Thursday, June 25, 2015

Got lungs?

Boy what a sea level land lubber am I.  Thought I might die today breathing at 6400 feet peddling uphill.

We came to Colorado this year with the wish to return leaner and with better cardio.  To wit, we rigged up a way to transport Carl's 3 wheel recumbent and headed northwest .
Hillbilly comes to mind....

Our first ride was only 4.5 miles around lake Estes.  Nearly died.  7500 feet elevation.  

Properly humbled we headed down to 4600 foot Fort Collins where we spent a week on their lovely trails along the poudre river and clear creek.  Much to love on their trails.
Duly armed with lungs a week old, we moved up 2000 feet to Carbondale. We twice biked the crystal valley which requires 200 feet of climb over 6 miles to get back to camp.  Then there are the rollers up and down along it.  Going down to town is awesome but the ride home is work.  It's just what the doctor ordered.  The valley is good enough to take by the spoonful.

I formed a new plan to ride uphill first and downhill last and we moved into the town of Carbondale on the Roaring Fork.  From our rv it is a short connect to the trail and 2 miles uphill into town where we have found every least desire can be met.  

Then we set out on the rio grande trail in the direction of aspen.  Our first ride was 20 miles .  Lots of work to get there and a blast to return.  The grade is the old rio grande rail line, slow and chugging, just like me.  Saw a rodeo arena along  the way and plan to attend the weekly rodeo while we are here.

Scenery is sweet and the roaring fork roars.

Two weeks later I am happy to report that we went uphill 13 miles several times and got stronger every time.  Twice we rode home in those July Colorado afternoon thundershowers and found out that a hot shower with clothes on works great for warming up and getting the mud off at the same time.

I'd stay in Carbondale forever except for reaching the two week limit at the city's Rv park.  Sunsets are awesome too.

Since we were officially out of Carbondale, we headed toward home, taking a humbling ride near Ouray and near Pagosa Springs, and finishing with our traditional ride to the Sand Dunes.  Same distance as in 2012.  Mission accomplished. 

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