Indoor riding in Grand Lake advances connections
August 27, 2009
“Can’t read my, can’t read my, no, he can’t read my poker face” – Poker Face by Lady Gaga
Every time I hear this song on the radio I think of Jackie Wright’s Cycle and Abs class I took last March and April – two times a week.
On freezing cold mornings, I would wear fleece pants over my biking shorts, bundle up with hat and gloves, and drive from Granby to Grand Lake and arrive at spin class at 8 a.m. to spin to Lady Gaga’s Poker Face as the sun rose over Shadow Mountain. It is here, at Never Summer Fitness, that I met George Davis.
I overheard him talking about Ride the Rockies in June and that he was riding it with his daughter, Tegan – 380 mountainous miles with three mountain passes (McClure Pass, 8,755 feet, Monarch Pass, 11,312 feet, and Independence Pass, 12,095 feet) and traversing the North Rim of the Black Canyon. My upcoming Ironman race seemed inconsequential compared to this event.
After class I asked George if he would bike with me once the snow melted as we trained for our big events in June. We’ve been biking once a week ever since.
Since meeting George, I’ve suddenly started meeting normal people doing amazing endurance events.
George talked about daughter Tegan on our first outdoor bike ride of the season: We rode Granby to Grand Lake. Not only is she doing Ride the Rockies and Tour of Steamboat with George, but she is riding the Colorado Trail, an unsupported race from Waterton Canyon Trailhead in Denver to Junction Creek Trailhead in Durango. The rules: Competitors must carry all equipment, no support from friends, to restock food supply you must go into the small towns. The distance: 479.7 miles and 65,000 feet of elevation gain
I met Tegan a month after her race. I wanted to know about her training plan, how she did these races, and what motivates her. Prior to riding the Colorado Trail, last year she rode The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route from Canada to Grand County: 1,500 miles in 18 days on two-track, forest road, single track and dirt road. She told me about The Colorado Trail ride.
“There was a lot of hiking your bike, since the trail is a hiking trail you couldn’t ride some of it.”
She carried a bivvy, a Wiggy’s sleeping bag, two water bottles, socks, tools, and used iodine to treat water. Her pack weight was a mere nine pounds. Each competitor had different gear strategies. With so little gear, many riders asked how she stayed warm at night when the temperature dropped to 36 degrees with the limited gear.
“I got to brag about Wiggy’s, a Colorado company that makes the lightest, warmest sleeping bag,” she said.
Despite past long-ride experiences, Tegan didn’t finish the ride. At mile 380 she got behind on her nutrition and her health deteriorated. She told me she will do the race again.
“It left me wanting,” she said. When asked her how she trained for the ride, she says, “I just ride.
“You’ll never be as ready as you’ll want to be for a race or long distance bike event. Sometimes you just have to do it.”
So why do father and daughter participate in long-distance biking?
Tegan: “I like to ride my bike and I like adventures. The real motivation is to go out and see the world.”
George: “Because I can. I like physical challenges. I think about how I am going to do an event, plan it, and then execute.”
Indoor spinning class is a great way to stay in bike shape year round – and to meet people who enjoying biking. Even now, six months since my last spin class, I hear one of Jackie’s songs on the radio and remember a fun way to stay in bike shape during the winter.
Maybe we all just need to take a break from the real world, put on a “poker face” and “Just Ride.” And, you may just meet some interesting people along the way, perhaps even a training partner.
On the Web
Photo caption: The start of the Colorado Trail. Tegan Davis is in the white and black skirt.
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