The descent was a blast. After 2k+ of climbing I just screamed back to the valley. I had a tailwind all the way back into town and the hotel. I was ready to relax for the day.
As I got settled into the hotel I took a look at the pool. The Best Western in BV has a 20 ft pool. Well I couldn’t let a pool like that go to waste!!! I grabbed my suit, goggles and cap and did a nice easy swim. Plus I had a bit of whip-lash from my fall the previous day and was a bit sore. The cool water was the perfect remedy.
Day 7 arrived and the nice part about it was…I didn’t get up until 6:00 where all week-long I was riding by 6:15. I felt less rushed than I had the whole week. This was to be my last day of riding. I was part glad and part sad, it would be over.
The destination for the day was Leadville. Elevation 10,152. 70 miles round trip. We packed the car, jumped on our bikes and pedaled our way up along the Arkansas River toward the mountain town of Leadville.
Of course there was a headwind as we climbed up the valley. We took turns pulling for a mile at a time. I could feel the fatigue in my legs and lucky for me we kept an easy to moderate pace. (ok…more easy than anything!) As we rode there where times when I couldn’t wait to be off the bike but mostly I was just completely enjoying my last few miles/hours on Jean. As we got further into our ride my rear was killing me and I was jumping all over my seat which I had not done once the whole week. I finally realized that my seat was probably not positioned right as the day before I had gone into the bike shop in BV and had my derailer adjusted which got bent in the fall. And since I’m kinda really short…mechanics always have to raise my seat in order to put my bike in the stand.
We made the last little climb into downtown Leadville and all I could think about was a cup of coffee!!!! My mind wouldn’t get off the idea of having good coffee in Leadville. I was obsessed! But first thing I spotted as we rode into town was this awesome bike shop. I ran in and they put my seat back on straight for me.
Awesome bike shop!
Seeing as I had coffee on the brain and knowing how us cyclists LOVE coffee, I asked them to point me in the direction of the best coffee in town. A few more pedal strokes up the road and I had arrived!!!! I had just finished the last climb of the week and it was time for that strong cup of coffee I had been CRAVING all week! Glorious Day!
2 Shots Espresso w/a wee bit of coffee
I ordered a PBJ sandwich and a Shot in the Dark. Found a seat by the window and proceeded to soak in a weeks worth of pure delight and training. I can’t even tell you how amazing that sandwich and coffee tasted. It was the best thing I had ever consumed. After fueling up, we headed back outside and out of town.
The ride from Leadville to Buena Vista is all downhill. But of course, this being Colorado and all….we had a headwind the whole way down out of the mountains. Fortunately I got to suck a wheel the whole 35 miles. I was not allowed to pull once, and there was no argument from me!!!
We arrived back at the car and I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that 7 straight days of riding was done. I couldn’t believe that I wasn’t going to get on Jean, Jean the Climbing Machine the next day. I couldn’t believe that I had just ridden 528 miles and climbed over 22,000 ft. I couldn’t believe it was all over. It was one of those dialectical moments where I was happy I was done and also sad I was done. Both emotions where true at the same time.
Looking back, this was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I loved it! I enjoyed every moment of the week-long journey. The people I met, the friends I made, the fitness I achieved. I have no doubt that I will do this again. It’s just too dang special not to! Thank you to everyone I met out there who fed me, road with me, or said hello along the way.
It takes a lot of support to be able to complete something like Ride The Rockies. I really want to thank my sponsors for their support. Thank you Amirta for making the best bars ever and for fueling every single day of the 7 days. Thank you Core Power for providing me with that morning nutrition that began my day. Thank you GU Energy for my daily dose of quick nutrition right before those climbs. Thank you to my Ironman Foundation-Newton Running Team mates who’s virtual support was incredible! #triteamforgood!!!!
And most of all- I’ve got to give the biggest shout out to Ryan and his shop KompetitiveEdge ! Without Ryan and his support none of this would be possible. He keeps the wheels turning! In whatever way is needed.