A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

BEEFWIFE: Rhut-rho, Shaggy, it’s Rhubarb season!

One of the BEEFMAN’s colleagues sent him home with a few stalks of rhubarb last month so I decided to make Scalloped Rhubarb, a super simple, yummy, gooey deliciously sweet and tart dessert recipe I got from my mother-in-law (guess that makes her the BEEFMOM!). It's getting late in the rhubarb season (April-June) but if you can still find some, this would make a great Father's Day dessert.

Rhubarb looks like red celery and typically used as a fruit but technically is a vegetable.  The stalks are edible but the leaves contain oxalic acid and can be toxic so discard the tops.

To peel or not to peel, that is the question.  As I was making this, I peeled the rhubarb because of the celery-like strings and for some reason I had it in my head that you were supposed to peel before cooking (where did I come up with that?).  As I sat down to write, I decided to do a little internet research with some of my favorite Food Network chefs’ recipes and found that no one says “step 1: peel the rhubarb.”  Thanks, Ina (Garten), Anne (Burrell) and Bobby (Flay); wish I had checked BEFORE I made this!

At least I can show you what peeled rhubarb looks like even though you NEVER have to do this step.  After NOT peeling your rhubarb, cut into one-inch pieces.

Next cube your bread.  I like to use challah which is a traditional Jewish yeast egg bread that I get in my local grocery store; I think it gives a little more texture to the dessert.  The BEEFMOM used white sandwich bread, so feel free to experiment with bread types.  I removed the bottom crust first but not the top crust.

Pour the melted butter over the bread cubes and stir to coat.  Add sugar and mix well.  I could just stop right here and eat the whole bowl.  Like a butter and sugar sandwich!  You had those as a kid, didn’t you?

Fold in the rhubarb.

Spread into a greased baking dish.  Add one tablespoon of water into each corner of the pan but do NOT mix in.  Bake 45 minutes until golden and gooey and delicious looking!

YUM... add a little scoop of vanilla ice cream and prepare to be amazed!

Scalloped Rhubarb

6 cups bread cubes, crusts removed (or not removed, your choice)
2/3 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
4 cups rhubarb, cut into one-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat bread cubes with butter; add sugar and mix well until bread is well coated.  Fold in rhubarb. Pour mixture into greased 13x9 baking dish.  Put one tablespoon water in each of the four corners of the pan but do not mix in.  Bake 45 minutes, covering during last 10 minutes if top is getting too brown.

Alternate:  I was going to make this one time in the fall and couldn’t find rhubarb (fresh or frozen) in my store so I made with blueberries instead.  I cut the sugar almost in half and it turned out lovely so feel free to try with other fruits adjusting the sugar to which produce you use and to your taste.


Leslie (aka the BEEFWIFE)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Ride the Rockies 2014 Day Six: Welcome to Golden!

The final descent down Lookout Mountain into Golden, Colorado, made it all worth it. Six days of riding featuring some of the toughest climbing I have done: Boulder Canyon (especially the middle third), Berthoud Pass (Empire to Mile 66). the Three Bitches (see below), Battle Mountain and Tennessee Pass (a tough combo), Loveland Pass (especially Keystone to A-Basin), and Floyd Hill (a nasty little stretch of about two miles at 8-10% grade). After all that we were rewarded with a true downhill finish featuring amazing views of downtown Golden and the Coors Brewery.

I'm still not sure which of these steep climbs are the ones locals call the "Three Bitches." The first three were tough, but the two in the middle were just plain nasty. And that little bump at the end was brutal. The fact that it was a totally unnecessary detour through a neighborhood of multi-million dollar homes supports my theory that ride director Chandler Smith suffers from Sadistic Personality Disorder
Day Six began in Breckenridge with a nice easy five mile cruise on the bike path until we hung a right and climbed over Swan Mountain (steep but short) and into Keystone. From Keystone to A-Basin ski area is the toughest part of the climb up Loveland Pass (straight and steep, especially the four miles below A-Basin). It was funny to see skiers heading to the slopes as we rode up to the parking lot. Three of them were Team Bar2Bar members Woody, Paul (the Pilot) and Leah (Paul's daughter, the stoker).

