It’s spring in Fruita Colorado where we live, and Ride the Rockies is only six weeks away! It’s been absolutely perfect weather for bike riding. Max and I have been trying to get out almost every day. We wake up and hop on the tandem. Sliding a picnic lunch into our panniers we head out of our driveway and up towards the Colorado National Monument.
This is one of the most beautiful rides in the world I think. We have ridden up here hundreds of times. It’s about 8 miles of breathtaking, gentle, twisty curve climbing up to the Visitor’s Center. This is where we stop stretch and have a snack before continuing on over the top. It’s peaceful up here. Big horn sheep are our friends on the climb and friendly morning cyclists are always out bringing in the day!
Training with Max is fun. We don’t take it too seriously. We try and add a few more miles each day and gently ease into time in the saddle. Right now we are pedaling around 35 miles a day, with one or two longer rides a week. In two weeks we will ride the Iron Horse Classic from Durango to Silverton. It is 50 miles and goes over two 10,000 foot passes. It should be a fun and fantastic training ride!
I love the rhythm of slow and steady. Max on the other hand loves the thrill of overtaking other riders! Both of us absolutely love the descents! Having a pedal assist makes training very interesting. It is so much fun thinking about the ride profile and the battery range. I am constantly playing with what gear I’m in, and how much power to use. We need to last the entire ride. Slow and spinning doesn’t draw much power and we climb at the same rate as a typical rider. This lets us travel long distances. The flip side is the incredible ability we have to power up hills at will and consequently run out of battery!
Because Max has Down Syndrome, we are often faced with being told that we can’t do things. Somehow our tandem levels the playing field. It is an incredible feeling for both of us to be riding together across some of the highest passes in the state! When we fly uphill and overtake other riders we truly feel like we can do absolutely anything in the world we put our minds too!