Things are coming together. I won't go as far as to say coming together nicely but they are coming together. Saturday I was supposed to ride the Bear Lake Monster Century but it was cancelled at the last minute. Instead, I made plans to ride with Joe and Tim in Park City. It was originally going to be a gravel grinder to work out the bugs for Crusher, but when a feasible route could not be figured Joe suggested the route for the DNA Empire Pass climb from last year on road bikes. I blindly agreed with the caveat that I needed to be back for a family commitment at noon.
We set out at 6:30am from the Canyons and headed for Oakley and points east. A BEAUTIFUL ride. Cool, gentle grades, smooth shoulders, beautiful. Soon after we started Joe's sciatic nerve started to bug him. And by bug him I mean, every pedal stroke shot pain down the back of his legs. He wasn't having fun. We pushed through the first thirty or so miles and when we looped back through Midway we were instructed to leave him if he fell off the back. He would head to his buddy's house in Midway and call his wife. When I checked the clock I realized I was going to have to go quicker than I thought I could to be back in Lehi at noon. As the climb into Wasatch Mountain State Park began, Tim had a chain come off. When I shouted back he said he was fine so I put my shoulder to the wheel and pushed along.
The Midway side of Empire Pass is a belligerent pig. It tips up immediately. From there it climbs 3K in 7 miles. The scenery, the lack of cars, the lack of other riders, the shade, are all mitigated by the sheer pitch of this monster. At one point a switchback got so steep that my front tire came off the ground. When I shifted my weight forward to keep it down, my rear wheel slipped. You are constantly fooled by what seem like horizons just around the next bend. Then the road takes a hard turn the opposite direction you want to go. I was dripping sweat. When I stood up on the pedals sweat would drip from my beard and hit my front hub with a splash. I went through a bottle and a half of water before reaching the top. Upon reaching the top I hesitated for a minute to see if Tim was coming. I had figured Joe couldn't possibly have made the climb with his leg/back pain. I decided my personal commitment was more pressing than Tim's safety so I dropped down into PC and hustled back to my car. It turns out that both Tim and Joe were together and not far behind me.
While not the biggest climb in Utah Empire is significant. For me it is significant because it is Crusher-esque and I was able to ride it non-stop. I have yet to clean the Col d' Crush. By my calculations Empire is longer but Col d' Crush is steeper. If I can make it without stopping I am going to buy myself ice cream.
My weight is going pretty well. I have dipped into the 170's, barely but I am hovering within the "need to empty my bowels" margin of error. The good news is when I eat fast food or garbage it now makes me sick. Don't worry I am still able to muscle through every once in a while, but for the most part I am eating better. I look sexy as hell. No kidding. I can't be left alone with myself. My pants fit, I need a new shorter belt. My moobs are down to A cups.
The truth is I don't know how all this is going to come together. Last year I didn't train at all, the year before that my training was sidelined a few weeks before due to illness.
I have never come into the Crusher "on top of my game" I wouldn't say I am there yet, but if Strava is to be believed I am as strong right now as I have ever been. Maybe more.
Also tonight I finally got Commander Beverly Crusher put together. The tire situation worked out, things adjusted. I think it will be the right bike.
Right bike. Slightly above average for me fitness. Positive Mental Attitude. Look out Tyler Wren. Here comes the fat kid from Utah County.