Saturday, April 09, 2011

The Garden and President Circle

Twice a year Tim's car club puts on a "Gimmick Rally." It's a fun trek through town, following a set of rally instructions with some sort of catch. It started at the Garden of the Gods and ended at Edelweiss, a local German restaurant. Since I needed to figure out how to get in a few hours on the bike and tomorrow's weather is not looking to be bike friendly, I decided to ride to the Garden of the Gods (about 20ish miles), do the rally, get a ride back to the Garden and ride home. I sent my Team In Training team to a nutrition clinic at Bicycle Village and a ride with the cycle team.

A little chilly at the start, but it was a beautiful ride. (GPS file of the ride.) Once I got down into the Springs, I took the hilly route, climbing up Rockrimmon to Vindicator, then up Flying W Ranch. I had a little bit of time before I needed to meet Tim (who had my clothes) so I did the small loop of the Garden. The early morning light on those spires was just amazing. Another reason why I love living and riding in Colorado!
The winds were whipping today!
I met Tim and the entrance to the Visitor Center and changed for the morning's event. A quick cup of coffee and light breakfast and we got the instructions for the rally. I think there were about 15 or so cars, so about 30 people participating in today's event. For the rally were given 16 photos along with the instructions and had to write down the odometer mileage we saw the landmark in the photo. The photos were not in order, and there was no guarantee that we'd actually even come across those landmarks (signs, houses, businesses). The instructions are such that you could possibly get off course and miss a landmark, but as long as you followed the instructions relatively well, you should get back on track.

A little after 10am we were on the road. The first part of the rally took us over to Cascade & Fillmore area- where one of the instructions was turn right at first opportunity after 10 different presidents. We wound around a little and did our best finding the landmarks. Some were easier than others. Then we ended up east of Circle drive going around in circles. Tim and I were pretty sure we got off course a few times and had to make mileage adjustments based on how far off course we thought we were. We knew we were in the right area and got back on track. We made our way through downtown and ended up at Edelweiss where we turned in our score sheet. Turns out we did pretty well, and even though we missed a few, we tied for 1st place. There was a tie breaker question and we got it, so we won!

My bike at the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center
After we ate, Tim had to get to work, so I changed back into my cycling clothes and then got a ride back to the Garden of the Gods. My bike was still there locked up where I left it so I hopped on and headed home. The wind had picked up significantly but lucky for me it was a south/southwest wind and my route was north. I need to count my cycling blessings, as getting a 30+mph tailwind for 20 miles is rare! Usually the wind is a headwind no matter which direction you ride! Would like to have seen some of my speeds and power for this ride, but I didn't have my Garmin on the ride home (left it in the bag with my clothes). The only trouble I had was when my chain did a Schleck. did several times - I was able to recover it a couple times without stopping, but not every time. At least I was only a few miles from home but was able to make it up the final hills. Guess it's time for a new chain and an annual tune-up...

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