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Denver Bike Commute
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Bike Commuting in Denver: Part III

An on going series of riding and commuting in my new city of Denver Colorado. See more about my Denver Cycling experience here. 

With my move successful complete (there are still boxes to find and empty if you would like to help,) I started testing out the commute from my house to the bike shop this past Monday. While I’ve only done the round trip commute a couple times it is great to explore a new city and perfect the streets to ride on or avoid completely.

Denver Bike Commute

Below is a Strava map of my ride into the shop. Pretty mellow and down hill until the last 2.5 miles which are constant climb to the front door of Salvagetti. This isn’t a horrible thing, but I’ve been testing out riding a single speed cyclocross bike with flat pedals for commuting and daily errands. I’m interested to see how fast the ride goes with gears so that I can push the pedals a bit more on the downhills.

My goals for the next few days are to get Emily’s new commuter rig built up (photos and bike profile coming soon) and to finish the unpacking of essentials like my 4 tubs of clothes. This will allow me to be less stressed and able to get out of the house next Tuesday/Wednesday when I have off.

6 hours warrior creek 2013
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Race Report: 2013 6 Hours of Warrior Creek

This was the fourth year of testing my metal against the 6 Hours of Warrior Creek. Each year as half of a women’s duo, my partner Melissa has always been the ringer for us and I wanted to be able to pull my half of the race as strong as she could.

Originally, this race was supposed to be a tuning race for the Burn 24 in late May. As plans have changed, boxes are being packed and I realized this would be my last race in the southeast it became clear that this race mattered more to me than I originally thought.

Prep Work

I pre-rode the course a week before race day. The course was excellent. The rock gardens were much easier and the climbs seemed to pass with less time. All good signs.

Aligning with my coach on all workouts, making sure my legs were rested and “loaded.” Bike was safety checked and then as it rained a few days before race day, I installed my more aggressive Maxxis Ardent tires (which saved my ass first lap.)

Brap, BRAP, BRAAAP

It was my year to run first lap, which is a full lap plus some road section and singletrack in the beginning to break up the field. I did my best not to blow myself up on the road, and keep a steady pace for 3/4 of the lap. Putting in some effort on the last sections of climbing and downhill gnar rock gardens.

My partner, Melissa, was rocking a single speed and turned over a pretty fast first lap. I headed back on the trail hoping to maintain our 2nd  place position. Quickly 3rd place overtook me and I never saw her until my lap was over (damn it, she was only 2 minutes a head!) Melissa held our 3rd position and we ended on the podium. I coulda/shoulda/woulda gone for a 3rd lap (5th for the team) but 2nd,4th and 5th place girls (and I) all agreed not to go out for a 5th lap. Thank god for negotiations.

6 Hours of Warrior Creek

Fun Facts

• Melissa rocked a 1:16 lap on her single speed

• We were in the “money” in 3rd place and somehow I walked away with cash in hand

• My high visibility yellow shoes, and Lazer Magneto pink/yellow glasses were a big hit.

• The Foundry Broadaxe with SRAM XX1 performed flawlessly, compared to last year this was an AMAZING feeling as most of the day I was fearing some mechanical that I couldn’t fix with my multi

• First place women were 16 and 17 years old! Hopefully I’ll be able to rope one of the girls, Sophie, into a race report!

• Warrior Creek is one of my favorite trails on the east coast. The Garmin has a hard time tracking milage but Strava thinks that I rode 26.7 miles with 2,752 ft of elevation.

6 Hours of Warrior Creek

Thank You to the Pit Crew

The day wouldn’t have been possible without a group of amazing friends. My girlfriend flew literally around the world from Turkey to get to the race. Shelley, Syd and Allen all were great support as Melissa and I came in and out of the pits. The guys from Bicycle Sport were there for mechanic assistance (though I didn’t need it) and the guys/girls from Total Cyclist had amazing encouraging words as they kicked our asses. Finally, thank you to Taryn and Jacob who watched the dogs for us so they didn’t have to be at the races all day!

Photo Credit: Lynn Willis (I purchased a full print version too!)

IMG_7972
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Holiday Wish List for Bicyclist: Stocking Stuffers

Ideas for what to put in that stocking of the cyclist you love, or me!

Lizard Skins Bar Tape or Ergon Grips

Fresh new bar tape from Lizard Skins or Ergon GP2 grips are the easiest way to freshen up a bike. I’m also a big fan of both of these for long training miles in the winter. Happy hands = Happy Arleigh

DeFeet Honey Badger Xmas Socks

Honey Badger + Socks made in North Carolina, how much more awesome could you get?

Gels, Bars and All Things Nutrition

My personal favorites for this category: Gu Chomps, Hammer Gel in large jugs, Kit Organic Bars (live on these things while traveling)

Kinetic Koffee

Ritz and his crew love bikes, support many causes and have the best hug to be found at tiring trade shows. Your local bike shop can order, or you can order direct. My personal favorite is Breakfast Buzz, Bike Shop Girl will probably have a private label of this after the holidays!

Lights and more Lights

It’s that time of the year that either it’s dreary on your road ride or you aren’t mountain biking after work because you can’t see. Help out your cyclist, keep them riding and safe!

On the road option 1: To be seen, this is for the front and back on the road when it’s getting dark. I’m a fan of the new Knog Blinder lights as they charge with a built in USB and add some personality to your bike.

On the road option 2: I’m biased, I LOVE the folks at Light & Motion. The  gift set will add some much needed visibility and you can see with the 200 lumen headlight, unless you’re rolling at 25mph. Both are charged by a USB cable, saving the planet one battery at a time.

 On the trail: Light & Motion is what I run almost exclusively. They are water proof, bomb proof, and the company (as mentioned) rocks. If your loved one doesn’t have anything to trail ride with I would recommend the Taz 800 or the Seca 800. The biggest advantage of the Seca is being able to run on your helmet (my preference) and a separate battery so you can charge others or have backups for long rides.

Strava and Garmin Geeks Rejoice

Does your loved one ride non-stop with a Garmin strapped to their bike? Class it up a bit with this K-Edge mount.

For the Single Speeder in your Life

Endless (another NC based company) is now anodizing their cogs to order!

Road ID

EVERY bicycle rider needs one of these. Or two. Or four. It won’t prevent an accident, but it could save their life and notify you faster!

Gift Card

If all else fails, a gift card to your local bike shop towards merchandise or service would make any bicyclist happy!

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