Delta 7 Sports treated me right for this ride. They gave me a team outfit AND set me up with the Ascend. I was nervous trying out a bike for the first time for 165 miles but I figured what the heck (hell for those none Utah readers) I haven't been on MY road bike for a while either. I did spend a good while the day before setting it up to fit me as best possible. I got to Sundance and this year they made us park in the upper lot! All I could think of was that the hill was NOT going to be fun riding up to my car after 165 miles.A few other docs from Mountain View showed up as well for the ride. It's nice to see we have some medical professionals that practice the healthy lifestyles that they should preach. From L to R: Dean Egbert (one of my partners), Ian MacMaster, Roman Takasaki.
We headed down the hill from Sundance with the temp about 58 F which was refreshing and woke me up fast. I got of to a fast start and as we headed through Benjamin I was actually wondering if I should pull back some so as not to be burned out. But you can't pass up a free pull so I held on. But by the time we hit Payson Canyon I was feeling good and I began the climb with just Heath and I. I don't know his last name but apparently he is a pro tri racer and he had some involvement in planning the Ascend at delta 7 sports. He's the one that pulled me for a huge part of last year's ride. Anyway, he took off and I began my grind up. At the Blackhawk water stop two riders (Greg & Rick) caught up with me and we worked together for the rest of the day to AF canyon. It was a relatively steady pace and my legs were feeling good.
Also, By the 6 hour mark which is the longest time the saddle this year for me I realized I really was pretty comfortable. I was concerned with a new bike that I would have some fatigue spots. But the Ascend was really comfortable. It was not jarring on the bumps and dips, was responsive on standing and climbs and stable on the fast descents! I LIKE it!
Once we reached the Alpine loop I was itching to open up on my own and headed off. Greg dropped back but was not too far off. I felt strong and the concern of only having a double rather than my bikes triple up front was not an issue. Later I found out the third guy in our group-Rick had become too dehydrated and was throwing up. He made it though. Pretty good for a 50 yo.
The biggest problem of the ride came 4 miles from the top where the road was closed for at least 15 minutes for resurfacing. I got all tight and stiff and the adrenalin rush of approaching the top disappeared. I creaked it up the rest of the way and finished in about 9:25 total time and about 8:28 ride time. This was about 20 minutes faster than last years and I felt pretty good. I took the shuttle up to the parking lot, though.
So after that I feel better about Leadville and know I can do that length. And nutrition was not much of an issue, either.
Rumor, I heard on the ride a rumor that Lance was trying to get some of the guys on his team to race at Leadville as well. Anyone else hear this?
Leadville here I come!
Thanks Delta 7 Sports for the bike! AWESOME!