Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hills of the West Coast Report The Summer That Never Was

Route: Sam Smith—89th—May Valley—Issaquah-Hobart Rd—Detour onto Rt. 18—208th—276th—Ravensdale—Black Diamond—Auburn-Black Diamond Rd—Moneysmith Rd—148th—SE Wax—196th—Jones Rd—Rainier—Seward Park—Sam Smith Miles: 81 Climbing: 3700’ Riders: Jeff S/Dan F/Steve H/Emil K/Lane K/Scott N/Brian U/ Michele A/Craig L/Dan L/me Soldier of the Day: N/A Attrition Rate: 17% (3) Walking Wounded: 1

The “never summer” of 2010 has made it difficult to get the Hills of the West Coast group ride done. Over the course of June, July, and August, I led only five rides at the super hard summer pace. Our first ride in June was rained out; not a good start. Yes, I was out of town on a couple of Sundays, and we do the monthly team ride on Sunday, but we had three wash outs, and several rides where the weather was iffy enough to cause me to alter my route plan. All told, I did two HOWC rides in June, two in July, and one in August (with two rainouts, and we have never had an August rainout in seven years).

Today was the last HOWC of the year at the higher summer mileage. Maybe because of that I decided to push the mileage envelope a bit, stretching the ride out to 81 miles. This allowed us to do a great rural ride out to Black Diamond. As per the norm, we had a fantastic group: a few new people, and a bunch of real regulars, including three people who help out in leading the HOWC. I never saw a wheel out of line, and leading the ride consisted of calling out, “Right turn, left turn.”

At times the pace was hard, at other times we chilled. Without a cadre of hard climbs, was today’s ride hard enough? Yeah, at 81 miles, I think so. I didn’t have any complaints that people were not reaching their training effect goals for the day. We didn’t really have a “Soldier of the Day,” and the work at the front was shared. We did have a few people bail, so really, how hard should “really hard” be? I guess it depends on who you are as well as what you want to accomplish.

In the big picture only doing five HOWC rides over the summer isn’t a huge deal for me, other than the fact that I really love the ride in the summer. I have a lot of flexibility to ride, and I still managed to do a lot of quality miles, but not doing the HOWC every Sunday put a hole into my annual riding plan. Fewer HOWC rides than normal has definitely impacted my fitness, as I can tell that my form is not quite as sharp as it normally would be at this time of the year. Am I just getting slower? I don’t think so, at least not yet. Five hard Sunday rides over three months are just not enough to make my annual “training” plan work. For other regular HOWC riders without a lot of flexibility, not having the normal pattern of HOWC rides likely has had an even bigger effect on their fitness level.

I count on the HOWC to build to my “plateau” of summer fitness. I’m not trying to peak like a racer would for his key race of the year. I just try to be as good as I can each year for an extended period of time. Riding on my own, I simply cannot replicate the intensity that the HOWC demands. I’m not that motivated!

I have not done structured intervals for a few years now. Yes, I will build them into a plan for someone that I am coaching who is trying to reach a defined peak for a specific event. For my own situation, I build a good aerobic base over the winter and early spring, and there is no need to rush this. When the better weather arrives, I take the HOWC out for some serious climbing days, and this builds pretty strong fitness on top of the base. Come summer, I top things off with the super hard long rides that we do on the HOWC in June, July, and August. The bottom line is that the HOWC is my key ride of the week for six months of the year.

It’s not that I don’t feel very fit. I felt great for the whole ride and strong enough to cover all of the moves that went at the front of the ride. Well, almost all of them. I chose not to “go” in the middle of Bicycle Sunday on Lake Washington Boulevard…

So I need a hard Sunday ride, but every summer, I have several people tell me that the HOWC is simply too hard for them. Some of these people are friends that I really enjoy riding with. How hard is hard enough? Every spring, I survey some of the ride leaders and regulars as to whether we should make changes to the ride protocol or pace for the summer. This year, the people who were the most adamant about having the ride go on as it has in past summers were people who didn’t make the ride much, if at all. I think I’ll ask the group of people who have been coming on the ride.

The HOWC is a great yardstick for me. I wonder how many more years I can sustain the summer pace well enough to lead the ride. That alone is reason enough for me to keep it the way it is. I may (or may not) make some changes for 2011. It’s not exactly like I have to rush the decision. I have plenty of time to think about it and get feedback from others. Nine months of time, all the way until next June.

