My neighbor, Dmitri, and family are up here in Leadville with us for the weekend. As I am trying to stick to the running hiatus plan, I needed to figure out another activity to keep him entertained. Thought about bringing the road bike but there was a more obvious choice. Dust off the mountain bike! So I busted out my Specialized Stumpy after a 10+ year hiatus. Wow! Has it been that long?
So we left the house, jumped on 9 and headed to the lake. Climbed up then road to the dam and to the Hagerman Pass turn off. Dmitri was asking me lots of questions about the run and bike up here so it was great to be sharing it all with him. We hit the dirt and made it to the start of the Sugarloaf climb. We made pretty quick work of it. I wasn’t used to the rocky terrain on the bike but felt strong as ever on the climb. Was able to carry on a full conversation the entire climb with a recreational effort. We topped out and I told Dmitri that was it for the climb. After that lung burning climb for him, as he is not used to the altitude, he took off on me. I had about no speed and he took off and gapped me quickly. He would wait for me at a few turns to be sure he was going the right way. I was burning up my brakes and trying my best not to be a big pussie. I think I used to be decent on the MTB downhill but a decade off doesn’t help any of that. Plus, these trails are a lot more rocky that the California trails I used to ride.
I was finding myself sort of cramping up as we descended because of my legs. The holding them in a fixed position. However, I will give myself props in that I went from taking a decade off to riding the(?) most technical descent on the LT100 course. Oh, and the clips on the MTB were brand new. I totally wanted to put a foot down from time to time or slow up but the clips made me keep momentum and just move over the obstacle. I think I just need some more practice and I won’t look completely awful on the downs. Oh and that 2nd pitch on Powerline (if you were climbing) is totally nasty. Its like wet concrete with gravel thrown on it. Dmitri just nailed it.
Got back to the road and rode decently hard back home and up the final hill. Loved being able to put my head down and just work the speed up the hill. I am not going to be excited if I start losing this altitude edge over the winter. Overall, I kind of used today as a test to see how biking is here and how I liked biking on a certain course. The climbs were sweet. The downs need work. So I left it kind of “maybe” for now.
I went 18.59 miles with an elevation gain of 1,936 feet in 01:56:42. View my GPS data on Garmin Connect.