. Speaking of riding back, before I turned around, I stopped to refill bottles and take in more nutrition. The hardest part of the ride was to come. The climb back up heading west to east is shorter in distance and steeper....and now with a head wind.

    Trail Ridge Rd
    Ugh, the legs are feeling it now. Legs are getting heavier...and there is a head wind. Of course it has to be that way.

    Trail Ridge Rd
    Back above treeline. Did I mention the legs are starting to get tired? Did I?

    Trail Ridge RdAt the top I am greeted with storm clouds. Good thing it is all downhill at 40 mph tailing tourists in their fully packed mini-vans. Sketchy!

    Trail Ridge Rd out and back profile.
    Over all the ride was good...and tough. Felt much better on this ride this year than last, so the gains are being made. Glad this training week is over...it was a good kick in the nuts. My Coach is evil....in a good way.