The Bar2Bar Ski Team gears up to ski a few runs at A-Basin int he cycling helmets and jerseys! From left: Lea, Paul (the Pilot) and Woody.
Paul and Lea drove up from their home in Frisco with the tandem and ski equipment so they could ski a few runs before finishing the ride. Woody rode up and skied a few "laps" (as he calls them) before getting back on his bike and rejoining the ride. The Bar2Bar Ski Team accomplished something I'm sure few, if any, others have done: skiing in the middle of a ride on Ride the Rockies!

The video above captures the final ascent to the summit of Loveland Pass (it's pretty long, about 20 minutes, but not much happens in the middle -- from 8:00 to 12:00 -- so feel you might want to fast forward through this section!). We had a nice tailwind up the pass. I call this tailwind "Angel's Wings" because it literally feels like you are being lifted up from an invisible force. The views from the top are awe inspiring and you definitely feel a little closer to heaven!

The next 35 miles featured a mostly downhill combination of bike path and side roads through the old mining towns of Silver Plume and Georgetown. Shawn and I rocked this section and were joined by Omar, a wounded veteran, for the stretch into Idaho Springs (we rode up some of this stretch on Day One before the snowstorm on the summit of Berthoud Pass shut down the ride).

Omar is part of a program called Ride2Recovery that helps wounded veterans recover from mental and physical injuries through cycling. After being bed ridden for three months following spinal injuries, cycling helped Omar get back up and moving. He is now training for the U.S. Paralympic Team. There were several Ride2Recovery participants on RTR this year. Click here to donate to this great cause.

It was honor to meet Omar, a veteran wounded in service to our country in Iraq. Thank you for our freedom, Omar!
Omar and I lamented being "larger" riders as we started the climb up Floyd Hill. Struggling up the steep climb (1,000 feet in two miles) I kept saying, "I don't know who Floyd is but I don't like him! Turns out he was an early rancher in Colorado. So he must have been a good guy but the hill named after him sucks!

Shawn was a great teammate, doing lots of pulling and offering words of encouragement after leaving me in his wake on the big climbs. "See you at the top," he'd shout over his shoulder as he took off. :)
After the short descent of Floyd Hill we had a little climbing to do to get to the top of Lookout Mountain, but the end was near and the thought of the final descent (and the burger I had at the aid station in Idaho Springs) gave my legs the last burst of energy they needed and soon we were overlooking Golden, the final stop on RTR2014. The following video captures the windy descent of Lookout Mountain in Golden.

Passing under the Golden Arch, Shawn and I joined the other cyclists in celebrating surviving one of the toughest Ride the Rockies in history. Given the cold weather and over 25,000 feet of climbing (considering I was about 1,500 feet below the top of Berthoud when they closed the pass to cyclists), I think this was the most challenging of the eight RTRs I have completed. Of course, that makes the feeling of crossing the finish line all the more satisfying. After all, that's why we ride, right Omar?

Shawn captured this shot of me crossing under the Golden Arch, which doubled as the finish line for Ride the Rockies 2014.

It was nice to wake up in my own bed this morning with nothing on the agenda except to rest up and getting ready to re-enter the real world. Only two weeks until my next big ride -- the Colorado Bike MS with Patty's Pack. Stay tuned for details on how you can be part of this fundraising effort to help people living with Multiple Sclerosis.

Ride on!


Friday, June 13, 2014

Ride the Rockies 2014 Day Five: Minor Triple Bypass

In Colorado they have a ride called the Triple Bypass ("for those who dare") that traverses three mountain passes in one day. I call yesterday's ride, Day Five on Ride the Rockies, the minor triple bypass, with climbs over Battle Mountain, Tennessee Pass and Fremont Pass. Climbing three passes in one day was tough but Shawn and I think the previous day's ride over the Three Bitches was worse.

Overlooking the site of Camp Hale, training grounds forthe10th Mountain Division in WWII.
Day Five began with a nice steady incline through Minturn, Colorado, before the first climb up Battle Mountain (9,267 Ft.). We were rewarded with a nice downhill and amazing views cross the Red Cliff Bridge before starting the second climb over Tennessee Pass (10,423 Ft.) My favorite part of this stretch was riding through the valley where Camp Hale was located (except for the headwinds) Camp Hale was the training grounds for the famous 10th Mountain Division in WWII, where Senator Bob Dole* and his fellow soldiers learned mountain combat techniques (on skies) before being deployed to the Italian Alps.