I hope to see you on the road in the meantime.

Friday, August 20, 2010

8-18-2010 BOMROD Minus One

Miles: 71-83+ Climbing: 8400’-10,300’ Route: Sunrise turnoff on Rt. 410—Cayuse Pass from north (option to Chinook Pass)—Ohanapecosh—Backbone Ridge—Paradise—Ohanapecosh—Cayuse Pass from south (Chinook Pass option)—Sunrise turnoff Participants: David L/Tom M/Tom N/Luke B/Carol P/Perry S/Reg N/Emil K/Steve H/Jeff T Cima Coppi 1st Tom N 2nd Tom M 3rd Perry S Attrition Rate: 0

The payoff for a Team High Performance Cycling 7 AM start time at Mt. Rainier was fantastic weather and roads that at times appeared to be closed just for us. During the initial climb and descent of Cayuse Pass, I believe only one car went by the group. For most of the ride, we saw a car about every 20 or 30 minutes. Sweet! Yes, we all had to get up early, and at times some of us were a little drowsy, but it was worth it. This was to be my first BOMROD (Best of Mt. Rainier in One Day) of the three that have taken place annually since 2008.

Today’s ride was not perfect; after all, the road to Sunrise was being chipsealed, so we had to abandon our last climb of the day. The best thing about the day for me was that the ride was a team ride in more than name only. Rarely does a group stay together on a route with so much climbing and descending, but for the most part, we hung together. The whole group rode solidly, but when a rider did fall behind, the group waited, and no one seemed to be concerned about it. Perhaps since we all knew that there would be no riding up to Sunrise at the end of the day, the ride had an unhurried feel to it. There was a lot of chatting and photo opportunities.

After the descent from Paradise, the whole group pretty much came together at the Ohanapecosh park entrance. There was some milling around and shuffling of feet, but eventually our group of seven rolled out and headed north to Cayuse Pass. Luke B and Jeff T started a few minutes behind our group, and I am not sure where Steve H was at this point. Luke and Jeff eventually caught up to some riders in our group before the top of the climb.

All day long, I had been happy to let others set the pace, and it was really nice just to be a follower. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen on Cayuse, but quickly I found myself in a single line, as opposed to the side by side riding that we had done for much of the previous climbing. It wasn’t hard to detect that the pace was going to be higher on the last big climb of the day, and Tom N was setting the pace right off the bat.

I suppose any of us could have just opted out and just ridden up the climb at a comfortable pace, but no one did. People were hanging in there, and looked to be settling in for the long haul. Cayuse from the south is an 11 mile long climb, and I can only imagine what was going through everyone’s mind. A penny for your thoughts!

The way our group of seven came apart was like a mini-peloton that you see at the end of a climbing day at the Tour de France. One by one, riders fell off of the back, until it was just Tom N and me.

I rode with Tom for ten minutes or so. Tom was setting a pretty solid pace, but one that I felt comfortable with. When he stood up and started to pedal harder, I didn’t give it a lot of thought. Tom had done this previously on several climbs and the group had reeled him in just by maintaining the pace we had been at. After a few seconds, I began to sense that this time was different. This was to be a bonafide attack, and off Tom went!

I remained about 150’ behind Tom for a good five or ten minutes, and I thought there was a decent chance that I might be able to regain his wheel, but that didn’t happen. Tom attacked and stayed away, and I settled into a tempo once I realized he was gone. At that point, the impetus had left my legs, I guess you could say.

In contrast to earlier climbs in the day, I rode up Cayuse by myself. Late in the climb, I could see Tom up ahead of me when I was on a straight section, but no one was in sight behind me. Traffic was light, so I rarely bothered to check the radar in my little mirror. I was a little shocked when I spied a rider in the distance when I did check, and I couldn’t even guess as to who that UFR (Unidentified Flying Rider) could be. Since I didn’t think I had slowed down very much, I was inclined to think that it was not someone from the initial group I started with. Perhaps either Luke or Jeff was burning up the road?

At this point, I was probably 75% done with the climb. Since I had not seen anyone for quite a while, the logical conclusion was that this rider was gaining on me, and closing the gap. I grumbled to myself, because I instantly made the decision that this rider would not catch me, and I knew that meant I had to dig a little deeper than I wanted to, especially this late in the day. Funny how this psychology works; I was content to just ride up the pass knowing that I would not catch Tom, but I didn’t care if it was Lance Effing Armstrong behind me; I was going to do what it would take to make sure he didn’t catch up!

