Today was to be a test run on the upcoming Boulder Peak Olympic bike course. I've heard many things about Old Stage as I've said in earlier posts so I really had no idea what to expect. After some of the rides I've had I was feeling pretty confidant but still very nervous. I was also planning on trying out two new things today. First a new pair of tri shorts that I picked up this morning and secondly, riding with no socks. I can use any help I can get speeding up, and if I don't have to put socks on that's bound to give me some time in T1.
I met up with Kathleen and a friend of hers, Lisa, at about 1:00 Kathleen was doing a run before the ride and needed some time after so she told Lisa and I to go ahead and she would catch up. So about 1:30 with temps of just over 80 we headed out to see what all the fuss was about. We started out really easy, Lisa and I chatting and getting to know each other since we had never met. I realized about one mile in that I hadn't started my Garmin. I keep doing that! At about mile 4.5 we hit a spot that is being repaved and is currently a gravel mess, it lasted about 1 mile and then Old Stage hill...
This does not really do it justice. All is well until the last 2/3 of a mile. As you can tell from the title of this post, it didn't go well...I got off and rested..truly I thought my heart was going to burst. My lungs were dying, I was dying....I got back on...I rode a little farther...I gave up...I walked. I think I took these photos on the 2nd stop but may have been the first I really just don't know. I didn't really have to walk that far before I got back on and although it was still a small uphill nothing like we had just come up. IT SUCKED!
Looking up where I still must go, I don't think these pictures truly show just how steep it is... (15% grade)
And back down what I just came up. Once we got through the worst of it went a short distance and came to the waiting area. It was a beautiful view!
Then the real fun began, a fantastic descent, with much riding the breaks, and much beauty. This part of the ride was awesome and I really should have taken some pictures. At about mile 11 Kathleen caught up to us as we were waiting to get across a very busy highway. The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful after that one hill the course is really very easy as you can tell from the profile.
A little break in the shade at the bus stop. By now the temps were approaching 90 so it was getting a little warm. I have to say despite getting my ass handed to me on the hill I felt really good, my feet were having no problems being sock-less and my new tri shorts were feeling pretty good too. And seriously after the adjustments my bike guys made..It was like riding a new bike! The brakes fantastic and the shifting, smooth! Woo Hoo!
The question that remains... is it possible to get any better on hills in just 2 weeks or will I just be walking the hill again during the race?