Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wednesday, 6/24/09 Bike to Work Day

Being reminded about Bike to Work Day a few weeks ago, I was certainly interested in participating and immidiately envisioned leisurely riding in, stopping for free food along the way at as many BTWD food stations as I could map out, but the work e-mail announcement mentioned a "friendly competition". Three categories were listed, longest one way commute, longest round trip and the final one that got my wheels spinning (literally and figuratively)...... most vertical. Hmmm..... did someone say competition and vertical in the same sentence?

I immidiately began plotting to sweep all 3 categories. I drove in Tuesday with extra clothes, food and anything I may need during the day, so I would not have to ride with a pack.

Wednesday morning arrived and I was up at 4:15am, anxious for a great ride. I was thinking of leaving at 5am, but it was just a touch too dark for my comfort level and did not feel like digging out bike lights. I slowly took my time getting ready and was out the door at 5:20am and headed West on Baseline to Flagstaff Road. I took the climb somewhat moderate, enjoying the scenery and basking in the quiet surroundings, fresh air and warming sunshine. I topped out in 33, did an immidiate U and was back down in 9 minutes.

From the base of Flag, I took 6th/4th/Broadway up to Lee Hill. I passed a BTWD station setting up a big griddle and was tempted to stop, but it was still before 7 and I had some riding to do. My legs were still feeling fresh since I went easy on Flag and I settled into a rythm up Lee Hill. At the top, I took a left and continued up the ever steepening Deer Trail. From Broadway, this took 45 minutes going a moderate pace. I took a short break to eat some Gu Chomps, glug some water and take in the morning and views. Looking at the divide, I was itching to ride up to Brainard/Peak to Peak/Estes, but alas I had to get to work.

Back down Deer Trail, back side of Lee Hill, Lefthand to 36 (obeying all laws of course ;)), 36 N. to Nelson Road and into Longmont. I was hoping to top 50 miles for the inbound commute, but arrived at work just before 8:30am with 48ish, and a flat tire! Dang it! I stood up, leaned forward (thus putting the bulk of my weight on my front tire) and put in the final two miles going back and forth in front of our building on the smooth road.

After a full day of work and a tube change, I was out the door at 4:39pm and the skies were threatening. It was warm, but the skies were starting to produce, yet I was sure I could make it home in time if I pedaled fast. Heading South on 95th, I really cranked it up, motivated to not get myself involved with any of the lightning I could see striking not too far to the West. Aside from going up one roller, I was never going under 25, and had the speed up over 40 at one point when I sprinted to get in the draft of a hay truck. I eventually got sick of the blowing hay in my face and was a bit spun out in my top gear, since I put on some easier climbing gears for the morning climbing, backing off once we got to 45mph.

The weather held barely long enough for me to put in a few extra miles to get up over 70 for the day which was my goal. I hope to find out today if I won at least one of the categories (and a $50 Visa gift card).

Stats: 71.25 miles
Vertical: ~5,800
Time: 4:26

The time looks kind of slow for 71 miles, but with all the vertical, there was a lot of climbing at 7-9 mph to skew the average (16mph). In Florida, we used to regularly churn out 100 miles in less than 3:50, but that was pancake flat at sea level.

This ride was so fun, I can see adding in a few more climbs next time, maybe make a day of it and get SuperFlag, Magnolia, Sugarloaf, Sunshine, Lee Hill/Deer Trail, SuperJames.


  1. Sounds like a good place to work. You see the Daily Camera's article on Extreme Bike Commuters on Tuesday?

  2. "Hmmm..... did someone say competition and vertical in the same sentence?" this is by far my favorite part of your post.