When I saw the gap shrink, I would push harder until I had the margin back to where it was, but I was a little sneaky. When I would go around a curve, knowing that I was out of sight of the following rider I would juice the pedals a little bit. When I next came into view, I would be ever so slightly farther away. I reckoned that after I did this a few times, I would demoralize this rider. It didn’t work, and the gap was gradually shrinking! I must have had a target on my back. I guess the back of our team jersey does kind of look like a bull’s-eye from a distance.

I said to myself, “Grind it out, hang in there and hold the gap, it’s almost over.” Once I saw the “35mph speed zone” sign, I knew I was home free. It pleased me somewhat that Perry S was panting quite a bit when he rolled up to Tom and me!

I felt good all day, and I feel pretty fit, but perhaps not as fit as in the past few summers. Our odd summer weather has prevented us from having the consistently hard HOWC every Sunday that I (among others) count on to hone my form. Normally at this time of the year, I lose interest in riding really hard. With less intense riding this summer than normal, hopefully that won’t happen this year, because I have a seriously hard trip planned for September.

Speaking of seriously hard trips, Tom N had just returned from an incredible ride across the United States, encompassing 3467 miles of riding over thirty straight days:

I’m not sure what a cyclist could do that would test (and improve) your fitness more than a trip like this. Well, OK, the Tour de France comes to mind, but not much else. The TDF covers only 2100 miles over 22 days, so Tom’s group blew the Tour away in terms of total mileage, as well as miles per day. For the curious, Tom posted a daily blog account of his trip:

One thing is for sure. Our ride at Mt. Rainier must have seemed like a cakewalk for Tom compared to his cross-country excursion. It showed.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Maui Cycling “Facts” and Opinions

Maui 2010 had the potential to be the perfect holiday for Tracy and me, and it was (almost). Tracy got the beach and pool, and I got to ride my bike somewhere new, including to the top of Haleakala, one of the longest climbs in the world. Perfect would have been a trip without the crazy Tradewinds, and where a swarm of people were not congesting the roads with cars. Forget Island Time; people must have to be On Time on Maui.

Of course, I am not a “water person,” and those who are might be totally content with the overall Maui scene. We were staying with our friends Mike and Jen, and Mike is most definitely a water person. Mike and I were both leaving early every day, because the Tradewinds smash down the already small summer swell, making surfing (and even boogie boarding) almost impossible. And if you are a golfer, those winds would not be kind to you. But there definitely is a lot of water for water people.

OK, I’m getting ahead of myself with too many opinions! Here we go:

Fact: there are not many roads on Maui, but most of the major roads and highways have a shoulder or bike lane, as indicated on the Maui County Cycling Map (just assume that any road marked “most suitable” has a shoulder):

The Maui County Cycling Map lists the heavily traveled divided wide shouldered four lane highway between Lahaina and Kapalua as “most suitable for cycling.” Conversely, once the shoulder narrows on the upper reaches of Haleakala, this smooth road normally almost devoid of cars is designated “unsuitable for cycling.” Perhaps “suitable for cycling” conditions on Maui are almost totally evaluated by width of a road shoulder.

Opinion: Maui is (sort of) cycling friendly, but not really very “cycling compatible”. Many of the major roads have a bike lane or shoulder, but cycling appears to be mostly an afterthought as far as planning goes. Since there really are not that many roads on Maui, car traffic is heavy on most of them.

Fact: Speaking of afterthoughts, it’s worth noting that the really nice new bike path that parallels the Mokulele Highway (350) offers no access at all to Kihei Rd., an almost unbelievable oversight. Are they trying to tell us something?

Opinion: Maybe they are, because even when you have a shoulder to ride in, one gets the feeling that most of the car drivers really don’t think that cyclists deserve the space. You always get the sense that car drivers begrudgingly yield shoulder space to cyclists, and drivers rarely slow at all as they blow by you.

Fact: The Tradewinds are the most consistently strong winds that I have ever experienced on a bike.

Opinion: The Tradewinds suck big time.

Yes, I know that when these winds are at your back, you feel like a Cycling God.

Fact: The Tradewinds really kick up and become strong around 11 AM.

