Well so far the travels have been better than expected. It is pretty awesome when you just let things happen and have no real expectations. I have had a loose itinerary and a few places I wanted to stop but nothing more put together than that. I have known that Thursday starts the Durango experience that will be the SSWC09, but the rest has been open. I made it to Hayes Kansas on Monday night after about 15 hours of driving and that was an experience all in itself. I feel for the folk that live in Kansas. I am sure it can be nice, but from first impression, I will not be looking to stick around for any period of time in the future.
Tuesday morning I left for Colorado and got a call from my pals at VeloNews to see if I still wanted to swing by and have a ride and a visit. We set up an appointment for Tuesday morning and I kept driving. Well as it turned out, while I was fishing through my maps I found a few bits of info about Estes Park that I still had from 2003. So that was it, I was going to Rocky Mountain National Park for the night. The plan was to get as high up in elevation and start riding in an effort to get acclimated to the altitude. So as I was passing through Boulder around lunch time I called Kevin back and asked his recommendation for lunch. Well as luck had it, he and David met us for lunch on Pearl Street. That was a great surprise and then we were off to RMNP via Lyons. When in Lyons, we stopped and picked up some Dale's Pale Ale to help with a night of camping.
The night in the park was killer. We grabbed a primitive spot and I suited up for a few hours of altitude training. I know I started around 9000ft and rode up to nearly 11000ft. It hurt like hell. No matter how hard I wanted to go, I just could only creep along. There were times that I would feel good then go hard, then have to settle down again. I played this little game for about 2 hours. By the time I made it back to the camp spot, it was time for the hammock and some down time. I wound up sleeping in the hammock all night and to wake up looking at the Rockies was so sweet.
We cruised back into Boulder to meet up with the new tech editor at VeloNews. Zack was a great guy to meet and we spent about an hour talking about the Lynskey brand and the three bikes I brought along on the trip. He shot some photos and then Kevin, Nathan, David and I hit the bikes for nearly two hours ripping up some road, gravel and greenways. It was awesome. I love it that these guys are retarded for cyclocross. You could just tell they were fired up about cross season.
From there we rolled down to Golden for a quick stop at Spot Brand to see Frank. I have been working with these guys for some time and many of them I have talked to on the phone or emailed a hundred times, so it was nice to meet them all in person. We talked shop and took the nickle tour and then we had to hit the road. Time to drive down to Monument for a little R&R and staying with friends. So far that has been amazing. I got out today for a nice ride from the house and hit the lower base of the mountains and am still trying to get used to this this air. I feel like I am recovering quicker, but still not there yet. I am off to Durango in the morning to meet up with the Endless Bike Co. crew. The Run What You Brung show will b going down tomorrow night and that should be a blast. I will shoot some video and photos and try to post them no later than Friday morning. More to come soon.