Peak to Peak #bikelove

Sunday morning, the Iron Hippie, Allen and I rode from Raymond, CO to Ward, CO via the Peak to Peak Highway. I don’t recall ever having #bikelove quite like this…don’t get me wrong, I’ve had MANY rides that I’ve truly loved, but this one beat them all hands down!!

We drove from Estes Park to Raymond (~23 miles), where we parked at the Raymond Store. After unloading the bikes and preparing to ride, we were off.

Raymond, Colorado is where we started the Peak to Peak Highway trek.
Raymond, Colorado is where we started the Peak to Peak Highway trek.
The Raymond Store has an AWESOME owner who treats cyclists right!! Stop in if you make it to Raymond and say, "Hi" to him!!
The Raymond Store has an AWESOME owner who treats cyclists right!! Stop in if you make it to Raymond and say, “Hi” to him!!

We immediately started climbing our way out of Raymond, but it wasn’t anything too taxing just yet. There was no traffic on this rode and lots of people walking their dogs right down the middle of the road. Perfect for cycling ūüôā

The boys climbing out of Raymond toward the Peak to Peak Highway.
The boys climbing out of Raymond toward the Peak to Peak Highway.
Happy girl on a bike made for some serious #bikelove
Happy girl on a bike made for some serious #bikelove

At almost 2 miles, we turned onto the Peak to Peak Highway. Early Sunday morning, the Peak to Peak Highway¬†had very little traffic and nice wide shoulders for cyclists. I was pleasantly surprised by the motorists who did pass us and how respectful they were. We did pull over a couple of times on the shoulder of the rode on our ascent to Ward, but these stops didn’t last long.

Climbing, climbing and more climbing.
Climbing, climbing and more climbing.
I pulled us all up the mountain.
I pulled us all up the mountain.
Climbing on the Peak to Peak Highway
Climbing on the Peak to Peak Highway

When we arrived in Ward, we were shocked to see SO MANY other cyclists!! We knew this was a popular stretch of road for the locals to ride, but we didn’t realize just how popular it was.

Ward, Colorado was our turn around point for the Peak to Peak Highway ride.
Ward, Colorado was our turn around point for the Peak to Peak Highway ride.
We were at the top of the hill looking down through the trees to the town of Ward. Climbing out of Ward was a 10+% grade at one point.
We stopped at the top of the hill looking down through the trees to the town of Ward. Climbing out of Ward was a 10+% grade at one point.
Utica Street Market in Ward loves it's cyclists. If you are in the area, stop in and support this great little shop!!
Utica Street Market in Ward loves it’s cyclists. If you are in the area, stop in and support this great little shop!! Be sure to bring cash…they don’t accept debit/credit.
The Utica Street Market has bike pumps for cyclists if needed.
The Utica Street Market has bike pumps for cyclists if needed.
Utica Street Market has Skratch and water ready for cyclists to refill their water bottles.
Utica Street Market has Skratch and water ready for cyclists to refill their water bottles.

We chatted it up with some local cyclists for a bit before climbing out of Ward…10+% climb was challenging, but fun! Once we made it out of town, it was all downhill (with a small bump at about 4 miles from Ward) back to Raymond.

On top of the world...or maybe just Colorado at elevation 9200+ feet.
On top of the world…or maybe just Colorado at elevation 9200+ feet.
All smiles as we made it to the top...the mountains in the background were beautiful!!
All smiles as we made it to the top…the mountains in the background were beautiful!!
The boys starting their 10 mile descent back to Raymond.
The boys starting their 10 mile descent back to Raymond.

We climbed just over 2000 feet with climbs ranging between 7 and 10%. It is just over a 10 mile climb from Raymond to Ward. Many of the locals have a 60 mile loop that they ride from Boulder and they pass through Ward and Raymond. With Ironman Boulder right around the corner, we decided 60 miles might be a bit too far and opted for the shorter ride. We are thinking of possibly riding the out and back stretch of the Peak to Peak Highway from Nederland¬†to Ward later this week…if we do, I’m sure there will be another #bikelove post ūüôā

Ward (green) to Raymond (red)
Ward (green) to Raymond (red)

When we returned to Raymond, we transition to a short 20 minute run. By this time, the Raymond Store was open, so we chatted it up with the owner who does his own woodworking to keep himself busy. The Iron Hippie was wearing a sweatshirt that just had an “I State” on it in cardinal and gold. The store owner immediately knew it was Iowa State. He was a super nice man and if you are ever in the very small town of Raymond, CO, you should definitely pay him a visit!!

I absolutely LOVED this bike ride and hope to definitely do it again sometime!! If you are ever in this part of Colorado, I would highly recommend riding the Peak to Peak Highway!!

Have you ever been visiting someplace new and decided to ride a route that you knew nothing about? How did it turn out?

