Tuesday, July 17, 2007

SHWIT #2 -- Epic for all the wrong reasons!

The happy conquerors of SHWIT #2.

SHWITS (Steep Hills with Isaac Training Series) #2 departed Boulder in the mist at 6pm. Braving this journey were Rob (riding his single-speed), Dave "Killer" Kilmoyer (riding his road bike), then Jenna and Isaac (riding built-the-day-before cross bikes). "Killer" admitted he only showed up thinking no one else would show given the weather, then he slipped on his prescription sunglasses (more on these later) and we were off.

This jolly gang of Tuesday-night warriors made their way up the Boulder Canyon bike path to Fourmile and started cruising uphill. While making some pleasant conversation Rob noticed that Isaac's bike had some seriously hollow cantilever bolts -- oh wait a minute, Isaac's bike doesn't have any cantilever bolts. Ah, but the adventure was only beginning.

The foursome hit Gold Run and the pavement turned to dirt, then turned to some really steep dirt. Oh, did I mention Rob was powering uphill in his 39x18? This made for some serious attacks by the Love-meister forcing Isaac to reel him in his little itsy bitsy girly-man 34x23. Part way up Gold Run, Jenna's saddle was terribly loose and required some attention. Who worked on these cross bikes, anyway?

Just passed a house labeled "Summerville," Gold Run Rd kicks up yet again and leads into a groovy set of switchbacks that lets you nudge the chain down a couple cogs (provided you have more than one to choose from). The crew arrived in Gold Hill and assessed the cloud cover. With a few "Let's bail, oh wait, no let's keep going, I mean go back this way" we were decisively on our way west on Gold Hill Rd to Switzerland Trail. Lover boy exploded the group with some searing attacks once again, and before you know it we were enjoying some good weather and even better views at the top of Switzerland Trail.

It's about now where I should jump in and say that none of us could accurately gauge what time it was. We had been under the clouds for so long ... maybe it was 7:30pm, maybe it was 8pm, maybe it was later. Who's keeping track?

The top portion of Switzerland Trail was in decent enough shape, so Isaac started wondering what all the fuss was about. What was even more amazing was how Rob and "Killer" blitzed this rough downhill on their road bikes. Meanwhile Jenna and Isaac kept a firm fistfull of brake and rode the downhill like it was, well, uphill. The group was delayed when Dave's bike finally succumbed to a pinch flat in a particularly rough section of road. Once the group was rolling again, Isaac gave Rob a good demonstration of almost-eating-it. Another 10 minutes of sketch-beyond-sketch downhill and we were back to Fourmile Canyon, and oh my goodness, is it really 8:30pm? Oh, and for those keeping score at home, Isaac's rear brake did survive the descent!

With the apparent lack of daylight, Dave had a choice of either taking off the sunglasses and riding blind, or keeping the sunglasses on and riding blind. Descending blind down Fourmile was even more impressive than his road-bike descent of Switzerland Trail! The fearsome foursome cruised through Wallstreet, then Salina, and then to the pavement of lower Fourmile. By now it was really dark ... so dark that I was sure any cop going by would give us an earful. By the time we hit the bike path we were riding on pure Zen -- trying to remember the terrain and difficulties from 3 hours ago. Some how we were able to shepherd Dave most of the way -- though there were a few times when oncoming cars blinded all of us and we were all riding on faith.

Thankfully we made it back safely to our cars at 9:15pm, made our way to Illegal Pete's for some thank-god-we're-still-alive burritos and beer ... and that is the story of SHWIT #2. Do you have what it takes to conquer SHWIT #3??


bizalich said...

Nice write-up Isaac! That was totally rad.

Loosey said...

I'm not sure I like my JK being out at night in the midst of Big-Horned Sheep and Mountain Lions! Glad you all got down safely, but next time do it in daylight! - Jenna's Mom!