Friday, June 12, 2009

Leadville recon

Quick input and some questions from what I saw.

Drove up the St. Kevins climb, the road was in bad shape. It will definately be a climb, but the thing that will make this one hard is the constant work it's going to take navigating lines up this one, didn't look like a climb where you can settle into a rythym, rather, looked like it will leave you feeling like you just climbed a lot more than you did. Just as Sam had told us, very limited good lines to jockey for with the other 1,000 folks making the climb - should be interesting. The road was actually a lot worse that I'd pictured in my brain. Not positive, but have an assumption of where the cop car drops out and the race starts, but didn't look to be a lot of road to try and get into a position toward the front 3rd or better of the pack between then and the base of the climb. Is there a mild sprint from the field to try to get position before this climb?

Typical view of the descent down from Columbine. Runoff was running right down the road, with riders coming up on their right taking that side of the road away as an option, going down will be like riding down a drainage ditch in sections.

Another typical view of the approach to Columbine. Hit snow before I hit the top, but think the turnaround is off in the distance near the left corner of the frame?

Curious to see what the emotion is at this 90 degree left turn corner come race day. First veteran to identify it wins a contest for which the prize is nothing. But do share your experience here - have you "arrived" at this point? Earlier, later?
Little panorama shot from up near Columbine. Actually thought most of the climb to this point looked more pleasant than I'd pictured, pretty forest climb on well maintained road - minus the 40+ miles on the legs at that point so reserve the right to change the description from pleasant to something less favorable, or even to sucks at a later date. You get a little wake up call about half mile down the road from where I'm standing, road turns steep and rocky, but is just a warm up to what's left between here and the top, it will be a big test.
Looking like another, more thorough recon trip is shaping up for the last weekend in July (31st). A few of us will be leaving Thursday evening and coming back Sunday evening. The more the merrier, drop me a line if interested in joining us.


dug said...

it's the left turn to the "boulevard," the last 3 mile dirt road till you hit final pavement.

you have definitely "arrived" when you hit this spot. the first 100 yards are nasty, the rest of it is a fast dirt road.

although, really, when you hit the last aid station at the sort of top of st kevins, after the pavement climb, that's really where it hits you that you've made it. it's easy work to this spot, and the finish from here is pure adrenaline.

and by the way, yes, if you leave the opening pavement anywhere but near the front, count on fighting rush hour traffic for the next several miles (really, the only point of the race where this happens). if you're counting minutes, this is aggravating to the point of distraction. if you're just trying to have a good day, it's just annoying.

and yes, the columbine climb is a pleasant dirt road until you come out of the trees. but pleasant depends on how you feel there. some years it's torture from the bottom all the way up. some years it's a great climb until you come out of the trees. it all depends.

some days you're the hammer. some days you're the nail.

Jonnie J said...

I'm interested in the preview. Let me know the details as it gets closer. I'd lover to tag along.

Jason said...

Dug wins the contest! Thanks for the insight - I need to get out on a ride with you and have you tell me more...

JJ - we'll keep you in the loop as we make plans for the trip, would be great to have you along.