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Eastern Iowa Tour de Cure

Last Saturday the Iron Hippie, Allen and I rode 75 miles in eastern Iowa to raise money for diabetes through the Tour de Cure. We are on team Paige’s Pilots out of Portland, OR, but are not able to ride the Portland Tour de Cure because we are racing¬†Ironman Boulder and logistically couldn’t make it work.

Friday evening we loaded the car and drove 90 minutes to Cedar Rapids where the Tour de Cure would be getting underway bright and early Saturday morning. We checked into our hotel and went to bed for our really early wake up call.

Saturday morning, the alarm clock went off at 4 am so we could eat breakfast, check out of our hotel, and head to the Tour de Cure start area. Registration started at 5 am with the ride starting at 6 am.

The Iron Hippie pumping Allen's tires up in preparation for the Tour de Cure ride.
The Iron Hippie pumping Allen’s tires up in preparation for the Tour de Cure ride.
The Iron Hippie helping Allen by pinning his registration number on his jersey.
The Iron Hippie helping Allen by pinning his registration number on his jersey.
We are ready to ride!!
Ready to ride!!

The course was BEAUTIFUL with lots of fun, yet challenging hills. Unfortunately the awful road surfaces overshadowed the beautifully and challenging course. There were a few stretches of road that were not covered with expansion cracks and potholes (thank you Iowa winters), but unfortunately these stretches of road didn’t last. The majority of the road surfaces were so bad that bike seats and bottle cages rattled loose. I even lost a bracket to the x-lab on the back of my saddle. Mojo was not happy at the end of this ride and needed some serious TLC!!

Riding through Iowa's beauty!!
Riding through Iowa’s beauty!!
This was a food stop at the halfway point of the ride.
This was a food stop at the halfway point of the ride.
Almost 50 miles done...can't wait to get off these horrible road surfaces!
Almost 50 miles done…can’t wait to get off these horrible road surfaces!
Finished!!
Finished!!
Pretty cool finisher's medal.
Pretty cool finisher’s medal.

Overall, we had a decent day, but we all decided that unless the course changes to encompass smoother road surfaces, we won’t be participating in this event again.

If you have not yet donated and want to help me reach my fundraising goal, please do so here. Thank you to all who have already donated! I really appreciate it ūüôā

Mother Nature…GRRR

We are suppose to be getting ready to ride on our trainers for 5 hours¬†at Kyle’s Bikes to raise money for the Tour de Cure, but Mother Nature had other plans. We’ve had severe thunderstorms this morning. There is a small break in the storms and more are to come this afternoon. In talking with Kyle, he recommended that we postpone our fundraising ride¬†for a week and try for next Saturday instead. Riding outside on trainers in thunderstorms with electronic devices (computers, speakers for music, etc.) is not advised.

IMG_2676
Loaded and ready to go…
IMG_2710
Darn you Mother Nature!!

 

So in the mean time, we will keep fundraising and hope for better weather next week!!

Have you ever made plans that you’ve been UBBER excited for and Mother Nature has derailed them? Tell me about your experience.

My Cycling Essentials and Tour de Cure¬ģ

I am getting ready for a 5 hour trainer ride to raise money for the American Diabetes Association¬ģ and the Tour de Cure¬ģ at Kyle‚Äôs Bikes on Saturday, April 18 and thought it would be fitting to share with you my cycling essentials as I prepare for this longer trainer ride. Yes, you read that correctly…5 hours in the saddle on the trainer…and I thought 3 hours & 45 minutes last weekend was tough. Please click here¬†to make a donation; I would be forever grateful.

My cycling essentials tend to differ just a bit depending on where I ride…am I riding outdoors¬†or am I riding on the trainer? As you’ll see, there are some common cycling essentials for cycling in both situations, but some differences do exist.

  1. Mojo…My Specialized Transition ¬†IMG_2011
  2. Terry Butterfly Ti Gel Saddle  Screen shot 2014-07-09 at 8.10.22 AM
  3. Specialized Cycling Shoes  IMG_2302
  4. Speedfil water bottle  IMG_3869
  5. Coeur Sports seam-free chamois tri shorts  IMG_1917
  6. Osmo Active Hyrdation  IMG_1508
  7. Hoo Ha Ride Glide  IMG_3184
  8. Garmin 910XT  IMG_2521
  9. Powertap  IMG_3036
  10. Road ID Bracelet…I never take this offIMG_3280

Trainer Rides:

  1. Kinetic Fluid Trainer
  2. Trainer Tire
  3. Trainer Skewer
  4. Sweat towels…lots of them

Outdoor Rides:

  1. Bell Cycling Helmet  IMG_3868
  2. Tifosi Sunglasses  IMG_3867
  3. Bonk Breaker Bars (on the longer rides)

    Photo courtesy of Bonk Breaker
    Photo courtesy of Bonk Breaker
  4. Barnana (on the longer rides)…if you order from Barnana, please feel free to use my discount code¬†Coeur15¬†for 15% off your order ūüôāIMG_1931

What are your cycling essentials? Have you ever raced or participated in an event for a charity? If so, which event and which charity?

