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Friday, October 7, 2011

Rare Treat - The Colorado National Monument

 It's not often that I get sneak away for an early morning bike ride in the middle of the week.  Between getting the kid to school, answering emails, writing training programs coming up for the next few weeks, working around bike fittings, and just trying to spend quality time with the family, riding my bike uninterrupted for a few hours just doesn't happen often.

When all the planets align just so, I try to take advantage of it as I did a week or so ago.  I opted for my default road ride -- that's the ride I do when I know I'll be by myself, and I have a couple hours -- which is the Colorado National Monument.

I prefer the west side climb for a few reasons.  The main body of the climb is not as steep as the east side, but that's not why I prefer it.  It's the fact that it keeps on climbing, pretty much all the way to the Black Ridge, and even after that there are three more short climbs to reach the high point.

When you hit the high point, there is a fair bit of descending, but not nearly as much as going the other direction.

 I like the extra work that going west to east makes you do.  There's very little traffic during the week, so it's very relaxed with respect to cars.  If I'm alone, I'll pop a podcast in one ear (usually "Wait, Wait. Don't Tell Me" from NPR or "radioLab" from WNYC) and settle in for the roughly 45 minutes of climbing to the top.  If I'm riding with a friend, it's just nice to chat and catch up on the week.

So it's a rare treat indeed, to sneak away, and ride one of the best road rides on the planet....right in my backyard.  check it out.

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