In the last month or so I feel like I’ve turned a corner; the summer seems a long time ago now, even though only 6 weeks have passed since I was racing in the high country. The last six weeks have been a constant reel of passing time – sometimes I’ve felt as though I’m strapped into a cinema chair and watching the colours pass by in front of me. That hasn’t been the case entirely. Although life has been fast, I’ve been doing most of the driving.
After Breck Epic I took a lot of down time from riding – the weather was still unbearably hot and my wrecked body needed some time to breathe. I really enjoyed the last few weeks of summer with no pressure to race, and had some really good high mountain rides. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line (probably at the Epic actually) I picked up a niggling Achilles injury that stuck with me all through September. I raced a couple of the collegiate races – the most accessible and fun form of racing in CO – but with increasing realisation that my ankle was in fact getting worse and not better. After finishing the red feather lakes race north of Fort Collins, I could hardly walk and knew that I’d been foolish. With the Autumn colours invading the hillsides and the temperature dropping to the most desirable levels of Mid 60’s Fahrenheit, the temptation to go ride was so high. It was an agonising time to be sitting at home. Add to the fact I would receive at least two invitations a day to ride from well meaning friends and teammates, I was in mental agony that far outweighed the physical hurt.
The saviour to the situation, however, was my Brother coming to visit for two weeks from England. With a whirlwind tour of Colorado and the Dessert planned, there was no time for bike riding. I packed my walking boots and plenty of ankle support and set off for the southwest corner of the state.
Glorious golden aspens melding into deep blue skies and perfect temperatures greeted us for the entire trip. Frank and Vicki’s first experience of hiking 14ers went well – sitting on top of the world with no wind was a fantastic experience!
The entire trip went perfectly, good weather and great camping, breathe-taking scenery and fantastic hikes. I landed in Reality last week as I drowned in the work I had put off to go road tripping, but slowly I’m clawing my way back to the surface with the help of a few hours at the weekend.
Ankle status is good – I’ve ridden all week without any pain, just some stiffness after the rides which I’m trying to remedy with some yoga – hence why my whole body is aching at the moment. I’m not sure what the plan is for the rest of the season; I’m probably going to race some cyclocross in the next couple of weeks, and depending on how well that goes will determine when I take some time off, and how I plan next seasons training. I’ve also bought my Ski Pass, and with the peaks dusted already, I’m getting excited for some proper fun times in the snow.