Monday, June 16, 2008

Racing in Glenwood Springs

After a night of fun at the Roller Derby, I was off early so I could head west with Walker for some racing in Glenwood Springs. Sadly Jessica didn't get to go, and instead got to spend a weekend at home (for a change!) and hang out with our little collection of animals.

Driving to the race really wasn't all that bad, I mean other than the delay when someone decided to play "pinball" with their car in the Eisenhower Tunnel just before we got there, the drive didn't take any longer than going to the race in Hugo. And let me tell you... driving west is a hell of a lot more scenic than driving east when you live on the front range!

The racing: Well, let's sum this up all quick-like... for me, it was crap. It was one of those weekends where the legs just weren't there. Saturday was the 75 mile road race. I started out feeling fine, not spectacular, but fine. 2 meters after the end of the neutral start, the attacks came one after the other. I was able to follow some moves, kept an eye on things at the front, and had no trouble moving around in the pack. Then we hit the next section of course with several little "powerclimbs", nothing I should have had trouble with, yet the legs just totally shut down. I shouldn't have been having trouble, but for whatever reason, the body just wasn't responding. I could have pulled the plug and rode straight home, but instead I was stubborn and figured I'd turn it into a lovely "training ride". Plus, the course was quite scenic, and it was all roads that were new to me. It still sucked just because I was cranky...

After the race we continued on to he Berger household, since Harry was kind enough to provide host-housing for Walker and myself in the always scenic New Castle. Seth was staying in the same town, and I convinced him and a few of his teamates to join us at one of the local eateries for dinner. After that, Seth came back with us to round out a perfect foursome for several games of quoits until the sun went down. Walker and I barely won in the last tie-breaker game!

Sunday we were up early, and Harry invited us up into the hills for some exploratory 4-wheelin' and to see how the trail conditions were shaping up after a long winter. It's always a blast to be back on a 4-wheeler! Especially with Harry letting me take the wheel of the 400EX!

The area around New Castle is beautiful, and this is some of the greenest I've seen it.

We had a real "biker-gang" with a pair of Harry's friends meeting up with us for the trip.

How about the beaver dam in the center of this picture, in the water!? It was HUGE! Craig won, as he was the only one able to huck a rock all the way out to it.

On the way home from 4-wheelin', Harry took us out to see Harvey Gap State Park. I wish we had more time, as the water looked inviting (yet cold), and chillin' along the water sounded like a great idea!

Harvey Gap was just off the aptly named "Grass Valley Road", and further testament to the beauty that's easy to find in the area.

Soon enough it was time for racing again. The crit course was far from flat, was definitely technical with some less-than-fun turns and some still soft chip seal pavement. While the road race was an awesome course, I think they could have done better with the crit course. It was nice that it was just a block off the main drag downtown though. I continued Saturday's performance, with crap legs again, and quickly joined Seth on the sidelines, hanging in a local yard watching the race go by, and cooling off with some fresh lemonade. The Tarkington took a convincing win for the orange and purple though! Then Harry and I found some shade and watched Walker in the Cat3 race. He looked good, though too good, so I had to reprimand him for not attacking when it was time. Still... a good job though...

Just before leaving town we swung past the sweet "water park" that Glenwood built in the river to create some obstacles. And with the recent run-off, the river was definitely moving! We got there just in time to see several guys get pitched from their raft, and leave this guy stuck in the rapid. He worked for a good 10 minutes before finally bailed from the raft, which then also let the raft break free.

Even some surfers were working the waves... definitely a strange sight in the way more than land-locked state of Colorado.

After that, all that was left was the drive home. At least it was actually a pretty great drive home, with both a lack of ski traffic, and a lack of constant fear of sliding off one of the ice and snow covered passes, as the weather was perfect. We even managed a great sighting of crazy travelers; this time someone that had very diligently installed a window air conditioner in the back window of their passenger van;

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