Opinion: I’m not sure what they mean by “strong.” Most mornings it was blowing hard by 8. Between the winds, heat, and traffic, I found it best to roll out between 6 and 7 AM. No problem, as I like the heat, and it was hot already at 7, but the sun is much more intense in the afternoon.

Fact: Every planned route needs to first and foremost consider the prevailing winds, as one really does not want to return into the Tradewind. Several times, I found myself in the 50/11 rolling along on a flat road without much effort as a huge wind shoved me along. I didn’t try it, but I imagine I would have been in the 34/27 in the opposite direction.

Fact: Some people refer to these winds as the “Summer" Tradewinds.

Opinion: This is the first time I have been to Hawaii in the summer, but every time I have been there in the winter, it has been windy. Not as windy, but windy.

Fact: You really don’t see many serious cyclists on Maui. There are a lot of people riding bikes (and motor scooters) the wrong way in the bike lane at night, wearing black but no helmet, and sometimes talking on their cell phones, but I didn’t see a lot of dudes with shaved legs.

The only time I was passed by a “bike” during my four rides occurred during my last ride through the Upcountry. I was on a climb, and I noticed a fast approaching bright headlight in my rear view mirror. I expected one of the ubiquitous scooters piloted by a helmetless local, but I was somewhat shocked to be passed by a recumbent powered by some type of electric motor on steroids. As he went by, he lazily twirled the pedals, but he gave up that pretense after he was 50’ ahead of me. Maybe this is the type of motor that Fabian Cancellara was using:)

Opinion: Maybe there are more people taking cycling vacations to Maui in the winter when the Tradewinds are less powerful?

Fact: For about $200 round trip, you can disassemble your own bike (twice) and bring it with you on the plane.

Opinion: Renting a bike is the way to go. It’s possible to get a nice bike for $50 a day or $200 a week, and while it may not have your favorite component group, you can make due. Yes, I know it’s cheaper to rent a car on Maui.

Fact: Andrew at the Island biker hooked me up with a zero mile 2011 Specialized Secteur bike, and he was super helpful in giving me some of the local riding beta. With the bike, you get a helmet, pump, water bottle, tube and tire levers, a multi-tool and a car rack with a weekly rental:

Riding Day One: The morning after we flew in, I did the incomparable and magnificent climb to the summit of Haleakala (starting from sea level at Paia 73 miles/10,100’ climbing). A lot of blogs have been written about every detail of this climb:

Rather than rehash the minutia, here are some of my impressions.

Haleakala Facts:

1) Haleakala is one of the longest and hardest climbs in the world-I doubt anybody would dispute that. With 36.5 miles of climbing at an average grade of 5.2%, you wind up with 10,000’ of climbing.
2) As a point of reference, Haleakala aligns almost perfectly with two Hurricane Ridge (18.2 miles and 5020’ at 5.2%) climbs linked non-stop back to back.
3) Climbing straight into a 50+mph wind on the 22% section near the top was likely the single hardest short section of riding I have ever done.
4) Above 3000’ (once you make the left onto Crater Road) the road is magnificent by almost any cycling inspired definition. The surface is mostly pool table smooth, there are too many wonderful switchbacks to count, and the grade is pretty consistent.
5) Descending for over an hour is a bonafide rush.
6) The winds were pretty benign my first time up, but simply brutal on the second ride.

Haleakala Opinions:

1) Haleakala is one of the best climbs in the world.
2) It’s not an alpine climb, but the scenery is no less stunning.
3) Thank God for all of those switchbacks; that guarantees that you are downwind at least part of the time!
4) The lack of trees above 4500’ or so permits stunning views.
5) At times, the landscape resembles what the moon’s surface must look like, and that is one thing that makes this climb so unique.
6) It’s worth going to Maui just to ride up this sucker.

Haleakala is so big that it deserves its own write-up. Shortly I will post a blow-by-blow full account of my two rides up this monster. As a very cool intro, take a look at how Ryder Hesjedal does Haleakala:

Riding Day Two West Maui Mountains Loop from Kihei (70 miles/3000’ climbing):

Fact: If you enjoy riding on a crowded highway with a good shoulder, you will enjoy the ride from Kihei to Lahaina and then to Kaanapali. Traffic thins out between Kaanapali and Kapalua.

