Training for the Venus de Miles

Back in June I announced that I would be riding in the Venus de Miles in September. As a recap, the Venus de Miles is a all women’s bike ride, that supports the Greenhouse Scholars. Greenhouse Scholars is an organization dedicated to helping high-performing, under-resourced students reach their full potential.

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Just keep pedaling!

It’s been a crazy summer and my dreams of being an awesome biker… didn’t exactly pan out. Wedding planning took up a lot of time and to be honest, not having a biking partner made me a little unmotivated. Still, after wedding day (I’ll save that for a separate blog post.) I found biking inspiration only a few days later.

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Rockin’ my Venus de Miles jersey at the top of Lookout Mtn with my dad.

After the wedding, my dad stayed in town and he and Andrew rented bikes for the week. They immediately suggested riding up Lookout Mountain. I’ve wondered what it would be like to bike Lookout ever since the first year I moved to Colorado, but I’ve always been too intimidated to try it. I figured I’d have more biking under my belt before trying Lookout, but I couldn’t turn down the chance to ride it with my dad and Andrew. So, I decided to go for it.

From my house, the ride is immediately uphill. By the time we crossed highway 6 I thought I’d never make it. As promised, after the first switch-back, it mellowed out a bit and I knew I had a chance. The guys suggested we take a rest, but I was afraid if I stopped my legs would turn to Jello.

Reaching the top of Lookout gave me a lot of confidence and got me excited to start biking again. I’m learning that much like hiking, I need goals to stay motivated. I wanted to reach the top of Lookout so I pushed myself to keep going. When I go for leisurely bike rides, just like with hiking, sometimes I lose interest. Especially if I’m biking alone.

The following day we took my dad around North Table. I found myself feeling a lot stronger than I did the first time I rode North Table, earlier in the summer. I was comfortable picking up a bit of speed going downhill and I  felt stronger going uphill. Having biking partners made it even more enjoyable.

After two days of biking I was ready for a rest day, so I watched my dad and Andrew ride up Guanella Pass! Last year my dad biked Mt. Evans, and this year Andrew convinced him to try Guanella. Both rides are difficult for anyone, and on top of that he was coming from Florida, where the elevation isn’t much higher than 10 feet above sea level.  At 11.5 miles and 3,640′ of elevation gain, it was both impressive and inspiring.

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Biking inspiration! My dad and Andrew on Guanella Pass.

With just over a month left before the Venus de Miles, I still have a ways to go before I feel confident and ready to ride. My next goal is to add some mileage to my bike rides. I’m hoping that adding goals and my new-found inspiration will keep me going.

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Still thinking about joining? Register before Monday (the prices goes up!) and use the code bccowhit to receive $5.00 off.

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