Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Feeling The Burn Once Again

Well, Howard went and did it again -- he signed up for another Colorado bike tour that he's woefully unprepared to attempt. This time its the Horsetooth Double Dip on Sunday, August 27th.

There are four single-day ride options: a 30-mile ride that is for the wee children and citizens with seniority; a 50-mile ride that skims the nasty foothills around Larimer County's Horsetooth Reservoir; a 75-mile ride that takes its riders through some of the most difficult climbs behind the reservoir including Poudre Canyon; and a 105-mile excursion through hell. This one includes Rist Canyon and two passes through Stove Prairie Road.

Howard, being the sensible 40-something jock that he is, opted for the 75-mile ride that will leave him shaken but not stirred.

In his training ride today, Howard rode a shortened version of the 50-mile ride -- less distance but with all the climbing highlights. Lots of 15% grade climbs that leave lesser mortals gasping for glycogen, oxygen, and bonus hemoglobin. Howard passed scores of these gaspers, but did not slow the pace of his machine-like quads of steel. He did however downshift gears quite a bit. Most noteworthy: During a long descent off one of the Horsetooth dams, Howard reached 50.9 mph -- a new record!

One thing Howard knows: He needs goals if he is to excel at cycling. Without the threat of dying on August 27th -- death by embarrassment truly being the greater motivating factor -- Howard would revert to softness and plumpness and defeatist, anarchistic thoughts.

Been there, done that. No more.


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