Made it to Boulder and we have settled in staying with a good friend of Paolina's, Pro Carole Sharpless.
I could go on and on about first impressions of Boulder, but it's the kind of place as a life long endurance athlete that, within 24 hours you are trying to figure out how you can move here! Went for an easy 2 hour ride this morning and we must have seen well over 100 people out riding. I lost count after a bit. There are so many serious cyclists out on the road that you feel like a bit of a fool waving at everyone passing the other way. Back home it's a bonding moment with that loan cyclist you may see in your 3 hour ride!
The legs feel good, but after a couple of hard efforts this morning, you know that you are at 5,300 ft of elevation in Boulder. The quick lesson and bottom line - I'll need to keep it aerobic as much as I can almost all the time on the Centurion 100 mile ride on Sunday. Go anaerobic too soon or too often, and it's going to come back and haunt me - particularly when we climb up to 9,000 ft. Stay calm. Keep the gears light. Stay comfortable. Repeated hard efforts early on are going to make the back half of that 100 miles very hard.
Had a good long chat this afternoon with one of the principals behind the Centurion events, Graham Fraser. He believes that these types of events are the next big thing - well organized, and well run Century rides that are what you make it. At the front, these events will have the feel of a real bike road race. Further back - people will make of it what they want/can. It's all good. The Boulder/Lyons Centurion is the first event of what is going to be an amazing series of events and I feel lucky to be able to be here for the first one. The people behind this, beyond Graham Fraser are some of the best people in this sort of event management. They are set to become, must-do, go to events for cyclists looking a challenging course and a very well run event with amazing support services.
All that support is great, but it's going to be me and me alone who is going to have to get myself over the Super James Climb on Sunday - supposedly the hardest and most challenging part of the Centurion 100 mile course. It comes up at about 75 miles and is supposedly a bit of a leg and lung buster. The good news is that it's 25 miles of downhill to the finish after that!