Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Stupidest Thing I Have Done in 2009

I like to call myself the “stupidest man in the world”. By calling myself the stupidest man in the world it allows me to easily exceed anyone’s expectations of me – kind of nifty huh? Every once in a while I truly do something that makes me the “stupidest man in the world”. What I have done this time is that I have entered a bicycle touring event called “Death Ride 2009”. Just by entering a ride called that I truly do think I have demonstrated a high level of stupidity. Any ride with a name like that cannot be easy. All joking aside, this ride is going to be a very serious ride and will be the centerpiece of my athletic accomplishments for the 2009. The ride is 129 mile bicycle ride in ONE DAY. It covers 5 mountain passes and has an overall elevation gain of 15,000 feet. Needless to say it is going to be hard. The ride takes place in California and starts in Markleeville. I’ll be doing the ride with an old friend of mine who I found on Facebook – Max Holtom. I have until July 11th to train for this brutal ride. For anyone interested the details of this ride can be found at the Death Ride website - Though it is only the end of January I realize that I am going to have to start to train for this ride soon. I will really need to concentrate on my hill riding. During my last big bicycle tour – Bicycle Tour Colorado 2008, I found that I had an exceeding hard time with some of the hill climbs. I had done a huge amount of riding in preparation for that tour, but I hadn’t spent enough time concentrating on hills. I will not make that mistake again. I plan to do a lot of training in Summit County, Colorado where our “mountain house” is located. Summit County is the winter and summer playground of Colorado and has an average elevation of 9000+ feet. There are many good bike paths throughout the county that will allow me to do some serious hill climbing. The Vail Pass bike path is one example of these bike paths. This path follows I-70 from Frisco the whole way over Vail Pass and into the Vail Valley. From Frisco to Vail this is about a 25 mile one way trip with some significant elevation gain (about 3000 feet) as you climb over Vail Pass. Unfortunately Zack is not up to this level of bicycling so I am going to have to work hard to develop a schedule by which I can do my riding and have some one watching him. I do hope in the coming years he will be interested and able to do rides like this with me. But for now this kind of riding is above him. He is a great hiker now I just have to see if he has the desire to do this kind of biking.

(The above picture is of me during Bicycle Tour Colorado 2008)

Though I have classified this as one of the stupidest things I have done, I will readily admit that I am really looking forward to it. I am estimating that it will take me 8 – 10 hours of hard riding to complete this tour. I know at the end of it I will have blisters on my butt and I will be exhausted. Regardless of how hard it is and how tired I will be, the feeling of accomplishment I will have when I reach that finish line will be immense! So it may be stupid and it may hurt, but all I can say is – bring it on!!! Peace to all!

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