Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Not the candy, although, I do love me some peanut M&M's that come right out of the freezer. No, MM for a marvelous May of riding. Setting up a good summer I hope!!

Let's re-cap!

The month actually started with another winter storm blowing through which left the bikes in the garage for the first week. I pushed the ride in cold temps just because I had to get some miles in before heading to Santa Fe.
Got in a nice day of riding with Kyle down in Ft Collins!

Kyle took happy possession of the Univega and I turned my attention back to my Schwinn road bike to get ready for Santa Fe.I was more worried about my conditioning to ride a century than my bike.

Mid-month it was time to head out for the Santa Fe Century! Last year was my first time for a century and my friend Richard motivated me and kept me going to the finish line! This year he had other commitments so I was on my own. Met up with old cycling friend Teesie and her friends soon to be old friends I hope!!

Wind had her back up on the Saturday before so I planned on an early start to beat the wind.

Off we go!
It is becoming a pattern for me on these long rides that I am a slow starter but a strong finisher. Today was no different. I felt like I was pushing "water buffalo" legs for that first leg to the first food stop. The ultimate pedal shame was when a really big dude on a Surly Ogre rode up next to me on the hill that comes out of Cerrillos up to Madrid. We talked Ogre's for a few minutes and then he pulled away.

Limping into the first food stop.

Felt like a new man as I headed up through Madrid. Madrid is kind of a funky artsy place with many pretty painted up buildings. Or not so pretty! Not sure if this guy lived in this RR car or just ran his business out of it!!

I think the toughest part of this course is the climb out of Madrid up to the top of the ridge. I just put my mind into Rocky Mountain National Park climb mode and grinded it up. I even caught and passed Ogre dude! The payoff at the top is a great see forever view!
The route takes you through Golden, an old mining town.
A few ruins of bygone buildings
Then it is time for the infamous "Heartbreak Hill"
Everybody talks about this being the toughest part of the ride, but not for me. It's a no-brainer! ride up a little at the bottom and then jump off and hike-a-bike! I was walking my bike up and this "fast fred" was doing the side to side of the road weaving thing to stay on his bike and ride up.....I was keeping the same pace as him by just walking! Great run of downhill after the top and pretty soon you are out in the flats of some New Mexico high desert.

Some where they put a town I'm supposed to ride back to......
Hard to believe about an hour ago I was up in those mountains riding
Came out of the food stop at Stanley really feeling good about my ride. I was even passing other riders (I never pass anybody!) and just had my scherve on, ready to gobble up the last 40 miles. Then I felt a bit of squirrely-ness coming out of my back wheel. Checked it out and my tire was worn through and the tube was bulging up and out some. Rode it for about ten miles until I lost the tube. Got the tire off and glued a couple of patches to the inside of the tire and ran a little strip of duct tape on the inside of the tire. put in a spare tube and nursed it along for about 3 more miles until I lost that tube. Put in my last spare tube and made it about a half mile until total failure! The tire would not allow any pressure at all. So, my 100 mile ride turned into a 73 mile ride and then a ride back to the start in the SAG truck. A bummer at first but turned out OK. I had spent so much time screwing around with it, that the afternoon wind had blown up to make it almost unride-able out there. Found my self back for a nice dinner and a cold beer with my friend Teesie!
Pretty good day of riding!
Turned out the tire failure got me moving on a change I have been wanting to do on this bike. Move up to a bigger tire. I had 700/25's and changed to 700/32's. Richard, you are right! The rough ride I was not liking was a function of tires. The wider, taller tire give me a much smoother ride at 80lbs of pressure instead of the skinny tires at 100 lbs of pressure. I'll never go back!
The month ended with the passing of my old friend Greg Hurt. We shared some great times being ski instructors together in the late 70's early 80's. There was a nice memorial for him on Saturday and then on Sunday I thought I would ride up to Hidden Valley to think of him and the times had up there.
View of Upper from Horseshoe Park. Good Times skiing up there!
Pretty day for a ride with all the views that anybody could want!

 It was not so much losing Greg that affected me but the time gone by and the knowledge that those kind of times will never return for me. Lost youth as it were. I was so carefree and happy at that time in my life. Maybe that is the base of bike riding happiness that I seem to find out there when I pedal away. That feeling of carefree, zero responsibility.
 I know in my mind that I embellish that time in my life, it is just the passing of Greg that brought it to a lot of thought of a past lifestyle. It sounds like I am an un-happy person with my current life. That is not the case at all, it is just a different life of grown-up responsibility. I enjoy today's life and embrace it and live it! Just all these different events brought the past back to fondly think of and remember.

At Hidden Valley after riding up, I hiked up to the middle of Raven, the practice slope where I gave many, many lessons. Looking up over my shoulder at Spruce where the revegitation of trees is beginning to take away the site of the ski run.

After I got back to town I felt more at peace with myself that I had done something to remember and honor my friend.
Memorial day, I got in a nice ride with Kyle again. We pounded back up through Horsetooth except went north to loop through Bellevue and La Porte and back to Kyle and Lea's apartment. I'm able to commute now everyday and lunchtime rides are going well so, all in all in was a very good month to get things rolling for a summer of bike fun!

I hope everybody is getting out and enjoying their time on their bikes!



  1. Really nice pictues and write-up Jim! The first time I did that ride, I also saw a guy taking the whole road, back and forth, and back and forth .... and losing ground with every switch. He finally gave up and walked with the rest of us. I have to chuckle at guys like that who have something to "prove". Patchs...... Park Tool makes "tire boots" that are a hundred times stronger and tougher than patches, and cost little. I carry a couple in my touring bike. Also, a dollar bill folded lengthways and inserted under the tube is a lot tougher than you'd think. Duct tape won't hold the pressure, but it may hold the dollar bill in place until you get the tire mounted and aired up. Tire sizes.... glad the bigger size helped. I can't run more than 25's on my C'Dale.... and with a 25 on the rear, I can maybe fit a folded playing card between the seatpost and rear tire. Not much wiggle room there. Got tons of room on the tourer though. I could put 29'er mountain bike tires on it I think.

  2. I have become a big fan of big tires. I'm running 35's at 75 psi and appreciate the extra cushion. I imagine it is easier on the old bike, also.

    Trips down memory lane are fun. I have been keeping a journal for most of my life and sometimes I go back to review...it gives me a sense of perspective and keeps me honest with myself.

    It's been almost a year since I rode a hundred miles, but I have been riding thirty and forty milers a lot; twice and even three times a week. And I have been combining the bus with the bike and really get a kick out of that; ranging far and wide...I would like to travel cross-country one day that way, using trains and busses and friendly drivers.

    My condolences concerning your friend. Also, remind me to tell you about when I learned to ski and why I still limp a little on cold, wet days.