Before the Crunch

Maybe I have enjoyed my most recent rides because I am at no one’s mercy.  Solo and sightful, albeit it long and grinding: four hours fifty minutes.   Sixty five miles and fifty seven hundred climbing feet with enough muddy dirt (i.e., resistance training for maximum value), to warrant a full post ride hose down.

RTR camps start next week and it will be consecutive beyond.   Yesterday was a recon mission to make sure some of the more remote avenues are passable–remote being a relative word.  It is telling when you stop at a corner store about five miles from some pass and ask if it is plowed, to hear “what road…… Ummmm…. I reckon, I never go up there.”

So I contemplate that as I man the counter, sip my Yoohoo and consume the blueberry frosted pop tarts before pressing back into the unknown.

All the paved roads are plowed yet there is still a foot of snow outlining.  A sharp and enticing effect.

The dirt is mostly clear except where some of the narrow high up spots get drift recoated.  Totally rideable for the players!

The only question remaining is how much pain awaits me when other riders are introduced into the equation.  Being ride guide, it doesn’t look good or bode well for me to get dropped.  That is a given, but how hard do I want to work to stay with a team’s leaders or is it even possible?

The layers and levels of form at this time are wide ranging from folks just coming off blocks (the kind of blocks a car goes on, not training blocks) to those returning from AZ, FL, CA, TX or any of the other cyclist hotspots.

The sensible camps run smooth steady valley tempo and let individuals sort their fitness out on the climbs.  Inevitably competitions spice the whole thing up and that’s what pushes the fitness forward.  ‘Forward’ being the key word, not off the rails.

I am there to outline matters while the group personality has the final say on how things go down.

At the very least I know next week at this time my muscles and body will be much different then they are now.  The depth/intensity and how I will respond is as of now an unknown.  I’m thinking that I may try and climb with the sprinters and let the new jacks fire sparks beyond my perimeter of temptation.  That is what I think now, before the crunch.


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