To All my friends at Green Bay MultiSport:
Greeting from Walden, Colorado and day 6 of the tour. There is one day of riding yet to go and its been a real adventure. My brother Kent and I left one week ago using two days to drive to Fort Collins.
Tour riding is a great departure from the swim, bike, run weekly training routine. With days ranging from a "rest day" of 40 miles to a long of 119 complete with a 10,000 foot mountain pass I will have no excuse for a slow bike split for the rest of the season. This tour has 1200 people from all over the country; some young but many are in their retirement or near retirement years. Don't be mistaken, these people can ride all day. All day is not an exaggeration - a average day has been 8 hours on the bike and the long was over 11 hours for Kent and I. While 70 miles around Green Bay may take 4 to 5 hours with a break or two, on the first day we road 70 miles into 25-30 steady winds making the day 9 hours long. Welcome to riding in Colorado I guess.
Honestly, people that have done this for years have never experienced the kinds of winds we faced the first 3 days. I'm not whining, just telling it like it is.
The best part is a mix of many things: meeting friendly people, challenging the body with riding at elevation, and descending like a screaming eagle. I'm un-apologetic about liking to go fast. I do stay within my capabilities, but like the fine edge. Most of the descents have been straight with broad sweeping turns. I kept my speed under 50 for the most part. Ok, I tucked in behind one of our U-Haul bag transport trucks and was pulled along in the vacuum to something north of double nickel. Very fun. Its not something we'll talk about to our kid triathletes. The icing on the cake is the beautiful landscapes of Colorado. It can't be described and pictures really don't do it justice, but I have posted many on my Facebook page if you're interested.
Have there been any downsides? Sure. Green Bay is 600' elevation; breathing at 7000' to 10,000' isn't easy. My butt is sore. My feet and toes have prolonged numbness. It is hot and very dry. My mouth and throat is parched much of the time. Most of you reading this understand that training is not designed to be comfortable. While this tour is "training" for me, it is much more. Part of any real adventure is going beyond one's comfort zone and experiencing new things. The BCT has offered us all of that.
I hope to see you all soon at the next team training session or "at the races" as they say.