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Denver Century Ride » Blog http://denvercenturyride.com Explore. Discover. Experience. Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:13:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.15 Guest Blog: Do’s and Don’t’s of the DCR http://denvercenturyride.com/guest-blog-dos-donts-dcr/ http://denvercenturyride.com/guest-blog-dos-donts-dcr/#comments Wed, 26 Apr 2017 21:32:05 +0000 http://denvercenturyride.com/?p=4058 By: Josh, a Stapleton Resident, Cyclist and Denver Century Ride Participant The Denver Century ride is quickly approaching. No matter how many miles you are planning on riding (there are lots of options) – here are a few Dos and Don’ts that will ensure maximum fun. DO service your bike Go beyond wiping off the cobwebs. Schedule a check-up at your local bike shop to make sure everything is working properly. Take a moment to gather the right tools for your seat bag so you can fix small issues that may arise during the ride. DON’T wing it Hopefully you’ve ventured out on a few longer weekend rides. Whatever mileage you are aiming for, this probably shouldn’t be the first time at the distance you are attempting. For me, just getting my rear in the saddle is important before a big ride. This could mean riding to work a few days a week, riding down to the farmers market or cruising the Sand Creek Trail in the evenings. The big takeaways here are conditioning your backside to be in the saddle for a while and conditioning enough that you aren’t huffing and puffing the whole way. DO give cues The fastest way to ruin your ride is crashing.  It’s really easy to give verbal cues or hand signals at the beginning of the ride, but it’s in the middle and end of the ride where accidents happen because of unpredictable moves or passes. With so many fun-loving people on the Denver Century Ride (with varying bike skills) – giving verbal cues and hand signals lets others know your intentions, and helps minimize bike-on-bike contact. DO talk to strangers This is the equivalent of stopping to smell the roses. A good friend of mine once said that he makes friends today the same way he did when he was 8 years old – by riding bikes.  You’ll be amazed at the people you meet. Here’s a tip – be unique, give people a reason to strike up conversation. The girl who rides a penny-farthing or the guy that wears a tutu will be talking to people all day. It could even be as simple as putting a bike license plate on your bike with your name on it. How do you start a conversation? “Hi” is a good place to start. DON’T try and break any records The Denver Century Ride isn’t a race. There isn’t a trophy waiting for you at the end. (Although the after-party is usually pretty rad.) Assume there’s always someone faster than you waiting to pass. And when things get congested, coasting for a few moments to wait for things to clear is OKAY. There will be plenty of opportunities to satisfy your need for speed. DO say thank you The collective Denver Century Ride crew is out there to make sure your day is the best it can be. Give a wave, a “thank you” or a high-five to the officers working the intersections, volunteers at the food/aid stations, and the countless event coordinators and food vendors. Get out there and enjoy the ride.

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By: Josh, a Stapleton Resident, Cyclist and Denver Century Ride Participant

The Denver Century ride is quickly approaching. No matter how many miles you are planning on riding (there are lots of options) – here are a few Dos and Don’ts that will ensure maximum fun.

Stapleton Denver Century Ride Blog

DO service your bike

Go beyond wiping off the cobwebs. Schedule a check-up at your local bike shop to make sure everything is working properly. Take a moment to gather the right tools for your seat bag so you can fix small issues that may arise during the ride.

DON’T wing it

Hopefully you’ve ventured out on a few longer weekend rides. Whatever mileage you are aiming for, this probably shouldn’t be the first time at the distance you are attempting. For me, just getting my rear in the saddle is important before a big ride. This could mean riding to work a few days a week, riding down to the farmers market or cruising the Sand Creek Trail in the evenings. The big takeaways here are conditioning your backside to be in the saddle for a while and conditioning enough that you aren’t huffing and puffing the whole way.

DO give cues

The fastest way to ruin your ride is crashing.  It’s really easy to give verbal cues or hand signals at the beginning of the ride, but it’s in the middle and end of the ride where accidents happen because of unpredictable moves or passes. With so many fun-loving people on the Denver Century Ride (with varying bike skills) – giving verbal cues and hand signals lets others know your intentions, and helps minimize bike-on-bike contact.

