Tuesday, September 9, 2014

09_07_2014 Buff Epic - 110 Miles Starting up Boulder Canyon!

For the first time this year, I signed up for the Buff Epic. It's been going on for some time, but someone I'd not gotten wind of it. Mike A at the rock gym mentioned it...and when he said it begins by going up Boulder Canyon I was sold!  I have always wanted to ride Boulder Canyon, but given the very small shoulders and Nascar driver-wannabes on it, it has been a suicide ride. For this ride, the west bound lanes of the canyon were closed! Dreamy!

So I signed up. The day before the ride, I stood in a big line to get my bib, water bottle and t-shirt.  (first photo). The weather had been looking bad, but the night before it showed a high of 83 and 0% chance of rain!

The route is 110 miles with 6,253' in elevation gain. Big day. More info is here including the map and the elevation map: http://www.buffalobicycleclassic.com/buffepic/.  The route starts at CU Boulder, up Boulder Canyon, north on peak-to-peak, down South St. Vrain Canyon to Lyons, north to Carter Lake, around the lake then back to campus.

The morning of the ride was nice. Not too cold, but cool. No clouds. 2,000 riders. Pretty cool! Bicyclists started wandering around at 6:30am ish.
Nice view of the Flat Irons waiting for the start.
Boulder Canyon was 19 miles long with some good grades. The steepest was 8-9%. I can't find a profile online to share. It's a good ride. Our first aid station was in Nederland. Happily they had lots of Gu for us to take on the road.  Notice the blue skies.
Our next aid station was just past Ward. It was raining lightly by the time I got here. So much for 0% chance of rain. Happily I had my rain coat, leg and arm warmers. Never trust the Colorado mountains to not rain  (or snow) on you!
At the Ward station. It was looking worse in the direction I was headed.
Zooming down South St. Vrain was awesome. No cars! The canyon feels really tight now with all the flood damage from last year. Super fun descent. to Lyons.  I took this frightening selfie in Lyons before heading out to Carter Lake. The sun was shining again. It rained again a few more times.

I actually didn't take more photos on the road - I was busy riding. I got back to campus and loaded my bike in the car. A successful ride...and not bad for someone who hadn't been on their bike since the Courage Classic. My behind was pretty clear about that. :)
As I arrived back at campus and hoped in my car, it was raining again. I got back just in time!
Another scary post-ride selfie.  Great fun. Hope Dave is in town next year to do it - we'll do it again!

09_07_2014 Connie Vaughan RIP

Being a somewhat private family, we've not posted some things that have been going on.  When Dave and I were riding Cottonwood Pass and Independence Pass for our fifth anniversary in June, we got word that Dave's step-mom Connie had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

This is not the diagnosis anyone wants to hear sadly. Well, on Sunday, at age 65, she passed away from complications (pneumonia) of her stage IV diagnosis. 
It's a sad time for everyone. Dave is still in Canada and is cutting his trip short to get out to TN to help his dad. Lots needs to be done. Glad Dave can get out there to help as is needed.

These two photos of Connie and Dave's dad were taken at our wedding over five years ago. This is how I remember her - lovely.

Friday, September 5, 2014

09_05_2014 Just Hanging Around

Thought I'd drop in a blog post since it's been a little while. We've both been busy. After Dave hiked to Grays and Torreys, he headed west for some climbing on the East Side of the Sierra as well as in Tuolumne. He was gone several weeks and home only about a week so I wasn't able to get photos from him - yet. Those blogs will be up in late Sept or Oct. After being home a week, he took off north to the City of Rocks, Leavenworth and Squamish British Columbia. He's there now climbing and won't return until late September. So no photos about that trip yet either. What have I been doing you ask? Working. Lots of working and getting lots accomplished. Before I yap about work, I want to note I'm still at the gym regularly (has to be scheduled or it'd never happen) and climbing well. Hopefully will be getting stronger and climbing harder soon. I generally don't even mention work here on the blog. This is an exception. Work is going really well. I do very much like where I am and the people I work with. I recently (end of May) was appointed Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs at the School of Public Affairs. This is a very interesting new role and one that drops my teaching to a 0/1 load. :) < - - - :) Yay. I also have completed my dossier to go to Full Professor. Happy that is done as it is so time-consuming and tedious. Official word is all that remains for the promotion. I have a very strong case so I'm happy with the ordeal. Aside from climbing and working, I did find time for a movie recently. I love love love Rio, so I rented Rio 2. I brought the birds out to watch it with me. At first I thought it'd be too noisy for them, but they really loved it. I had two birds on me and two on the perch. That picture I posted is cool for a couple of reasons. One because it is of birds watching a bird movie. That's fun! Two because it is Clover and Henri sitting next to each other happily! Later they snuggled in a wee bit too. Henri generally doesn't want Clover next to him, but Clover adores Henri. They sat there and watched the entire movie! Grace and Gabbie sat on my shoulders and watched. Grace was a bit nervous and Gabbie did better than I thought he would (he's a worrier). They asked to go home about half way through. It was super fun watching the movie with them. I may pull out Rio tonight to see if they'll do it again!