I don’t have much to say about the St Vrain-Ft Morgan-Estes Park 1000k. Maybe I’m just too exhausted. I’ve written before about the ride up St Vrain Canyon to Peak-to-Peak Hwy. I love the beautiful scenery from Lyons with long, not too steep climbs, and the fast, windy descent to Fishcreek Road in Estes Park, and the Devil’s Gulch Switchbacks to Glen Haven. I really enjoyed the ride to Estes Park up 34 on Monday. I hadn’t ridden or driven that road from Drake before. There was a tailwind most of the way and it’s sort of a rolling ascent so it didn’t feel like the road was going up much. I was ecstatic to find a Taco Bell near the checkpoint at Estes Park! It was open when I arrived since I’d gotten a late start due to weather. As for Ft Morgan on Sunday, there were some scenic miles along the river on 144, but I will avoid committing to that 205 mile route in the future.
Although I signed up because I thought I SHOULD do a 1000k, in retrospect I’m glad I rode this before attempting my first 1200k in July. For me it was very different from riding a 600k and I had a few newbie observations which may or may not prove to be true with more experience:
- Having “dead” legs the first day or two is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it’s probably not a bad thing to ride as if you have “dead” legs at the start of a long multi-day ride no matter how you feel. Feeling sluggish on day one and two limited my effort. By day three, within the context of heading out for 174 miles after having ridden 450 in the two days preceding, I felt pretty good.
- It’s impossible not to have some calorie deficit each day. As the days progress it gets harder to get enough calories. I’ve heard more experienced randonneurs talk about “topping off” or “staying on top” of calorie intake. I think it’s increasingly vital to one’s success to stay ahead of nutrition and hydration the more days you’ll be out. (My guess is this would be even more of a problem for people with extremely low body fat. A problem I don’t have.) I was eating well from the start, about an hour ahead of my calorie per hour goal and was also well hydrated. So hydrated that halfway through the last day I stopped drinking so much because I was tired of stopping for pee breaks.
- Although weather forecasting and access to weather information is excellent now compared to 30, or even 5 years ago, and one can be pretty confident of weather forecasts one and usually two days out, the weather forecast for three days out can change dramatically. For multi-day rides it’s best to prepare, at least for the later days, as if the weather is an unknown.
Next up Sangre de Cristo 600k. Hopefully I will complete that and my third SR series for 2011. Then only High Country 1200k and HooDoo Voyager. I feel like things are winding down, though there will be many hard training days before August 26.