Who else has had it? I’m 100% pau! (this is how you say “done” in Hawaii. Pau! Sounds like pow.) It’s time. I’m ready. Let’s get this party started, the show on the road, the car in gear, etc. There is nothing more to be done to make the Ride The Rockies event any easier. I’ve climbed every freaking hill on Oahu, I’ve ridden in downpours for 70 miles straight, I’ve had three flats on Schwalbe Marathon Supremes that are supposed to be flat proof! Now I just ride to keep the legs from getting lazy and the bum from getting soft.
It’s the last week of full training for us all. But I have the added benefit/hassle of having to travel 3400 miles to the start line. Which means LOGISTICS NIGHTMARE. Fly with the bike? Ship the bike to a bike shop? Use the official bike shipper for the ride, High Country Shipping? Each option has their own pros and cons. And since I’m staying on in Colorado for an additional week, I am very limited in what I can do with the bikes after the finish. So I opted for High Country Shipping. Which means all is fantastic come start day and finish day. But it also means I have to ship my bike a full TEN DAYS before the start.
For anyone out there thinking about Ride The Rockies in 2015 and planning to fly in: this is part of the equation. And it’s something to plan for. Not only for the added cost, but for the added time away from your ride bike of choice. We all know that N+1 is the number of bikes you should own, with N being your current number of bicycles But if you do not have a standby bike, there are ways around it.
I’ve shifted my training week to accommodate the early departure of my bike. I’m writing this in the middle of a split six hour ride. Three hours in the morning, three hours in the afternoon. With a possible stop for a Mai Tai at the end. This will be my last long ride on my bike. Tomorrow it gets dropped off at the bike shop for packing and shipping after two hours of hill repeats. That leaves me 10 days of no bike! Luckily I have the N+1 covered and I have a tri bike. But, unluckily, a tri bike and a cross bike have VERY different geometry. So I need to be very careful and use the tri bike only for steady effort rides under 120 minutes.
My husband has it worse. His N+1 is a long tail cargo bike – a Surly Big Dummy. Ha! He will look into borrowing a different bike for obvious reasons.
If you don’t have another bike to use, you could arrange your training schedule in such a way that you do your last long ride a day before you ship the bike. Then, you can do your “maintenance” spins of 60-90 minutes on a borrowed bike, a rented bike, or a stationary bike at the gym. It will take a little bit of planning and shipping times vary depending on your location.
So what is going to happen with our bikes? High Country Shipping offers a fantastic service for folks coming from way out of town. If you chose to take your bike on the plane, what are you planning to do with your bike case or box? If you need to get it at the finish line, High Country Shipping can do that for you for a small fee. If you don’t want to take your bike on the plane and don’t want to go through the hassle of finding a bike shop in Boulder and Golden that will box and ship for you, High Country Shipping also has a service for this too! And that’s what I’ve picked. So at packet pickup on Saturday, I’m going to saunter in and there will be my bike. All assembled and ready to go. Once we roll into Golden and cross that finish line, guess what? I just roll on over to the High Country Shipping tent, hand over my bike and then poof! In about a week, the bike is back home. And I can either return it to the bike shop that boxed it up for me, or ship it home and assemble myself. The best part for me is that I don’t have to carry tape, zip ties, packing materials, labels, markers, etc. They’ve got it all and they handle it all – AND – the bike is insured! (just make sure you mark your handlebar angle and saddle height!)
So as we all go into the dreaded and wonderful taper week, my bike will be on its way to Colorado. Which his good. Because it will get an extra few days to acclimate. No excuses for me Stuck at Sea Level!