Friday, April 26, 2013

Ride with Pa!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a self-proclaimed Daddy's girl.  I swear much of the reason that I am into sports later in life is because of his example he set growing up.  I never remember a time in my life my Dad wasn't physically active.  He was a runner for years, and we could count on him to be running every day after work before we had dinner as a family.  He injured himself running several years ago then took up biking, and he has been hooked since!  He keeps telling me one of these days I will hang up my running shoes and go to cycling exclusively.  Not likely to happen :)

Anyhow...he was in town from Denver this past week and he brought his bike with him.  We decided to ride Antelope Island.  I love it out there, it is so close to home, yet you feel like you are really getting away.  You can make it as short or as long or as hard or as easy of a ride as you want as well.  We decided we would ride down to the ranch, which is the end of the paved roads on the south end of the island.  Usually you go straight there from my house it is 20 miles one way.  However, my Dad and I swung by the visitor's center, and took some other detours so we had a total ride of 48.2 miles.

The weather could NOT have been better!  It was sunny and 70!  Loved it!  We were able to see tons of wildlife out there, including some coyotes, buffalo, and rabbits.  My Dad had never ridden out there, so he took everything in.  He kept saying how much fun it was, and I must say, the best part of the ride was the company!

Last time I rode with my Dad was last year when we rode up to East Canyon Reservoir.  I knew that he was holding back on me big time last year and I struggled to keep up with him.  This year was different!  I know he held back some, but not much and I was able to keep up with him most of the time!  He is a beast on the bike though, he averages 19-22 mph when he is on his own.  Yeah, not quite me yet.  He did comment on how far I have come in that year with my riding.  Specifically he said he was impressed not only with my speed, but also my competence on the bike as far as my climbing skills, and how I handle myself.  Coming from him, this is a HUGE compliment!

On our way down to the ranch, we passed the sign pointing to Frary Peak.  I have never ridden up there, but have always been curious.  However, just looking at it, it is terribly frighteningly steep.  I had no idea how far it went, but my Dad just got this grin on his face like a little kid in a candy store and I could tell he wanted to do it.  I told him I was game as long as he didn't expect any land speed records to be set.  We headed up it and it was BAD.  This made Big Mountain seem like a minor speed bump.  I was really struggling and I just couldn't get the bike wheels to turn anymore and since I had lost momentum, I toppled over, catching myself as I unclipped.  I took in some nice chain ring scrapes on the back of my calf, but not too bad.  I then decided it would be next to impossible to clip back in and try to go up anymore, so I was fine with walking my chariot to the top.  It was only another minute after that that I noticed my Dad was off and walking his bike as well.  This coming from the man that completed the Triple Bypass last year and climbs ALL the time.  This must be bad if he can't do it!

Luckily, it is not that long of a climb to the top, and when we got up there we noticed the following sign:

Yep, we were climbing a hill with 23% grade.  My Dad made the comment that in all of his years of climbing and riding, he has NEVER done anything that steep.  We took several pictures.  He can't wait to get bragging rights at the office for those shots!

The downhill on this was scary mess-your-bike-shorts kind of thing.  I usually love a good down hill, but I seriously thought I was going to go over my  handle bars and rode my brakes the entire time.  That is some scary stuff!  Probably won't be doing it again any time soon!

We had a great day.  We tried as many of the climbs as we could find on the island, regardless of how long or short they were.  We were pleased with ourselves and had a BLAST.  He is the best riding partner ever!

We are going to be going to Denver in July and my Dad has some rides up his sleeve for us to go and do on his turf while we are there.  Regardless of whether we go and climb a mountain, or ride around the block, with him it will always be fun.

What's next?  Tomorrow I have the final race, the 30 km, in the Striders Winter Racing Circuit.  Till then...

Happy Training!

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