It hath begun. The whittle-down-rides are beginning and these are the rides designed to make a man feel like a chump until you start turning the corner and see your progress. Rides that break you into little pieces like the decomposing granite of the large mountains seen strewn around on these rides. But it's a total dichotomy:
On one hand you are suffering miserably. On the other hand you say to yourself (if you get a chance to remember to pull your head up from starting at your handlebars): Holy crap this is beautiful.
One such ride here in the Republic is Super Walker. OK, first a little background:
Most of the hill climbs here in Boulder have basically two finish points for people: One is mid way up the mountain....where 'mid way' is often what people THINK is the top. The other is the REAL summit of said ride. Anything that puts the rider on or over the real summit is designated as 'super'. Super James (Jamestown...continuing on past Jamestown and up the face well past the pavement ending), Super Flag (Flagstaff past the amphitheater to the mailboxes) and of course Super Walker (a Super Flag + the Walker Ranch loop(s) on your MTB.
So I railed Super Walker yesterday. I did it last weekend too but I wanted to dig deeper into Za Plan and start reversing the demons. I forgot what setting a tempo up Flag is like. Ridiculous. 7 minute or so delta from what I was railing last year (OK...I was on an MTB yesterday as well). If you do this ride, you'll hit 'the wall' near what you think is the top of Flag. When you have that little stream of vomit coming out of the side of your mouth, smile and think of me as I'll be laughing at you inside our head. It's awesome.
Anyways, back to the dichotomy: You're climbing this beast and the beauty is spectacular. Near the top, have a look see at Cathedral Park (and stop to have a look if you have the time). An entire set of 14'ers is your view and literally takes your breath away (OK, maybe the 7000+ feet does a little as well).
So, this is a typical training ride for us locals. No cars needed. I ride from my house which ended up being about 30 miles and 5K of climbing (different than what you will see in the map my ride link above). More of the same today to start loading it up. Yum. Or ouch. It's a dichotomy.