Opinion: With tourism (and therefore traffic) greatly reduced on all of the Hawaiian Islands, I can only imagine what this road would be like on a bike with the hotels full. Now that I think about it, it might be better, as the cars would be gridlocked at 15mph, instead of the 50-60mph that I experienced. It might be a little like cycling in Manhattan with more room for the car exhaust fumes to dissipate.

Fact: The first 10 miles or so north from Kapalua are absolutely stunning to ride on a bike. There is hardly any traffic, and the road winds its way up and down the mountainside above numerous little beach coves.

Opinion: As I neared Kapalua, I was praying to the road and cycling Gods that the rugged and poorly surfaced road around the northeast head of the West Maui Mountains (past the stunning section) was not washed out. With the headwinds, heat, and traffic, there was no flipping way I was returning from whence I came. This was indeed actually a “fact.”

Fact: After I made it through the super narrow and rough section, I had some more great coastal riding before I headed south back through the very crowded Wailuku. From there back to Kihei, I had a screaming Tradewind blowing up my tailpipe. I shudder to think about doing this ride in the reverse direction, and finishing into the wind.

Opinion: Rent a car, drive to Kapalua, ride your bike until you feel like turning around, and then head back. I wouldn’t do the entire loop again.

Riding Day Three: Haleakala Redux with my cousin Michele—I loved it so much that I went back (please see my previous post):

Riding Day 4 Upcountry (55 miles/2800’):

Fact: Andrew told me that it was not pleasant to do the 2200’ climb starting up from Hansen Rd. at the Maui Landfill with its stinky poo-poo smell, so I asked Tracy to drop me off at the intersection of Omaopio Rd. and Rt. 37.

Opinion: After I got rolling along, I found the Upcountry a spectacular place to ride. It’s really what Michele and I should have done together, as there was pretty light traffic, interesting roads and terrain, and incredible views.

Fact: It also didn’t hurt that at 80 degrees, it was around 10 degrees cooler than the lowlands. The Upcountry is in the “wind shadow” of Haleakala, and since Haleakala is incredibly broad as well as 10,023’ high, the wind is normally amazingly light in this shadow. Compared to the incessant howling on most of the island, this was really appreciated.

Fact: The ride started off with a moderate grade 700’ climb to 3000’ and then I headed downhill around the south end of the island. Looking down, I could see Kihei, Wailea, and Makena. All this time, I was losing about 1300’ of elevation. When I finally turned around at about 1700’, Rt. 37 had become Rt. 31, and I could see Mauna Loa on the Big Island, Molokini, and several other islands. I was now in the desert, which exists because of the huge rain shadow that Haleakala casts. This area is incredibly remote, which is a nice contrast to the many highly developed areas on Maui.

Opinion: Rt. 31 continues all the way to Hana, but from what I have heard, you have to be a real masochist to do this. It’s hot and remote, the desert landscape is boring, and there are some extended sections of dirt and rutted paved roads. Best to do this one with company.

Fact: The return trip started with the 1300’ great climb on curvy and quiet roads back to the 3000’ high point of the ride. There is even a winery along the way.

Opinion: I rode all the way back to Kihei, so I did have the stinky smell as I came down that first climb I rode up in the car. Since I was now ripping downhill with a strong tailwind, I wasn’t on the road long enough to really get grossed out. Besides, the views down to the water and West Maui Mountains were great. I was riding through sugarcane fields, and it was kind of cool to watch the pretty green plants sway and bend with the wind.

My last ride out through the Upcountry would definitely the best ride overall for the typical recreational cyclist, and really what my niece Michele and I should have done together.

Just as coming home from a trip to the Tucson area was a study in contrasts:

Returning from Maui was a real eye opener. Many cyclists in the Seattle area probably don’t have a clear idea as to just how lucky we are. As I did the day after I flew home from Tucson, the day after I returned from Maui I did my favorite Seattle area loop through Medina, Kirkland, Bellevue, and Mercer Island.

Honestly, other than the spectacle of Haleakala, I enjoyed this local Seattle ride more than anything I did on Maui. Maybe familiarity has something to do with this preference, but I think the excellent accommodations for cycling around Seattle is the main reason.

Well, maybe the main reason is that the winds were light, as they are most of the time in Seattle.

Yes, having Haleakala makes the Maui cycling experience totally worthwhile, just as Tucson having the incredible Mt. Lemmon climb buys that area redemption.

