Tuesday, July 16, 2013

double triple, or the hexa

let me tell you about the double triple.  we could call it the hexa, but for some reason double-triple sounds more fun, and is actually the official name, anyway.  hexa would just be my own little nickname, and it just isn't as cute or as fun to say.
if you're confused, I apologize, and I'll stop now and get to the point.

there's a well-known and popular ride in colorado called the triple bypass.  it's been around for 25 years now, and draws approximately 3500 riders.
the ride begins in evergreen (elevation approx 7800') and goes up and over 3 mountain passes---juniper (11,140'), loveland (11,990'), and vail (10,560'), with nice big valleys between the 3.  the ride ends in avon, colorado, with a total elevation gain for the ride of about 11,000 feet.

and then because that isn't enough, some people turn around the next day and ride back to the start in evergreen, up and over those same 3 passes, another 11,000 feet of elevation gain.

one way is a triple bypass; both ways is the double triple bypass.

at a party last january a group of my biking friends decided it would be fun to register for the double-triple bypass, and john went along with the flow and signed us up . . . I've spent the past 5 months knowing that come july 13-14 I was going to be riding the toughest thing I'd ever done.
finally, about a month ago, I started visualizing myself at the end  (woo hoo!!), congratulating myself for having completed the hardest back-to-back rides of my life.  and somehow, this got me through, and last sunday at 3:35 pm I was DONE!

let me tell you more about the double triple.
it's hard.
it's very hard.
I've never ridden so much at those kind of altitudes, and I think this makes a significant difference.  in utah, the highest peaks I hit are around 9,000 feet, which means the bulk of my riding is well below that.  in colorado, we were never lower than 7500 feet, and spent about 70 miles (each day) above 9000 feet.
muscles just don't work the same way at those higher elevations.
nor do brains.

in addition, most of the people who ride this ride are quite fit, and I was humbled time and again.  I have never been passed by so many people.

oh, but it's beautiful.  beautiful.

and I'm done.  I'm not fully recovered yet, but I am done.  I've completed the toughest thing I've ever done on a bicycle, and I am so very, very thrilled that it is now behind me.

woo hoo!!

maybe next january you'll want to sign up for the double triple bypass.  hey, it's beautiful.

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