At the 10th Mountain Division Memorial on the summit of Tennessee Pass
After submitting Tennessee Pass we dropped down into Leadville, Colorado, the highest incorporated city in the U.S. at 10,200 Ft. above sea level. From there we climbed Fremont Pass (11,319 Ft.), the third and final pass of the day. Official total elevation gain for the day was 5,580 Ft. (which is a little over half of the triple bypass, hence the "minor" part).

Woody donned his traditional Hawaiian shirt for Day Five.
I enjoyed the final descent down Fremont, making an attempt to break my own personal speed record of 50.4 miles per hour on a four mile stretch of -7% grade. But alas, the headwinds held me back and I only reached 48 mph. I did get to ride in the slipstream of Paul (the Pilot) and Leah (his daughter) on their tandem down the pass and along the bike trail into Frisco, where we stopped a the official Team Bar2Bar destination for the day, the Moose Jaw Pub on Main Street.

The BEEFWIFE joined me in Breckenridge for the final night party.
It was a beautiful evening in Breckenridge for the final night party. Hard to believe RTR14 is almost over. Well, when I say almost I mean we have 77 miles to ride, including a massive 3,000 Ft. climb over Loveland Pass (11,991 Ft.) as well as two steep ascents (Floyd Hill and Lookout Mountain) coming late in the day. I'm looking forward to coasting down Lookout Mountain into Golden and crossing the finish line at the Golden Arch sometime around 2:00 this afternoon.

Ride on!


*My father and I both worked for Senator Dole in the 70s and 80s, including his 1980 presidential campaign (my dad) and 1988 presidential bid (me).

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ride the Rockies 2014 Day Four: Arriving Before Happy Hour

I had one goal for yesterday's ride from Steamboat to Avon, and that was to spend as little time on the bike as possible. The issues with my right shoulder/back and left foot would only get worse the more time we spent "in the saddle." The 82-mile ride looked daunting: a slow, steady climb from Steamboat to Toponas then a big descent into the Colorado River valley, followed by a 6 mile climb back out. After another descent we would end with a 11-mile steady climb to Avon.

In addition to a nice tail wind, new Team Beef rider Shawn did a lot of pulling on Day Four. Here he rolls along the green pastures of the Yampa Valley with the Flattop Mountains in the distance.
But God was smiling on us yesterday (perhaps feeling sorry for torturing us with rain, sleet, hail and snow on day one) and he blessed us with a nice tailwind for most of the day. It was the first time on RTR 2014 that the wind wasn't working against us. As a result we made good time and arrived in Avon after just 5 hours and 25 minutes of riding.

Dropping into the Colorado River Valley was a sweet descent, but we paid the price on the climb out.

When we rolled up the Gore Range Brewery, Shawn asked what the title of my blog post would be for this day. There wasn't much of anything to complain about, unlike the Three Bitches from the day before, until we sat down at the bar and realized we had arrived an hour and a half BEFORE happy hour. Bad timing!

The Brisket French Dip on a homemade pretzel roll at Gore Range Brewery was amazing.
Nevertheless, we enjoyed a great post-ride meal and washed it down with some liquid carbs. Unfortunately, Team Bar2Bar captain Paul (the Pilot) and his daughter Leah overshot the bar (the one he chose) by several miles, so we closed up the official Bar2Bar destination and headed on into town to meet them for a happy hour margarita* at Agave.

It was a beautiful night at the party in Avon.
Time to get packed up to head out for today's ride, a 74-mile doozy featuring three big climbs: Battle Mountain, Tennessee Pass and Fremont Pass, before dropping into Summit County. The plan is to stop at the Moose Jaw Pub in Frisco before heading into Breckenridge, the overnight destination. The Moose Jaw has been the official Bar2Bar stop on many a Ride the Rockies over the years. I'm already looking forward to enjoying a cold one sometime around 4:00 this afternoon.

Ride on!


*Ordering margaritas with Paul is story worthy of an entire post. Remind me later :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ride the Rockies 2014 Day Three: The Three Bitches

Day Three of Ride the Rockies 2014 was billed as a "false recovery ride" by tour officials, according to the Denver Post. Many riders viewed it as an optional day and that might have been a good idea for me. But my goal is always to ride every mile and this day was only 54. How hard could it be? Well, at 3,831 feet of elevation gain, only 400 ft. less than Day Two, which was 41 miles longer, I should have known that would mean a lot of climbing. In fact, I later learned the ride included what the locals call "The Three Bitches -- a series of steep climbs with sections exceeding 10% grade.

