SBT GRVL: Aspen to Carbondale

SBT GRVL: Aspen to Carbondale

"Our van stops are some of the most fun parts of our Tour."

by Alison Powers, ALP Cycles Coaching

In February ALP Coach, Alison Powers, announced that she had signed up for SBT GRVL, a 141-mile race with 100 miles on dirt/gravel roads in Steamboat, Colorado. With race day approaching, she’s been blogging every day leading up to the race. She blogs about the specifics of her training, her preparation, headspace, etc. All the things that lead up to race day that not everyone gets to see or understand.

21 days to go - Monday, July 29th

Day 2 of our annual tour of Colorado went from Aspen to Carbondale by way of Maroon Bells and Ashcroft; two amazingly beautiful climbs. I was support and van driver today (coaches Paddy, Brie, and I take turns driving the van and riding). Because we had 2 out and back climbs, I was able to squeeze in a little riding between van stops. I was tired today but felt surprisingly better than I thought I would after yesterday. After sending everyone on their way and getting the van to the proper location, I was able to ride a steady tempo toward Maroon Bells. Once the first riders started coming back, I flipped it and was ready for a fun pedaling descent to meet them at the van with food, water, goodies. Unfortunately, my Di2 battery was dying and I couldn’t shift into the big ring (apparently I need to charge the Di2 far more often…). Fortunately, while everyone was refueling at the van, I was able to charge the battery just enough to get back on my bike for the second climb before driving again.

Our van stops are some of the most fun parts of our Tour. Yes, the riding is amazing and the people are great, but at the van, it all comes together. Stories of riding, eating, Boom in our Belly sandwiches, laughing, etc. It’s like a mini-party and it’s really fun to be part of.

Once everyone was on their way toward Ashcroft, I was able to ride a bit more. ALP Cycles Tour of ColoradoThis time, to avoid any battery problems, I left it in the big ring and only shifted the back between 3 gears as little as possible. This proved to be a solid challenge, one could call it intervals. I used to prescribe single speed rides/workouts and, after today, I think I'll start doing it again. You get it all in one-big gear intervals, high cadence intervals, standing intervals, etc. All in all, I got about 1:45hr of riding and that was just fine. Today was not my day to ride, it was my day to support.

Once at the hotel, with bags unpacked and riders taken care of, I was able to do some much-needed lacrosse ball rolling. Then we had our nightly happy hour followed by dinner, which was a gigantic hamburger.

Tomorrow is our last day of this year's ToC (I will ride all day while Paddy and Brie split up the driving/support). It always goes by so quickly. It's so much fun and we are already planning our 2020 route.

ALP Cycles Tour of Colorado