Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rist Canyon Hill Climb

When I saw this race on the calendar at the beginning of the year, I wrote it off because I didn’t want to do just a hill climb up Rist. When I found out that it was much more of a road race, I decided to do it. I haven’t trained seriously since June. It’s been hard with Christine’s schedule and I also wanted the summer off to do other fun things. I like to support a local race, so I was ready for some punishment.

The race starts out climbing immediately as you go from Masonville up to Horsetooth Mountain Park. I was wondering if anyone would hammer it from the start. It seems like there’s always “that guy”. This time “that guy” didn’t show up until we came around the reservoir. On a flat section, he attacked hard and then blew up spectacularly.

We hit the south dam and the real attacks started. There were big surges up all of the dam hills, but the group stayed largely intact to the bottom of Rist. I’m not sure how intact, because I was actually doing a decent job of staying near the front for once. I felt more comfortable in this pack than usual, so that was nice.

The pace up the lower parts of Rist were really reasonable. I felt comfortable, but the group wasn’t getting any smaller. Someone from H.A.R.T. threw in some really good accelerations that broke things up. I followed some of them, but I knew I was going to have a hard time accelerating like that right now. With the speeds slower speeds up Rist, drafting isn’t a huge issue, so it was better for me to go a constant speed than to try to match all of the accelerations.

As we came up on a steep section near the top, I just knew an attack was coming. I was completely gassed by that point and didn’t even try to go with them. My legs were cramping. A side cramp I’d had since near the beginning had turned into a tight back and I was struggling. I went into survival mode at that point and just tried to not let anyone pass me.

We hit the final steep switchbacks near the top, and I was really happy I put a 12x27 cassette on my bike. It’s hard to turn over the gears up there when the gradient is around 15%. I managed to hold my position and finish 7th. The caveat – I’d like to DQ two people in front of me that crossed the yellow line. :) I love how the ACA makes a big stink about the yellow line rule, and then rarely (it seems) enforce it with DQ’s.

I thought the pace was reasonable, but then I looked at the ride data at home. I climbed Rist in 50 minutes. Last year, I think I was doing around 52 minutes. Sick.

Allow me to gripe one more time. The results (again) were all screwed up. Maybe I’m a vampire, because this isn’t the first time I haven’t shown up on the initial results. I stuck around for a bit, and then went home, grabbed my moto, and went back to make sure they got my placing. I’m not generally all that concerned, but I’d at least like a record that I was there.

Cyclocross training

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Drinkin time

I think Christine and I got 2 of the last tickets to the Saturday afternoon session at the Great American Beer Festival. I had been waiting to buy tickets because I wanted to see if I was racing that day. As it turns out, I'm not going to race that day, but I'm going to race the next day. Hmmm, racing with a hangover. Could be interesting.

When I went to order the beer tickets online, it would only let me buy one. I'm not going without Christine, so I gave them a call to see if it was possible to get two. They put me on hold for a few minutes then told me they "moved some things around", and I was able to order 2 tickets online. Kickass. The Saturday session is the "members only" session and we're hoping it's less of a cluster-f than the Saturday evening free-for-all we were part of last year.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Backpacking - Clear Lake

There aren’t a lot of places you can go in Colorado and be completely alone. Last weekend, Christine and I enjoyed having an alpine lake all to ourselves.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Stuart update

A number of people have asked me recently how Stuart is doing after getting drilled by a car. The update I got this morning from a local site is this:
Three weeks after being hit from behind while out on a training ride, Stuart Culp and his family have started down the long road to recovery. Stuart is currently at Kindred Hospital in Denver as he waits to begin his re-hab at Craig Hospital. He is out of his coma, standing with assistance and speaking however, his speech is nonsensical. Unfortunately, he still has no memory.

That's definitely better news than before. I'm so relieved to hear that he is out of his coma and on the road to recovery.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Originally uploaded by ryan_l
After a Saturday morning bike ride, I settled in for some motorcycle wiring. I though I'd be able to finish and get everything reassembled in time for a Sunday ride, but it ended up taking way longer than I thought. I finally finished up Sunday after dinner. Well, I guess I'm not totally finished, because I have to order some more parts. But the remaining stuff should be quick and easy.

On Christine's BMW, I added an aux fuse box, a battery charging port, accessory power port, and heated jacket controls. On my V-Strom, I added a battery charging port, heated jacket controls, cigarette lighter accessory socket, Powerlet accesory socket, and a digital battery meter.

Eventually I'm sure I'll be happy to have my heated jacket. But with the thermometer at 90 today, I think I'll hold off on giving it a test run.