Riding the beautiful ranchland around Steamboat Springs was worth the pain of RTR Day Three.
I am a big guy. At 6'4" and 215 lbs. I have a lot of weight to haul up these mountains! Let's just say climbing isn't my  specialty. I prefer pulling on the flats or cruising up 2-4% grade slopes. Once the grade goes over 6% I have to drop into the little ring on my triple crankset. Over 8% I have a hard time keeping a good spin going and have to start mashing on the pedals, which creates a variety of issues including "hot foot" -- when pressure on the ball of your foot pinches the nerves in the metatarsal joint causing a painful burning sensation in your toes.

Hot foot is quite possibly the most severe pain (9 on a scale of 10) I have ever felt. Coming in a close second is the stabbing nerve pain that has developed between my shoulder blades, on the right side of my back, extending down to my lower back. The pain, which feels like someone stabbing a knife in your back, began developing on Day One. I'm not sure if I was tense because of the weather or what caused it to flare up but this is an issue I have had on days 4-6 on previous RTRs.

Waking up this morning I immediately felt the burning between my shoulder blades. I'm going to try and get it to loosen up before we start riding. My foot feels pretty good but I have yet to put on my cycling shoes for the real test. I just hope I am able to get through today's 82-mile course from Steamboat to Avon, with 5,139 ft. of elevation gain. Another climbing day. Seems to be the theme of RTR 2014.

Ride on!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ride the Rockies 2014 Day Two: From Snow to Steam (from the Hot Springs!)

Day Two of Ride the Rockies 2014 was another challenging day in a very different way than Day One. After the weather on Day One we were rewarded with a beautiful, cool but sunny day on the ride from Winter Park to Steamboat Springs. Best of all, we woke up to snow on the ground and ended up soaking in the sun in Steamboat.

Woody always says if we have to wear a jacket we're leaving too early but with a 95-mile day ahead we had no choice but to hit the road in Winter Park with temps in the 30s.
The ride from WP to Kremmling was brisk, both in pace and temperature. We were averaging 19 mph into Aid Station Three (45 miles in). But knowing the downhill start would soon turn into a climb, I knew I needed some real food. While the rest of the guys went for the loaded baked potatoes for $5 in the park, I walked across the street to the Rocky Mountain Bar and Grill for a burger.

In spite of the cool weather it was a beautiful day in the Fraser Valley, leaving Winter Park.
While sitting at the bar with several other cyclists waiting for my burger I ordered a wheat beer (believe it or not, beer is actually a good way to hydrate and get some carbs -- I call it liquid carbo-loading). Anyway, the guy next to me orders a second beer so I call him out. "You're going for two?" His response became a new Team Bar2Bar slogan today: "You can't fly with just one wing, can you?" So I ordered another beer and saved half my burger for later (it made a great protein snack when we arrived in Steamboat!).

No, I'm not saying, "I'm number one." I'm pointing at the rock formation they call "Rabbit arks," after which the pass is named. Can you see it?
I'm not sure my climb up Rabbit Ears Pass could be called flying, but I made it. And at one point near the top the was a blessed tail wind, which I think of as flying on Angelo's wings. It was the only tailwind we had all day and it was wonderful. All that time riding into the headwind all I could think was, "wind blows!"

The Old Town Pub was a welcome site at the end of the ride. After a few beers and some food we rode back up to our hotels, completing a century (100 mile) ride.
We turned the 95-mile ride into a full century riding to and from the Old Town Pub in Steamboat to our hotels. I lucked out and ended up booking a room at the Steamboat Grand hotel, right across the street from the luggage trucks and beer garden. Accutonic, the band that played tonight was an amazing reggae ensemble. I think dancing to their music helped loosen up my shoulders!

Today's ride is a "short" 53-mile loop ending up back in Steamboat. I'm looking forward to sitting by the pool this afternoon and enjoying another night in Steamboat before heading out tomorrow for Avon.

Ride on!


Monday, June 9, 2014

Ride the Rockies 2014 Day One: Thunder, Lightning, Hail and Snow

I woke up this morning to see blue sky out the window on the third floor of the Viking Lodge in Winter Park. It was a welcome site after yesterday's day one debacle! One of the strangest days I have experienced on Ride the Rockies (although every day is an adventure!).

We started with beautiful weather in Boulder as we climbed Boulder Canyon. The beautiful scenery of the canyon makes the steep (8-10% grade) in the middle worth it! Rolling into Nederland I ran into my RTR friend and yoga instructor Gillian. Always good to see her.

