10-16-04, 02:41 PM
I decided to go on a ride yesterday.... I went to the CSU outdoor place to check out a map to see the route I would need. The very helpful man there commented that if I went on the loop clockwise one whole every large section (the road is called 52E, Rist Valley Road or something like that) would be downhill all the way. Seemed like a nice way to end a 50mi ride, so I went clockwise around the Horsetooth Reservoir. It was about 55 when I left. I had plenty of layers, and stayed fairly warm. Up in the mountains it basically started snowing and sleeting at the farthest point from home, I could have turned back, but the prospect of the wonderful downhill I was told about kept us grinding up the hills in the rain and sleet. After about 50mi (guy said it was going to be a 45mi ride, roundtrip, turned out to be nearly 60) all of the food was gone. I had eaten several Rice Crispies, an Apple, a Ham Sandwich, and two chocolate chip cookies. My legs felt pretty good, and I had drank LOTs of water despite not sweating as much from the temperature. Saw about 2 dozen beautiful deer along the way up to this point, and a lot of cows and horses. As I said my legs were doing good, but I was slowing down a bit and feeling somwhat fatigued. I was looking forward to the downhill. Finally, after 50mi I see the sign for 52E. I make a right... it looks flat, and I see that the road ahead disappears in the fog between two mountains. I wonder where the downhill part actually starts. I truck along and suddenly I see it. the road goes straigh UP into the fog. Oh god, I think. I chunk it down into the small chainring, which I hadn't used all day, but because of the fog I cannot see the top, so I didn't want to cook my legs too early. Yeah. It was hell. I had no idea where the top of the hill was, but end the end it was nearly 5 mi straight up. It was horrible. I plugged along, incredibly. Maybe the fog helped because I thought the top was always just barely hidden by the fog. Surely I would have given up had i been able to see the entire road rising straight up the mountain. I got to the top, and stopped for a big drink. My legs were cooked for sure, even using the granny ring (I was doing this ride on a 35lb Giant Rincon ATB with road bars, btw...). Boy I was ready for the downhill. I plunged down the first hill, going about 45mph. Then about halfway down, I realized how cold it was going that fast. Long story short, the awesome downhil I had been looking forward too all day was kept to about 25mph so i could keep from freezing my balls off. (On the first run, some rain water stuck on my watch froze into solid droplets in about 5 minutes of descending....). I got back just before dark. My legs were gone, no riding today. I did love every minute of it though, just some more than others. I have some nice pictures taken with a disposable camera. I have a couple extra pics left, them I'm going to get it developed onto a CD, I'll post some pictures of what my rides are like then. Amazing scenery, just beautiful and inspiring - way better than Jersey.... Discuss, and/or post your hell but lovin' it stories.