Sunday at 7:00 am I decided to check the wind forecast for our traditional Memorial Day weekend ride. See it for yourself below. What direction ARE those arrows pointing? Variable? Miscellaneous? Undecided? Probably in our face for the entire loop?
Twenty people were in my driveway, ready for a 90.2 mile ride that included around 6000 feet of climbing. The climb, as you can seebelow is around 50 miles, with the bulk of the climb between miles 26 and 51.This is the climb out of Lyons, Colorado towards Allenspark and then towards Estes Park.
(Click on the image for a larger view. The grade near 20 percent was where I picked up my bike and turned it around at a stop.)
My strategy for the climb was to average the highest sustainable speed for the entire climb, which meant pegging Zone 4-5a heart rate and trying to hold that intensity for roughly an hour. Unfortuneatly, my heart rate monitor strap slipped down about 10 minutes into the climb and I couldn't go by heart rate as a guide. Since I was unwilling to stop and adjust it, because I was riding with a good group of people, I didn't get accurate heart rate data. You can see from the two files (one from 2010 and one from 2012) that barometric pressure influences the total elevation gained for the ride. - I'm pretty sure none of the climbs were flatter this year. ;-)
Though we had some gusty winds heading to Lyons andheadwinds most of the way on the climb, we were rewarded with a nice tailwindheading from Estes Park to Loveland. The temperatures were reasonable and we didn’t get rain or snow (which has happened in past years).
I know it is long past Memorial Day, but I’m behind on blogs.
A traditional Memorial Day ride for the past five years or so has been a loop from Loveland, Colorado to Lyons, Allenspark, Meeker, Estes Park and back to Loveland via Glen Haven or Highway 34. This year we decided on Highway 34, making the trip right close to 90 miles from my doorstep. A Google Maps of the route is here:
This year Bill Danielson took video for parts of the ride. He has some nice shots on the opening climb up Highway 7, in Estes Park and coming down one of my favorite rides, Highway 34 between Estes Park and Loveland Co. Check out the video below.
I posted a few still shots on Twitter, here they are for you:
Longs Peak and Mount Meeker from two views off of Highway 7.