From Nederland turned south to see ominous dark clouds in the direction we were heading. Grinding through a series of sharp, steep climbs and descents we neared Aid Station Two at Gilpin School when a lighting strike lit up the sky. I didn't even get to one second before the thunder crack shook me. It was close!

I picked up the pace with no where to shelter except the aid station ahead. Just as I arrived at Gilpin School the hail started pelting us. I made it under an eave and shelters in place for about 30 mins as the storm passed. Whew. Thinking the worst was over I got back on the bike and headed down the short, steep descent to Black Hawk. The wet roads made for a cold, tense ride.

I ran into Flip Flop Jenny in Black Hawk. She didn't look happy. Jenny rides in dime store rubber flip flops on flat pedals. I kid you not. Woody told me later that he rode that stretch with her and she was shaking.

And that's when it got crazy.

It never looks as steep in a picture but this climb was sick.
After a nasty climb out of Black Hawk/Central City we had a mostly downhill ride to Aid Station Three in Idaho Springs. I desperately needed real food and the lines were long (that's a complaint for another day) so Woody and I headed in town for lunch at Two Brothers Deli (which I HIGHLY recommend!). While there we started hearing rumors of snow on Berthoud Pass. I checked weatherundergound.com and it was showing 32F and light snow on Berthoud. At this point we were 23 miles from the summit so decided to head on to Aid Station Four in Empire and assess from there.
Arriving in Empire (after grinding 10 miles uphill into the wind) we checked again and the weather was now showing 30F and heavy thundersnow at the summit. It was then we were told by staff that we could ride to the summit but they had closed the downhill into Winter Park. Regardless, we decided to press on.

It was sleeting/snowing in Winter Park as we headed to dinner last night.
Now climbing the steep pass into a cloud of white mist and snow I began to question my sanity. But I refused to stop until there was no possible alternative. I have never had to ride in a support and gear (SAG) vehicle on Ride the Rockies and wasn't keen on the idea now. That's when a Colorado State Trooper pulled up alongside me and told me they had closed the summit and all riders had to turn back to Empire and wait for a bus ride over the pass. When we were in Empire the bus line was already an estimated two hour wait.

Woody had ridden ahead of me so when the Trooper went ahead to turn other riders back I waited for Woody. That's when, like manna from heaven, I saw a SAG vehicle coming up the pass with two empty spots on the rack. Unheard of at this point. So I loaded up and as we headed up the pass I kept a close eye out for Wordy coming down. Sure enough we spotted him and were able to give him a lift over the mountain, too. Hailing that van had saved us hours of waiting and a bus ride. We were happy, to say the least.

At dinner last night a Beefman Blodgett reader stopped me and said, "Beefman?" We had never met each other but he recognized my from these pages. Thanks, Tom from New York, for introducing yourself. Good to know somebody actual reads my blog!
Arriving in Winter Park we picked up our gear and rode to the Viking Lodge. As we got cleaned up for dinner the skies opened up and dumped a combination of rain, sleet and snow, soaking the luggage of all the riders who were waiting on busses. I can't imagine trying to camp last night. Temps dropped into the teens. There have to be a lot of cold, wet, unhappy campers this morning as I it in the Morning Grind sipping my latte after a great breakfast of biscuits and gravy :)

Today is a 95-mile ride to Steamboat Springs. The weather forecast is for sunshine all day. Hallelujah.

Ride on!


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Ride the Rockies 2014: Day Zero is Here!

It's June 7. Day Zero. Time to pack up and head to Boulder for the start of Ride the Rockies 2014!

I like it when the start (and finish) are somewhere along the Front Range. It makes the logistics of the ride a lot easier. Last year involved a 6+ hour drive to Telluride, Colorado (getting to Telluride is not easy but worth every minute of the ride). This year Woody and Mrs. Woody are picking me up in Castle Rock as they head North from Colorado Springs (45 minutes south of here) and transporting me about an hour to Boulder -- a much easier journey.

Leslie and me at the street party at the start of Ride the Rockies 2013 in Telluride.
This Ride the Rockies may be the easiest logistically of the eight I have done (over the past 10 years). My first RTR in 2005 involved flying from Kansas City and driving 4+ hours to Grand Junction. Others have included long bus rides to start on the Western Slope. RTR14 starts and ends within an hour of my home. I could easily ride to start!

