As everyone knows by now, cycling is the weakest sport of mine in the triathlon sports. For whatever reason, I'm just not strong on the bike. I don't know what is the cause of it (I have pretty strong quads) or why I struggle with it, but regardless, it's where I need to improve the most.
In any event, I'm overnighting in Aspen this month and the next. Since the girl loves Aspen like I do, she has agreed to come up on some of my overnights and bring our bikes so we can cycle. That's what we did yesterday. We cycled.
The Maroon Bells are a series of mountains near Aspen. They are pretty spectacular. It's almost inspiring. We've driven up there a couple times, but never cycled. So yesterday, we parked on the road and unpacked the bikes and began our ride.
The first mile took us to the rangers station. It really wasn't that bad thus far, and we saw a few other cyclists going both up and down the road. At the rangers station, we were told it's about 5 miles to the Bells from the station. Ok, not too bad. But as the ride went on, it got harder and harder. And my speed/cadence/morale suffered ridiculously. At a few points, we both stopped and kept pondering turning around. But we both knew that wasn't an option. At exactly 5 miles, we thought about it, but we were so close and wanted to succeed. So we kept plugging away. And sure enough, we made it!
This is the site we were greeted with. We spent a couple minutes walking around, taking some pictures, and me, I was doing some reflecting. I was pretty proud of myself. Sure, the ride had taken nearly an hour. Sure, I had only covered 5.8 miles. Sure, I still have a loooooong way to go before I will call myself a good cyclist. But I had done it. I pushed, reached inside myself, dug deep to find something I wasn't sure was even there. I just stood there, looking at the Bells, and realized I was really proud of myself.
The ride down was a blast and took maybe 10 minutes. I got to a top speed of 44.5 mph while riding down and it was oh so much fun. That ride, looking at it now, may be the turning point of my tri training, for the positive. A short, 11.7 mile ride.