Saturday’s, January 2nd, Training ride: Leaving home I made my way to Kipling Ave, via Sangre De Cristo and Centennial Rd.; followed Kipling south to a right onto W. Ute Ave.; followed W Ute Ave to S. Owens St. W Ute becomes S. Owens St. as you fly down the short hill. At the bottom of the hill, left onto Deer Creek Canyon Rd, (Co Rd 124), follow to the red light at South Platte Canyon Rd., then right onto South Platte Canyon Rd. Remained on South Platte Canyon Rd, then turned left onto W. Waterton Rd, followed W. Waterton Rd to N. Rampart Range Rd, right on N. Rampart Range Rd. and followed N. Rampart Range Rd. to the gap in the Dakota Hogback. I returned the same way to starting point at South Platte Canyon Rd. and Deer Creek. I added one additional loop back to Waterton Canyon and then exhaustedly retraced my path back home. Training time was 2 hours, covered 33 miles on my single speed and the temperature was a cool 36 degrees.
From January to April there is usually an assorted group of friendly riders, sometimes 50 or more that leaves the intersection of Co. Rd 124 and South Platte Canyon Rd promptly at 10 am Saturday mornings. The riders, some from competing racing teams, some very serious and others not so serious cyclist, represent a complete range of cycling abilities. With a few notable exceptions, they trace the same route as my Saturday training route. The riders are generally very mellow, chatting and joking as they ride along the wide shoulder of South Platte Canyon Rd. As the group approaches the left turn onto W. Waterton Rd, all goes quiet, except for the clicking sounds of shifting gears. As the peleton makes the sweeping left turn onto W. Waterton Rd., they charge like a herd of stallions for the small rise on the south side of South Platte River. At that point, it’s race mode. After the right turn at N. Rampart Range Rd., the group fractures into groups of varying climbing abilities as they attack the rolling terrain of route to the Arrowhead golf course. “Training/racing” continues after the fast turn around at Arrowhead golf course. They race past W. Waterton Rd intersection and continue to the starting point via W Titan Rd, North Roxborough Park Rd then through Chatfield State Park. The “training/racing” continues all the way back to the start of the 20 mile course.
My intention for this Blog is to, over the next six months, document my training progress and give helpful tips about the Triple By Pass Route, its climbs, descents and what to anticipate during the ride. Having completed the Triple 15 times, I have lots of experience with this fun, but challenging ride.
First, if you want to ride the Triple, be prepared on January 13th to sign up at noon at http://www.active.com. Competition will be fierce for the 3500 available slots, so sign up early. Last year’s registration was closed after 48 hours.
My first goal is to lose weight. At 163 pounds, five foot four inches, my weight to height ratio is off scale; I’m too fat to climb effectively. I would like reduce my pounds/inch ratio to 2.26. For reference, Alberto Contrado’s, winner of the 2009 Tour de France, weight to height ratio is 2.029. Lance Armstrong is 2.391. Being lightweight is not the only attribute of a good climber, but in my case, it makes a big difference as to whether I climb Squaw Pass in 2 hours or an hour and forty five minutes.
Sad to say but I’ll have to reduce my favorites: Dr. Pepper sodas and chocolate chips. I’ve already reduced the amount of bread I eat by taking smaller sandwiches to work. At home, following the example of my wife, I use a small plate to eat smaller portions, and no seconds. That’s a bummer! If you want more scientific methods of weight loss programs for cyclist, look up on www.Velonews.com Monique Ryan’s article http://velonews.competitor.com/2009/09/coaches-panel/cant-seem-to-lose-those-last-few-pounds-despite-riding-a-ton-practice-mindful-eating-says-sports-nutritionist-monique-ryan_97615.
Despite the 32 degree cold here in Denver last Saturday, I was able to ride 15 miles on my spanking new single speed. What a fun machine! It didn’t take me long to discover that 30 minutes on a single speed is like an hour on a regular bike. Obviously while rolling on the flats, you feel like superman, until you turn into the wind. Whoa, no downshifting here! You just keep low and pedal on.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas passed, training for the Triple has now begun in earnest. What is the Triple? On the second Saturday in July, a one day bicycle ride from Bergen Park, Colorado to Avon, Colorado crosses three mountain passes; Squaw Pass at 11,000’, Loveland Pass at 11990’,and Vail Pass at 10660; culminating in 10,000 feet of climb for 120 miles ridden. In years past, I’ve completed the ride in 10 hours. This year my aim is complete it in 9 hours, start to finish.