My #FaveWorkout – Week 4

In case you’ve missed out, I’ve been writing about my favorite weekly workout every Friday. I’ve had a favorite swim, bike and TRX workout. This week my #FaveWorkout involved more #bikelove. I LOVE intervals…swim intervals, run intervals, bike intervals ūüôā

Wednesday morning I completed the following 1-2-3-2-1 Ladder on the trainer:

Warm-up for 10 minutes, then ride 20 minutes in Zone 2-3, with some short-duration Z4 efforts.
Then, do a 1-2-3-2-1 ladder as follows:
1 minute Zone 4-5 (use power/effort to gauge intensity for the first 1 or 2 efforts, until HR gets up there)
1 minute easy spin (Zone 1)
2 minutes Zone 4-5
2 minutes easy spin
3 minutes Zone 4-5
3 minutes easy spin
2 minutes Zone 4-5
2 minutes easy spin
1 minute Zone 4-5,
22 minutes in Zone 2-3, with some short-duration Z4 efforts
10 minutes in Zone 2
Cool down for 10 minutes

IMG_0744

WOW…The last time I completed this workout, I was in the middle of Ironman training. I completely forgot how tired¬†depleted my legs would feel for the rest of the day…what a GREAT feeling! I can’t wait to do this workout again ūüėČ

What was your favorite workout this week?

IRONMAN Wisconsin Bike Loop Training

This last Saturday we drove up to Madison so we could ride the IRONMAN Wisconsin bike loop on Monday and get a little bit of training in on the course.  While in the car, I made the following tweet:

Screen shot 2014-06-18 at 11.47.59 AM

This would turn out to be one of the best decisions!! ¬†Why?!?!?! ¬†One of my social media friends responded with, “Nice!!! When are you riding the course? I’d love to join you!? Have a great visit!”

How PERFECT!! ¬†Monday morning, the Iron Hippie and I rode our bikes the short 5 miles to “Fireman’s Park” in Verona and met up with Kathy where we would ride the first loop with her and the second loop on our own.

What did the ride look like???  BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!

On top of the world as we left Mt. Horab.
On top of the world as we left Mt. Horeb…looking right
On top of the world as we left Mt. Horab.
On top of the world as we left Mt. Horeb…looking left
Ribbon Road...one of my FAVORITES on this course!!
Ribbon Road…one of my FAVORITE roads on this course!!
Getting ready to descend down into the valley :)
Getting ready to descend down into the valley ūüôā
Looking down Old Sauk...I love climbing hills when you can't see the top :)
At the top of¬†Bitch #1…Looking down Old Sauk Pass…I love climbing hills when you can’t see the top ūüôā
Cell Tower Hill looks soooooo desolate without all of the spectators lining both sides of the climb!!
Climbing Bitch #2…Timber Lane…Cell Tower Hill looks soooooo desolate without all of the spectators lining both sides of the climb!!
Anyone up for a drink?!?!?!  Too bad the water isn't hooked up to this drinking fountain randomly placed out in the country on the IRONMAN Wisconsin bike course.
Anyone up for a drink?!?!?! Too bad the water isn’t hooked up to this drinking fountain randomly placed out in the country on the IRONMAN Wisconsin bike course.
Looking down Bitch #3...Midtown Hill...this picture does not do this climb any justice!!  It is definitely harder than it looks ;)
At the top of¬†Bitch #3…Looking down Midtown Hill…this picture does not do this climb any justice!! It is definitely harder than it looks ūüėČ
Looking back at Mt. Horab from the top of Midtown climb...You can barely see the water tower out on the horizon.
Looking back at Mt. Horeb from the top of Midtown climb…You can barely see the water tower out on the horizon. ¬†We’ve ridden quite a few miles since we left Mt. Horeb ūüôā
Kathy and I after the first loop...It is GREAT to meet new friends ;)
Kathy and me after the first loop…It is GREAT to meet new friends ūüėČ
Kathy and me after the first loop.
Kathy and me after the first loop.
IMG_3754
Kathy, the Iron Hippie and me after the first loop ūüôā
Just a few bike stats for our double loop
Just a few bike stats for our double loop

While this wasn’t a fast ride (I did forget to pause my Garmin a couple of times when we stopped), we were out to climb the hills and soak in the rural Wisconsin scenery. ¬†I think we accomplished the hill climbing component quite well…4898 feet of climbing ūüėČ

Do you enjoy climbing hills while riding your bike?  Would ~5000 feet of climbing make you nervous or excited?  Why?

