Leadville Day 4: Middle Earth

The Leadville race course is interesting in that it has this on one end:

leadville_powerline_bottom-1

(Powerline)

and this on the other:

leadville_columbine-1

(Columbine)

Between those two riddles that need to be solved is about 25 miles of paved road, dirt road, and single track. I needed to ride a 4 hour tempo ride today and so I thought the middle section (out and back from town) would fit that ticket nicely.

I am going to say something really stupid here. The movie Race Across the Sky totally over plays this section. They say something like deceptively hard, rolling, etc.. On a hardness scale this rates a 2-3 compared to everything else (say Columbine and Powerline are 10’s). (Author’s note: I do hear that this is where you can hit winds during the race. A strong headwind would hurt on this section. The winds were manageable today. But that’s why you need a paceline!)

This section was fun and the miles ticked away, quickly. I felt strong and found a nice tempo that I could have held for a long time. I felt, well close to normal.

Half way through the ride was Twin Lakes (where the second aid station is)

leadville_twin_lakes-1

And even though if you look just a little bit to the left you are reminded of this…..

leadville_columbine-1

(Man does that look high, why aren’t there trees on the top BTW??? Are we really going up that????)

…I felt good.

Then I turned around and retraced my steps back to town. Ending my ride crossing what will be the finish line. Then I stopped for my recovery drink:

leadville_recovery-1

(Chocolate peanut butter milkshake. Yumm….)

Thoughts for the day:

1. It was nice and refreshing to do a ride and be close to what I could do at home. Good for the confidence.

2. I hope these MTBer’s know how to ride in a paceline, because that middle section is so calling out for one.

3. I didn’t feel great when I woke up today or when I started my ride. I felt progressively better as the ride went on. Remember that Doug, it happens to you a lot!

4. Starting my ride at 7:30 am was the BEST idea of the day. It’s raining pretty good right now.

Pictures for the day:

leadville_sunset-1

Sunset at the cabin.

leadville_sunrise-1

Sunrise at the cabin.

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2 thoughts on “Leadville Day 4: Middle Earth

  1. I found the Pipeline section to be very enjoyable both outbound and inbound. I agree though, wind could be the killing stroke. Last year I really didn’t feel much wind along that section and maybe that’s why I enjoyed it so much.

    You can really sock out the miles between the aid stations and keep your average speed pretty high. I was way ahead of the cutoff outbound through Twin Lakes but had slowed considerably inbound at Pipeline AS, but I think that’s because I was so slow going up Columbine and because I stayed too long at the CM AS.

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