About 3 hours after I finished my race on Saturday, I packed up and head back east. The plan: drive to Breckenridge...spend the evening with the Sawicki's.....and then pound out the 6 hour high altitude training ride prescribed by Coach. My route I had planned out was to ride from Breckenridge as far east as I could on the Colorado Trail. If that got me 6 hours...sweet. If not, I would venture back west...and then ride up Boreas Pass Rd towards Como, CO.
I started on the Colorado Trail right at Tiger Run Rd right off Hwy 9. This started with a series of tight switchbacks. Which then led to riding through pines...
This is the A-typical Colorado Trail out of Breckenridge. Enjoy it, cause it does not last all day.....maybe a few hours. It soon becomes steeper...rockier....and packed with hit and miss snow the farther east you go.
Still heading up. I believe this photo was taken at roughly 9,700 ft and looking north.
Wasn't long, and this is what happened to the trail. All the north facing slopes still have small snow pockets. I would ride 100 yards...then walk over a 10 ft snow patch. This lasted for like 20 minutes. On...off. On...off. On...off. Also during the ride, my breathing was shallow. At the xc race on Saturday I was getting huge lung fulls of air. Today, it seemed like I just got to Breckenridge after coming from sea level. It was like I couldn't get enough.
After the snow, it was a bombing descend to Tiger Run Rd. I crossed Tiger Run Rd...which was now a dirt forest service road....and continued east on the Colorado Trail. The next step in my plan was to climb as far as I could to Georgia Pass which sits at 11,585 ft.
This part of the Colorado Trails is all most night and day different from what I rode earlier. It starts off smooth...then gets rockier...and the rocks get bigger....the trail gets steeper....and the snow run-off makes the trail a muddy mess. It soon be came more hiking...than biking. I turned around and headed back down to Tiger Run Rd after reaching a series of like 8 small switchbacks.
A few miles of gravel....followed by some pavement back to town had me at the Breckenridge bike path.....a.k.a. certain death on a early summer weekend. I took this south through town...with 2 road cyclist sucking wheel in tow...then head up Boreas Pass Rd. This also happens to be the start of Marathon Nationals in 2 weeks.
Ahh yes, Boreas Pass Rd. Its a gradual climb. Just enough to wear on you after spending the last 4 hours riding the Colorado Trail.
Up, up, up to the base of the tree line.
I got to the top of Boreas Pass, and then dropped down towards Como (see video above). I made it to about 3 miles from Como before I made a educated choice to head back up...then down to Breckenridge because of the threatening skies.
Clouds moved in pretty fast.
Then is started to rain lightly. The wind also picked up. Since I climbed up the pass, some trees where blew down over Boreas Pass Rd. I had to stop 3 times to help motorists move trees from the road so they could get back down to Breckenridge.
The final result after 5 hours and 37 minutes of work. Delightful I must say with big peaks and deep valleys. As much as this was prep for my bigger events of this year...today's ride was also prep for something on my radar in '09.
The rest of my week is chill. So, why not check out some photos.