Time Trial Virgin

Last night I participated in my first ever time trial “race.” ¬†Having never participated in a TT before, I was a bit nervous throughout the day, but received some great advice from a fellow blogger: Screen shot 2014-06-13 at 10.22.01 AM Thanks for the tip,¬†Erin¬†ūüėČ

The Iron Hippie went with me for moral support…thank you!! ¬†When we arrived at the race site, I checked in, was given my race number and warmed up by riding the TT course to familiarize myself with the terrain, potholes (there weren’t many) and the winds. ¬†As we headed south out of town, there was a very nice tailwind to start, but at the turn around point, that tailwind reared its ugly head and became a brutal headwind. ¬†Because this was just a warm-up, I settled in without pushing the pace, kept my heart rate and power low and just spun the legs at a higher cadence. ¬†With plenty of time¬†before I would start racing, I was hopeful the winds would die down a bit.

After my warm up ride, I went back to the car, drank some fluids, went to the restroom and then went and lined up at the start.  I was #25 so I would be starting 12 minutes after the 6:30 pm start time.  As I waited in line, I had the following conversation with the guy in front of me (#24):

#24: ¬†There aren’t many people here tonight.

Me: ¬†Oh yeah? ¬†This is my first time trial, so I wouldn’t know.

#24: ¬†This is only my 2nd one, so I don’t really know what I’m talking about.

Me:  Well, you know more than me.

#24: ¬†With a bike like that, you don’t race?

Me:  I race triathlon, but I decided to give the time trial a go.

#24:  Oh.  Are you doing the Hy Vee Triathlon?

Me:  No.  I have a larger race the following weekend.

#24:  What race are you doing?

Me:  Ironman Wisconsin

#24: ¬†Oh my…you’re crazy!

Me:  Thanks!

#24: ¬†Well, I’m sure you’re faster than me, so just don’t pass me until after the turn around. (said with a smile)

Me: ¬†I don’t know about that. ¬†Have a great race!

 

As I approached the start line, I was really nervous that the starter would drop me, but I had nothing to worry about!!

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...Here I go!!
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…Here I go!!

I pedaled for all I was worth…I know Erin said to don’t start too hard, but that is harder for me to judge with the wind at my back, so I just went for it. ¬†After all…GO BIG OR GO HOME ūüôā

Here are some of my random thoughts throughout the ride:

  • I love to ride my bicycle!
  • I love the wind at my back!
  • I’m going to catch #24!
  • This is challenging!
  • Singing to myself…”That’s the only way I know. ¬†Don’t stop till everything’s gone. ¬†Straight ahead, never turn ’round. ¬†Don’t back up, don’t back down. ¬†Full throttle, wide open. ¬†You get tired and you don’t show it. ¬†Dig a little deeper when you think you can’t dig no more. ¬†That’s the only way I know.”
  • I love to ride my bicycle!
  • Oh…there’s that headwind.
  • I’m going to catch #24!
  • This is tough!
  • Singing to myself…”That’s the only way I know. ¬†Don’t stop till everything’s gone. ¬†Straight ahead, never turn ’round. ¬†Don’t back up, don’t back down. ¬†Full throttle, wide open. ¬†You get tired and you don’t show it. ¬†Dig a little deeper when you think you can’t dig no more. ¬†That’s the only way I know.”
  • Oh buddy…you just got chicked!! ¬†(as I passed #24)IMG_3687
  • Kiss me harder wind!
  • I love to ride my bicycle!
  • Only one more mile!
  • Singing to myself…”That’s the only way I know. ¬†Don’t stop till everything’s gone. ¬†Straight ahead, never turn ’round. ¬†Don’t back up, don’t back down. ¬†Full throttle, wide open. ¬†You get tired and you don’t show it. ¬†Dig a little deeper when you think you can’t dig no more. ¬†That’s the only way I know.”
  • Come on legs…don’t fail me now!
  • I love to ride my bicycle!
  • I’m going to come really close to achieving my secret time goal ūüôā ¬†(22 minutes)
  • There’s the finish line!
  • Go. Legs. GO!
  • I love to ride my bicycle!
  • WAHOO!! ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†IMG_3713
  • I love to ride my bicycle!
  • I love to ride my bicycle!
  • I love to ride my bicycle!

Overall Stats:

  • Distance: 7.5 miles
  • Official Time: 22:18.3
  • Average Speed: ¬†20.2 mph
  • Normalized Power: 183 Watts (Zone 3)
  • Challenge level: ¬†Very Difficult
  • Fun Factor: ¬†A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. ¬†Cha Ching!!

Have you ever tried something new and found out you truly love it?  If so, what was it?