Leadville

Lance is coming. Lance isn’t coming. Lance is coming. Lance isn’t coming.

And then there is that guy named Floyd.

“I don’t know officially if Lance is coming. But if he, we’d put him at the front of the starting line next to Floyd,” Chlouber says. “I only wish he’d commit to it sooner, because that would mean instant network TV coverage for our community, and that would go a long way for our economy up here.”

Four-time defending Leadville 100 champion Dave Wiens, the 2004 NORBA National Marathon Series champion, has heard the recent rumblings about Armstrong.

“It’s interesting, but I felt like he was going to be there anyway,” says Wiens, 42, who won last year’s race in 7 hours, 13 minutes. “It will be cool for everyone involved if he’s there and if Floyd is there, too. But we’re not going to know until they fire the gun, so we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Source: cyclingnews.com

I don’t know who is going to be there and who isn’t. I know I’m heading up. I need a few days up in the hills to get my head straight. And watching people suffer is always a good time.

My man Andy had some fun up there recently at the Leadville 50.

From: Andy
Subject: Race Report Leadville 50
Jonny and DC,
First, let me first give props to whoever is riding the 100 in Aug. It’s gonna be fun. This year’s SilverRush was grueling, exciting, and well worth the weekend trip to Leadville. My wife Rachel and I arrived with our three bikes Thursday and rode all weekend long in beautiful Colorado. We stayed at Sugarloafin’ after we saw Mat, Brian, Gnome, Snake and others there last year with the PNT keg. It worked out great riding around Turquoise Lake on both the mountain and the roadies everyday. My goal for the weekend: ride bikes and finish the race in 8 hours. I came in at 4:20, pm that is, 7 hours and 20 minutes after I started.

The Race
The Aid stations rocked!! Watermelon, chocolate, cookies, and other sugar goodies. Nice folks there too. The course was packed on the beginning climb with everyone jockeying for position. It thinned out in the first ten miles markedly as the adrenaline began to wear off. I charged up the hill trying to hang with another singlespeeder on a rigid Moots. He must have had a bigger gear in his chest ’cause I saw he made top 20. At the first downhill (smooth road), the gearheads passed me like nobody’s business. So I laid back and enjoyed the views of “Long and Dreary Hill” (No shit on that one, check the topo). Once we hit the smaller trails the course got very interesting.

Second Climb
It had been raining in Leadville so the trails were a beauty until you hit 11,500. Then they turn into muddy steepness that single speeders love so much. It was hike a bike for everyone around me though. By the time I reached the top, the leaders were coming back on me 14 miles ahead. Some kid in second at the time was sporting a huge fro. I found out later he’s 16 and rocked the course. From there it was down to second aid station and the halfway point. The trails were sick and what I lacked in gearing during the earlier decent, I made up for on the 1500′ downhill with pure rigid control goodness. “Hello singlespeeder” was uttered by only a few on the course as we passed each other on the trail.

Third Climb
The amazing downhill I had just witnessed turned into a hoppity climb going back. Fortunately for me, I had a group of riders in high spirits to keep me company as we turned back on the course. The flowers were blooming in the alpine tundra so the climb went by fast as I had 3″ Columbine flowers to look at. At 12,000′ the climb turned into a silly downhill that made my heart sing. Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’. I get to the bottom of the decent where there’s a gold mine and another aid station halfway up the hill. I chatted with some other riders during the climb, hearing stories from guys who are doing the Leadman challenge–five leadville races running and riding. Those guys are nuts if you ask me.

Last climb and finish
By this time I’m 5:30 back and I figure I can cruise up the last hill seated and happy. And that was the case. It hadn’t rained all day until now. On top of the beautiful sprinkle I got, the sun came out–rain and sunshine at the same time is one of those Big Sky things you must thank the powers-that-be for. I was quite happy sitting at the back of the pack riding my bike. I passed some fellows on the last climb. It was a great grade for me. But I couldn’t shake the 65 year old man behind me, also as it happens, was riding a single. From there it was home. The recent rain had made a lovely stream in the middle of the trail. The sprinkle from my tires cooled me down a bit. Being at the back meant the best decent lines were clear and there was nobody getting in your way. I looked down at one point and saw I was going 35.Just fabulous. At this point, in the race, I can honestly say that my wrists have never been in so much pain and agony in my entire life. But it was good for me. As I rode to the finish there was free beer, brats, my beautiful wife, and my happy dog. The sun was shining…

Andy in Leadville

The start

I’m aiming to ride around Turquoise Lake a few times myself. When in Rome…. do fun stuff.

I’ve not ridden a single speed up there at all. I’ve brought a geared bike each time I’ve gone to Leadville. And this year will be no different, race or no race. I can’t imagine slogging up some of those hills without very low gear options. That said, maybe a single speed isn’t such a bad idea? It’s going to suck either way, so what’s the difference? Maybe I should bring the single…

I guess I’ll just have to see which bike is closer to working come Thursday morning and decide then.

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

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