DO talk to strangers

This is the equivalent of stopping to smell the roses. A good friend of mine once said that he makes friends today the same way he did when he was 8 years old – by riding bikes.  You’ll be amazed at the people you meet. Here’s a tip – be unique, give people a reason to strike up conversation. The girl who rides a penny-farthing or the guy that wears a tutu will be talking to people all day. It could even be as simple as putting a bike license plate on your bike with your name on it. How do you start a conversation? “Hi” is a good place to start.

DON’T try and break any records

The Denver Century Ride isn’t a race. There isn’t a trophy waiting for you at the end. (Although the after-party is usually pretty rad.) Assume there’s always someone faster than you waiting to pass. And when things get congested, coasting for a few moments to wait for things to clear is OKAY. There will be plenty of opportunities to satisfy your need for speed.

DO say thank you

The collective Denver Century Ride crew is out there to make sure your day is the best it can be. Give a wave, a “thank you” or a high-five to the officers working the intersections, volunteers at the food/aid stations, and the countless event coordinators and food vendors.

Get out there and enjoy the ride.

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FREE Coach Led Training Ride – June 5th 1p-3p http://denvercenturyride.com/free-coach-led-training-ride-june-5th-1p-3p/ http://denvercenturyride.com/free-coach-led-training-ride-june-5th-1p-3p/#comments Fri, 03 Jun 2016 20:00:25 +0000 http://denvercenturyride.com/?p=3742 This weekend’s weather looks like a great chance to get out and ride. Why not join our Official Training Partner, Inspired Training Center and Coach Sue while she explores some of the 1/2 Century route. Date: Sunday, June 5 Time: 1:00-3:00 What: Explore the northeast portion of the half century. Details: Meet at the King Soopers parking lot at 104th and Chambers Rd. We’ll ride the northeast portion of the course, around Barr Lake. Folks need to be able to ride a comfortable 13 mph for this ride. Look for Coach Sue wearing her red Inspired Training Center kit, near her blue Nissan Frontier. Contact coach Sue at sue@inspiredtrainingcenter.com with questions.

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Training-Ride-2

This weekend’s weather looks like a great chance to get out and ride. Why not join our Official Training Partner, Inspired Training Center and Coach Sue while she explores some of the 1/2 Century route.

Date: Sunday, June 5
Time: 1:00-3:00
What: Explore the northeast portion of the half century.

Details: Meet at the King Soopers parking lot at 104th and Chambers Rd. We’ll ride the northeast portion of the course, around Barr Lake. Folks need to be able to ride a comfortable 13 mph for this ride.

Look for Coach Sue wearing her red Inspired Training Center kit, near her blue Nissan Frontier. Contact coach Sue at sue@inspiredtrainingcenter.com with questions.

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From The Ride Director: March 2016 Edition http://denvercenturyride.com/from-the-ride-director-march-2016-edition/ http://denvercenturyride.com/from-the-ride-director-march-2016-edition/#comments Tue, 22 Mar 2016 16:26:32 +0000 http://denvercenturyride.com/?p=3682 One of the great joys of riding in an organized bicycle event is all the support that is provided out on the route.  There are aid stations with hydration, nutrition, port-o-potties, medical and mechanics approximately every 15-20 miles.  On the route there are Support and Gear Vehicles (SAG Wagons) that carry hydration and nutrition, tubes, pumps, an extra seat in the car if you need a ride and of course, good cheer.  There are also mechanics on the road should you run into a problem between aid stations. All that support makes it so much easier to go for a long distance ride. But don’t let all the support stop you from being prepared! Here are some tips for you to make sure you and your bike are ready for the journey: Bicycle Maintenance: Spring Cleaning!  Give your bike a good cleaning and tune-up. If you are not sure how to do all that bring your bike to your local bike shop.  Many bike shops have specials going on at this time of year for a tune-up. Bike Shop Partner Evergreen Bike Shop has provided a great list for you! Practice fixing a flat! Flats are inevitable and it helps if you know how to fix your own flat. We have support on the route but sometimes you have to wait for the SAG Wagon or Mechanic to get to you. If you don’t know how to do it stop by one of our Bike Shop partners: Campus Cycles on April 23rd for a Fix a Flat class.   It will help you on the ride and just out and about on your own rides. Bring the Basics: Don’t load up your bike and pockets with too much stuff as it will weigh you down but you should have a few things with you: spare inner tube tire levers patch kit mini-pump folding multi-tool rain gear (check the weather!) cell phone identification/money/insurance card Even if you are not familiar with how to fix a flat tire yourself or make basic adjustments, having the necessary tools and supplies is a step in the right direction, and one of the other cyclists might be able to help get you going. Again, we are out on the route providing support for you but it is always a great idea to make sure you and your bike are prepared for the day.  It will make the day all that much better! Ride Safely,

