Well, today's the big day. No, not the Super Bowl (although it was a great game). Today the route for Ride the Rockies 2008 came out in today's Denver Post. It's the day many cyclists all across the country look forward to each year. It's the day I have been anticipating with some trepidation for the past four months. I am excited, but the fact is that I may not be able to ride in my fourth consecutive RTR.
[At left: at the finish line of my first Ride the Rockies in 2005)
It looks like a great route, 435 miles from Durango to Breckenridge passing through Cortez, Telluride, Montrose, Crested Butte, and Buena Vista. Seven serious climbs, including up and over Cottonwood Pass (elevation 12,126 ft.). Four out of six days are over 75 miles. Wow. It'll be a challenge for even the strongest, best conditioned riders.
Which brings me back to my situation. I met with my orthopedic surgeon last week and the news wasn't good. There is still no bone forming in between the three bones that used to be my collarbone. His recommendation: surgery to put everything back in place using a steel plate and pins. So I am scheduled to go under the knife on Thursday, March 20.
The reason for the delay is I have travel scheduled every week between now and mid-March with trips to Reno, Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Austin, Manhattan (Kansas), Lincoln, Dallas, San Antonio and Kansas City. So, surgery on March 20 followed by three weeks in a sling and six weeks of "no heavy lifting." That means the earliest I could be back on a bike is mid-May -- about a month before RTR (June 15-21).
[Above right: In Leadville with Patty and Kris, my "camp girlfriends" (as my wife calls them), on the '05 ride (that's Mt. Massive in the background)]
I have three weeks to decide whether to register (deadline is Feb. 22). Should I do it? Can I do it? I think I can. But it will take some work. Here's the plan: I begin training now on a stationery bike, take a break from March 20 to April 10, get back on the stationery bike until May 15 (my 44th birthday), then put in at least 500 miles on the road before June 15. I think I can do that...if I ride to/from work when I'm not on the road.
[Above: At the continental divide on the 2006 ride]
Should I do it? Can I do it? I'd love to hear from my family and friends. Vote on the poll (in the column on the right) and submit your comments by clicking on "comments" below. Stay tuned to DDublog for updates.