Riding Out of Your Comfort Zone

This weekend I was reminded how lucky I am to have a wife who supports me riding.  After a pretty fast Gateway ride on Saturday, I was looking for a quick hard workout on Sunday to continue my march towards Spring fitness.   I wasn’t terribly motivated to get out so I called one of my go-to guys and best friends, Ross.  (as seen in the Yeti/Pactimo add on www.Velonews.com)  Ross is a Pro mountain biker with a real job as well.  Luckily he isn’t at his fittest, because the message I got back was that he was headed out with Barlow (local dirt road/goat path, steep climb expert) to do some major climbing.  If you check out the add, you will see why his nickname is “too skinny for skinny jeans” and you can bet he is a great climber.  As I said before, I wasn’t necessarily looking for this kind of effort or time commitment.  However, my amazing wife simply stated that I should go and I went.

The weapons of choice were cross bikes so we could get into some “more gnarly” stuff.  I hadn’t been on the cross steed in a while and was actually pretty excited to get it out in the dirt.  The route was a maze of dirt roads and pathways that were better suited to hiking or mountain bikes than cross bikes.  And that is exactly what made it fun.  Barlow was the tour guide and I just tried to keep up as we went up roads that turned into snow packed trails and then made turns onto trails I didn’t even see until we were navigating boulder drops and sand descents.  Who knew that Boulder County held such rich treasures for riding?

I usually get into this kinda stuff in the fall after the road season ends and I am just out for fun.  So it was a special treat to be able to do this kind of ride in January.  These roads and trails should be covered in several feet of snow right now, but since it has been another relatively dry winter and the weather this week was so warm they were prime for cross bikes. 

After 5000 feet of climbing (more than I would usually get into until late spring) I was pretty spent, but not overly wiped out.  Spiritually I was totally renewed.  Getting out of the comfort zone of hopping on the road bike for “intervals” or “Zone 2” riding was about the best thing for me mentally.  After years of racing, training can feel more like a job than a fun sport.  This type of ride is exactly what I needed to keep the bike fun. 

I am endeavoring to the get the route from the guys with the GPS gizmos on their bikes.  If so I will post it, however I wouldn’t recommend trying to replicate it.  Some of the roads/trails we were on are hard to find and I would get lost trying to ride it if I went out the next day.IMG_5222 IMG_5225




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