I would not recommend going to Maui specifically to ride your bike. Forget about doing the “Triple Challenge” (Haleakala/West Maui Mountains loop/100 miles around the island through Hana), and just do the fun stuff.

Cycling on Maui is a real dichotomy. There are some stunning places to ride your bike, and there are some roads that are very uncomfortable to be on due to the heavy traffic and winds.

Go to Maui. Take a family vacation. Go to the beach and enjoy the water. Rent a bike, and ride up Haleakala and maybe out through the Upcountry area. Head back to the beach with the family. Deal with it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hills of the West Coast Ride Report Shut Up Legs

Miles: 77 Climbing: 3450’ Route: Sam Smith Park—Honda Hill—Newport Way to Issaquah—Issaquah-Hobart to Landsburg—Black Diamond—Auburn Black Diamond Rd.—Moneysmith—148th—Thomas—196th—Jones Rd—Cedar River Trail—Lake Washington Blvd—Sam Smith Soldiers of the Day: Jeff S and Bill T Attrition Rate: 12.5% (1) Cima Coppi: N/A Walking Wounded: 2 (almost, including me)

We returned from Maui last Monday, and I had a pretty big cycling week (See below, and I’ll be doing several more posts about Maui cycling) at 250 miles with 23,000’ of climbing. I planned on taking it somewhat easy the rest of this week. I did short rides on Thursday and Friday, and felt absolutely fantastic both days—almost like I was using one gear larger on the climbs at the same effort level. Perhaps I rode a little harder than I should have because I felt so good, but I figured that with a DOB (Day Off Bike) scheduled for Saturday, why not?

A DOB it was, but a day off it was not. Tracy and I went hiking with David L and Paula. We used to hike a lot, but had not done any hiking lately. It wasn’t a difficult hike, and I didn’t have to work hard at all on the 4.5 miles of climbing. Unfortunately, what goes up must come down, and descending definitely required deploying some muscles that have been on the shelf for a while. Yes, thigh muscles, but I thought that wouldn’t be a problem. They are different thigh muscles from my cycling muscles, aren’t they?

On Sunday, my legs hurt from the get-go! Most of the ride, I tried to laugh the pain off with this image in mind:

As I write this hours after the ride’s end, my legs still hurt. In fact, they hurt more…a lot more. The legs feel like I imagine they might if I did a 150 mile off-trail backpacking trip in Alaska without hiking for two years prior. It’s a little odd in that normally I may be bone tired after a hard ride, but usually the legs are not too bad.

One thing that I have learned about the HOWC is that I need to be at my best to do well on the ride. If I am off a little, I can survive like I did today. But there have definitely been some periods where I wondered if I would.

We used a new route on the ride today, which isn’t that easy to do after all of the rides that we have done. We pushed the stated mileage window a little, but that let us ride all the way out to Black Diamond, as well as throw in a few extra quality miles. Everyone seemed to really like the route, and I believe that today’s route will become one of the “standard” routes we use to the south. We shared the work on the front, but Jeff and Bill did more than their fair share. Jeff is getting ready for a triathlon, and he looks to have excellent form. In fact, everybody on the ride was pretty darn fit, as they should be this time of the year. We had another very strong group with one newbie (Eric G, who was super strong), but most importantly, we had a very experienced and safe group. I never saw a wheel out of line, and my leading today’s ride consisted of, “Right turn, left turn.” That’s the way I like it.

We rode the whole way from Issaquah to Landsburg on the Issaquah-Hobart Road, and it was almost eerie how devoid the road was of traffic. Later on in the ride we had pockets of traffic, but for the first two hours it was almost like we were on our own.

Today’s ride is powerful proof that you don’t have to do hard climb after hard climb to put the hurt on…literally. In the seven years that I have been leading the HOWC, I can state unequivocally that my legs have never hurt this bad after (or during) a ride. I am pretty sure that I am not the only one in the Pain Cave right now. We had a group of eight, really a perfect size for using a paceline, which we were able to do quite a bit. After all of the climbing in Hawaii, I was looking to do something different today than all of the climbing we have been doing on the HOWC.

Tracy and I are leaving to walk around downtown to run some errands. Instead of shorts, I am wearing jeans to hide my goofy looking knee-high recovery compression socks. If I was as tough as my friend Justin, I’d take an ice bath. Ouch.