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It’s been a busy week thus far (and seemingly only getting busier, despite being Sunday). So I figured I’d catch folks up on where I am, and in doing so I have a post that isn’t about power meters (since more of those are on the way next week). Don’t worry, a running post will be up Monday. After all, it’s not like I only cycled in these locations.
I arrived in Boulder Sunday evening after the sorta-long journey from Paris via Washington DC. Thankfully, the drive was only about 45-50 minutes from the Denver airport to Boulder. Though I think I spent 45-50 minutes getting from the airport to the car rental place at that airport. I despise off-site car rental facilities.
(In case you’re wondering about the above photo, the pilot was retiring, thus the water treatment.)
Monday turned out to be reasonably free. I started off meeting up for breakfast with Lindsey Jerdonek and Kevin Collington – both Pro triathletes. I know Lindsey from all my time in Washington DC.
Then from there it was off to take care of a bunch of little odds and ends around town. First was hitting up the bike shop to have them clean up the housing cabling a bit on my bike, along with a few other items.
While that was happening I met up with Randy Cantu for lunch. Coincidentally, he had planned to be in town to compete in the Boulder 70.3 that previous day, but an injury sidelined that. Randy, from Augusta Georgia, helps out a bit behind the scenes here on the blog with keeping links up to date and editing posts (though, I’m horrible in that I usually post the post and then he edits them).
Following my apparent continual feasting I headed out of town a bit to pickup my bike and go for a ride. First on the list was taking photos of various products. I decided to do that pre-ride, fearing that if I did it post-ride and it rained, I’d have non-clean products. Glad I did that.
Then up into the mountains I went. I only was really aiming for about a 60-75 minute ride. Nothing earth shattering. I knew that on Tuesday (the next day) things would be hectic. So I just wanted to ensure the bike was happy.
As I started my descent back into town, my rear tire flatted. No big deal I thought, I picked up CO2 cartridges at the bike shop before heading out – so I should be all good! Except, I grabbed non-threaded, which means I was hosed with my threaded CO2 nozzle.
So, I found a house nearby and asked to borrow a pump. Unfortunately, they hadn’t ridden a bike in 30 years (I wouldn’t have doubted that claim).
Then I walked perhaps half a mile. Found another house. This lady was probably 90 years old. No pump.
Then I walked some more. I found a horse…not a hose.
A very friendly horse, came running across the field to greet me.
He however, did not have a pump.
So I walked some more – maybe a mile or so in total now. Eventually, a cyclist passed – and he did have a pump. Woot! A guy from Team Trakkers – thank you!
From there, it rained. Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up.
And then poured:
But, I was soon back in town – safe and sound. Later that evening we’d start the various Vector briefings. Numerous hours of inquisitive cycling geeks from Velonews, Outside Magazine, Bike Radar, Bicycling, and myself asking more questions than a 2-year old.
I was up early, just as soon as sunrise cleared to start getting photos for the Vector post. I hate – *HATE* – indoor light for product review photos. So I was basically just waiting till I got some nice natural light before we installed everything to get the unboxing shots. This all occurred on a stone wall I found in a parking lot behind a Safeway.
From there each media member got paired off with a Vector engineer to get everything installed on their bikes.
After which it was out onto the road we went.
The route would eventually intersect with pretty much the same ride loop I did the day before.
The only difference is this time I got no flat, and no rain. Oh, and I got to see these little guys:
Post-ride it was a quick lunch before I spent some more time with the Vector team running through technical questions. Then, I jumped on the bike and baked in the sun for about 20 minutes on a trainer. You can see the puddles below.
After the trainer I packed up my bags as best as possible and stuffed them in my car. The hotel was not giving me much leeway on late checkout today.
Then it was off into the mountains again. Clark Foy (head of the Vector division) and I started off together for the ride up Flagstaff, though we had agreed we’d just ride our own paces.
It was a really nice and quiet ride.
And then it rained.
And a bit of thunder and lightning too for good measure.
After heading up exactly 40 minutes, I turned around, working my way back home. I had put a bit of a limiter on my time since I had to catch a flight later on that night.
Post-ride I literally jumped into the hotel pool as “a shower”, and then finished packing up my bike in the parking lot. It was then off to the airport to return the car, drag a bike across the airport, and then get on my 7:45PM flight to Washington DC.
I’d write pretty much the entire post on that flight, landing at 1AM. I’d finish editing the photos while in the baggage claim, then again after driving to my sister-in-law’s house. Then I worked on power comparison details – finally finishing up at 5:10AM. Oh, and I got to meet back up with The Girl. Woot!
Wednesday was a rough-day sleep-wise. I was up sorta early doing errands with The Girl.
And, we got to go hang out with our coach for a few hours. 🙂
Oh glorious sleep! Lots of sleep.
After sleeping I put together my bike (which had been packed from Boulder). This also included swapping out the wheels for the new PowerTap wheels that came in that I mentioned over the weekend. I rather like the new look of these, they blend better than the yellow writing:
After doing a slew of errands related mostly to the bike and bike parts, I was finally on my way out to Skyline Drive a bit after lunch – arriving around 2PM:
As usual, I’d drive the short distance up to the visitor center and ride from there.
The start of the ride was pretty uneventful – just like I’d done numerous times before.
Then it started to rain a bit.
Then a lot harder.
Then it got rather foggy.
And then I got pulled over.
Yes, pulled over. By a police officer. I suppose technically a National Parks Officer.
They were very friendly, but said that I was required to have a rear/front light on (actually one officer said light, the other said reflector). In either case, being it was a day-time ride in the middle of summer on my ‘race’ bike, I had neither. No worries, they were friendly.
When they asked how much further I planned to go, I responded with “10 minutes before turning around”, to which one responded with “I think now’s a good time to turn around”. So I did.
Coming back I eventually got out of the rain and fog and things opened up.
Once back at the visitor center it was full sun, so I added a down and back to the entrance gate on to add about 30 minutes of time.
Finally, last but not least on the the week in DC and Boulder is a run around the mall. Not a terribly long run, nor a fast one, just an enjoyable easy run around the basin. We started from Gravelly Point, with the airplanes roaring overhead:
Then crossed the bridge into the District:
From there we took a quick water stop at Jefferson.
Knowing where all the water fountains are is key to any successful DC run.
After that we looped around the basin, ducking under cherry trees:
Then a quick side trip over to the World War II memorial, with Lincoln hanging out behind:
Finally, cruising past the newish MLK monument and then FDR we wrapped our way back around the basin.
To wrap up the day we hit up a Washington Nationals vs Philly game. Obviously, since we were there, they won (actually, they dominated).
Speaking of Philly, it was a few hour drive up to the City of Brotherly Love, where I write from today. More on that later…
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