Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Biking in Boulder

This is the annual "ode to biking in Boulder, CO" post, more or less just like last year when I wax, poetically or not, about how I could truly become a "biker chick" here and maybe take up a few other athletic/outdoorsy endeavors while I was at it.  Since that does not appear to be likely (not any time soon, at least), I'll continue to enjoy the time when we do bring our bikes and ride, ride, ride (for us).  Since I've started to taper, I can't do anything too crazy, but we've been on our bikes three times since Friday.  I believe that is a record for me - especially in terms of sheer pleasure while riding.  I hate complaining too much about the "rough" life that I have biking around Pasadena and LA - there are definitely worse places to be!  However, it is just so easy here to hop on the bike and head out for a nice, 20-mile out-and-back or a 25-to-30-mile loop along rolling hills and country roads.  Plus, while there are PLENTY of crazy, intense cyclists around, most people on the road seem quite friendly.  While I certainly can't keep up with most of them, I've enjoyed Sunshine quite a bit on the trip!

Case in point - on our first ride, Friday morning, Michael ended up with a flat tire (good thing we both practiced changing tires this summer!), and as we stood there fiddling around with the bike, every single person or group that passed by us asked us if we needed help or if we had everything that we needed.  Talk about nice!  We did have all the supplies and most of the skills, although it ended up that we couldn't do much for the tire because the sidewall blew out.  Although Michael had to abort his ride on Friday, we then got up early Saturday to ride with my brother-in-law and a friend of his.  Michael, his brother and I were more or less well-matched, but the friend was a GREAT cyclist - it was fun to see him ride!  We started with a climb up Old Stage Road in North Boulder.  The climb really wasn't terrible, but with the altitude (still, yes), I thought that my heart was going to jump out of my chest!  Still, once we hit the first little "summit", the climb continued but the incline eased up and was actually a ton of fun!  So much so that I descended part of the true summit to climb a bit more - crazy, I know.  And then the descent was even more of a hoot - a long, easy grade with a terrific shoulder so I felt safe the entire time.  Ideal!  Finally, today Michael and I went along the Boulder 70.3 bike route .  We were familiar with parts of the route, but it was nice to ride through the loop once, especially because there are a lot of places with those pesky false flats!  It should be a great ride on Sunday, so I am getting ready - and getting plenty nervous!

Obviously, my word doesn't count much to call a place a "Cycling Mecca", but Boulder IS where Team Garmin trains.  I realize that most of their cyclists are probably elsewhere right now (like London), but it was pretty exciting to see what I decided *had* to be the team car - or maybe just David Zabriskie's or David Millar's or Tom Danielson's car?

At any rate, Michael humored me with this awesome shot as I posed by the car (in the rain).  We had just been to a bike shop to get his tire fixed, so I look like I'm part of the cycling community - or pretending to be a part of it, at least!

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