Team DFL friends Kris and Dave on the long bus ride from DIA to Cortez on Ride the Rockies 2006. 
I'm also packing a lot lighter this year with no tent, sleeping bag, pillow or towel. That's right, for the first time I caved in and booked hotel rooms along the route. In the past I have camped most nights on the ride, occasionally booking a room in the middle of the week for a nice respite from the routine of setting up and tearing down camp every day. But this year I decided to give myself a 50th birthday present and go for the comforts of a soft bed and hot shower every night. Given the ridiculous amount of climbing we will be doing every day I think it will be well-earned!

Camping on RTR is a great way to experience Ride the Rockies on days like this. But it also has it's drawbacks: weathering a storm in a tent and setting up/tearing down camp every day certainly adds a little adventure to the ride!
One of the reasons I have preferred to camp is avoiding depending on buses to transport you around town to your hotel, then to the beer garden, then back to your hotel at night (if you don't miss the last bus!). It's a lot of waiting and sitting and I like to keep moving.

In talking it over with Woody last night we decided to go pack Team Bar2Bar "old school" style. Given no need for all the accessories of camping we can pack a bag small enough to carry on our bike (after picking it up from the late truck*) so we can ride to our hotel and around town, if necessary. No buses, no lines, just more miles in the saddle :)

My friend Woody is the son-in-law of Team Bar2Bar's founder and keeps many of the old traditions alive. 
So here's my packing list:
  • flip flops
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 6 shirts (2Ts, 1 short sleeve button down, and 1 long sleeve)
  • swim suit (for the hot springs in Steamboat!)
  • 2 pairs of cycling shorts
  • 3 jerseys (TEAM BEEF, just plain BEEF, and Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here**)
  • helmet
  • cycling shoes/socks/gloves
  • toiletries
Well, I'd better get packing. Looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones at the start party in Central Park in downtown Boulder. But I'm thinking I might take it a little easy at this year's start party. Day 1 is an 88-mile ride to Winter Park with 8,800 feet of elevation gain! According to the article in yesterday's Denver Post, it will be "one of the toughest day's in tour history." Yikes.

Ride The Rockies Day 1 Profile

Ride on!


*Ride the Rockies transports one bag from stop to stop on three 18-wheelers: the early truck, middle truck and late truck (for late risers like me!).

**My girls gave my this jersey for Father's Day at the start of Ride the Rockies in 2005. I have worn it on every ride.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

One Week to Train for Ride the Rockies 2014; What Should You Do?

Its hard to believe that the start of Ride the Rockies 2014 is one week from today. Anybody else starting to panic? I'll admit I'm intimidated by the route this year. The whole 28,265 ft. of elevation gain in six days of riding kind of freaks me out. I hope my training has been sufficient to prevent excessive suffering!

The total elevation gain of Ride the Rockies 2014 is equal to riding from sea level to the summit of K2, the world's second tallest mountain, or double the elevation of Pikes Peak!
I've ridden almost 1,600 miles towards my goal of 2,000 since January 1. I'm not going to reach my goal but that's OK. At this point it's not all about miles. Even if you are feeling like you have under-trained up to this point, there is only so much you can do in the final week.

In fact, now is not the time to try and pile on the miles. I'm believer in tapering the week before a big event like Ride the Rockies. Similar to my Two Week 10K Training Program, I ramp up the miles the week before then taper the week leading up to the start. Tapering helps your body "rest up" before the big ride. But tapering doesn't necessarily mean you should take it easy. Most experts recommend decreasing mileage but maintaining intensity in the final week. Studies have shown that this helps increase performance by reducing body fatigue while maintaining fitness levels.

My plan is to do my last long mileage day on Wednesday, riding 50 miles round trip to my office at my normal pace. Riding to and from work is really two separate rides. In the morning I go all out, riding as hard as I can, racing against my own personal times. I cruise along the Cherry Creek Trail at 20+mph usually benefiting from a tailwind and -1 to -2% grade. At night it's more of a grind it out ride. I'm tired from the day and anxious to get home but usually face a headwind blowing from the south and a net elevation gain.

On Friday I'm planning a short and fast ride, possibly riding to work but not home. Then on Saturday I'm going to do a quick 10 mile/30 minute spin on the trainer to get the blood flowing and work out some lactic acid (at least that's Bigwood Nate's theory). I never know for sure what works and what doesn't :)

What is your training plan this week?

Safe travels to everyone coming in for the RTR14. See you in Boulder!

Ride on!