During a typical year, and especially over the last 6 years, I have never been in all that great of shape in spring. There was never a need to since I was focusing on something at the beginning of August. This year, I've been riding quite a bit in order to get ready for something earlier. It's fast approaching and I don't know that I'm ready. Although, if I've learned one thing from all of my attempts at the Colorado Trail, it's that you are never truly ready. Even when you think you are. Mechanicals, stomach issues, weather, your brain, and the sleep monster are all unknowns. On Friday I left work early in a mood and decided to go turn pedals over in anger for some therapy. I ended up being out for 5 hours and 60 miles and completely cracked in the last 5 miles. On Saturday, my intent was to ride down the mountain on some old, little used singletrack and then ride a bit on the Santa Fe Trail and then meet Heather at REI so we could run errands and grab lunch. It was a beautiful day and it appears that spring may finally be here in the Rockies. I got a little carried away with the ride and ended up with 4 hours and 50 miles. This is up above Manitou Springs and that's highway 24 in the distance. It's sad to see a different perspective of the burn area.
This is a section of the Ring the Peak trail that leads right up to that saddle. It's been years since I've been on this and I don't think I've ever come down it. Much more fun than pushing up. The RTP trail from the top of that saddle (at the water tank) all the way to Waldo Canyon used to be singletrack but it's a highway right now. Not sure what the workers are doing but they clear cut the area and it's all packed in double track.
This is on the Paul Inteman Trail as it winds up above Manitou Springs. Amazing views of Colorado Springs. You can see the rock formations of Garden of the Gods near the center of the picture.
And a little post ride beverage. I think was from Friday night and it hurt to hold the bottle.
I don't have too much more time to get ready for what's coming and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit intimidated. I know I will not be able to ride like I have been riding. I will have to be much more disciplined but it's still gonna be a tall order to fill.