Saturday, August 17, 2013

USA Pro Challenge Race Experience - Aspen to Snowmass Village and Riding with Team Cannondale

Saturday, August 17, 2013

It is only two days until all the fun (err...pain) begins.

Today I had an easy workout for two hours with an hour of zone 3 riding in the middle. It sounds easy and typically it is. But at 7800 feet altitude everything can be, and sometimes is, different.

The ride from Aspen to Snowmass Village had a climb that is about 2.4 miles long and climbs something like 600 feet. Typically this wouldn't be that tough and doing a zone 3 power climb up this wouldn't be that bad. But, apparently, at around 7800 feet altitude my body had other things in mind. I never climbed a hill like this with my power running between zone 1 to 3 with a heart rate at zone 4 to 5.

My heart thought I was going all out on a solo break-away in a criterium or something. The only problem is that I was only going around twelve miles per hour. That's hardly a solo break-away speed. But, with the combination of altitude and climb and my acclimating to everything this is what it was.

When I finally made it to the top of the route I decided to turn left instead of right and head on up to Snowmass Village Square where I'll be staying Sunday night and where all the teams are already staying. In hindsight I probably should have stayed up there but it's cool to stay in Aspen as well since I've never stayed here.

After climbing up to Snowmass Village Square I hung out a little bit around the team vehicles.

I got to see Allen Lim and Biju Thomas. They were busy working with the teams so I didn't want to interrupt them to meet them face-to-face. I figure I'll have time this week to do that. But, Allen did say hi as he was running around. It was cool.

After hanging out for a few minutes I decided that it was probably time to head on back to Aspen. Besides, the ride back involves quite a few miles of downhill at good speeds so I headed down.

As luck would have it Team Cannondale was heading out on their team ride just was I was heading down the mountain.

I got to hook up with Team Cannondale and ride 'with' them for about ten miles. I stayed about a bike length back from them. I figured that they really don't know me and probably wouldn't appreciate me riding close to them or in with them. That would not be cool!

During the ride with Team Cannondale I had my GoPro camera turned on. Here is a short video clip of my ride with the team.

I do have to say that the pro's seem to have just as much fun as many of us do on serious group rides. There are only a few small differences. First, they can ride damn fast and climb. Second, from what I can tell they have quite a bit of structure to their workout and day. I guess this would hold true for any team sport. And finally, they love to ride bikes and are good enough to get paid to do for a living!

I'll try and post another update tomorrow!