Ok I’ll admit I was a little nervous this morning preparing for my ride with Melissa and Jared Hauschildt. Melissa is arguably the strongest cyclist in our sport and she LOVES really long hills. Jared, Melissa’s husband, is also awesome on the hills because he is of the elite running pedigree, qualify for Kona on your first Ironman 10hrs of training or less type talent. In other words they kick my ass going up! So off we go on a 100km ascent from Boulder (5430ft) through Estes Park (7522ft) and up Trail Ridge Road. This road is the highest continuous paved highway in North America, travelling through the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park. We turned around just past the highest point (12,183 ft) but not until we stuffed ourselves with goodness from the Alpine Cafe and Tourist Center.
All in all it was the most spectacular ride I have ever done. The sun was shining on us. The leaves were turning yellow. Everywhere we turned the views were breathtaking (or maybe that was the altitude). There were moments of uggh like when I passed a horse stable and considered that it may be better if I climbed to the top on a horse instead. There were moments of “thank-goodness for GU” like when I pulled out the Espresso Love with 2xcaffeine – brilliant boost. My own little bliss balls were genius for the long hall. Mostly though I was thankful for Jared and Melissa who were willing to wait at times for me, who kept me going up and up and were truly the inspiration for the day.