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Header-March

One of the great joys of riding in an organized bicycle event is all the support that is provided out on the route.  There are aid stations with hydration, nutrition, port-o-potties, medical and mechanics approximately every 15-20 miles.  On the route there are Support and Gear Vehicles (SAG Wagons) that carry hydration and nutrition, tubes, pumps, an extra seat in the car if you need a ride and of course, good cheer.  There are also mechanics on the road should you run into a problem between aid stations. All that support makes it so much easier to go for a long distance ride.

But don’t let all the support stop you from being prepared! Here are some tips for you to make sure you and your bike are ready for the journey:

  1. Bicycle Maintenance: Spring Cleaning!  Give your bike a good cleaning and tune-up. If you are not sure how to do all that bring your bike to your local bike shop.  Many bike shops have specials going on at this time of year for a tune-up.
  2. Practice fixing a flat! Flats are inevitable and it helps if you know how to fix your own flat. We have support on the route but sometimes you have to wait for the SAG Wagon or Mechanic to get to you. If you don’t know how to do it stop by one of our Bike Shop partners: Campus Cycles on April 23rd for a Fix a Flat class.   It will help you on the ride and just out and about on your own rides.
  3. Bring the Basics: Don’t load up your bike and pockets with too much stuff as it will weigh you down but you should have a few things with you:
    • spare inner tube
    • tire levers
    • patch kit
    • mini-pump
    • folding multi-tool
    • rain gear (check the weather!)
    • cell phone
    • identification/money/insurance card

Even if you are not familiar with how to fix a flat tire yourself or make basic adjustments, having the necessary tools and supplies is a step in the right direction, and one of the other cyclists might be able to help get you going.

Again, we are out on the route providing support for you but it is always a great idea to make sure you and your bike are prepared for the day.  It will make the day all that much better!

Ride Safely,

Dee-Signature

Safety-First-Images

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Training Blog: Push http://denvercenturyride.com/training-blog-push/ http://denvercenturyride.com/training-blog-push/#comments Mon, 21 Mar 2016 16:35:26 +0000 http://denvercenturyride.com/?p=3673 Push By: Fleur Alvarez Six minutes may not seem like a very long time.  And framed within the vastness of the universe, it isn’t.  However, when you factor in the sensation that your heart is going burst out of your chest, your legs seem to be burning with strength of a million red hot suns, and your mind and stomach are conspiring to ditch it all to go get a burrito the size of Jabba The Hut smothered in molè…six minutes then seems like a very very long time.  These are times when we push!  Push all those nagging aches and internal voices to the wayside.  Push our spirit to continue.  Drive our legs like the pistons that they are.  Drive our will “ever on and on”*. You’ll notice I say: “we” and “our” here a lot.  And that is because we all collectively share in the same spirit, and drive.  We share in the same agony and the same triumph. There is some pretty serious comfort in this.  When sweat is dripping down my face and I am taking those deeply seated breaths as far into my diaphragm as they can possibly go; I revel in the fact that countless other have been exactly where I find myself.  That at any given moment there is a cyclist somewhere out in our wide world who is pushing, just as I am.  That someone too, is ignoring doubt and pedaling on towards that tiny increase in greatness we gain with every ride. Every single time without fail, when I arrive at these “pushable” moments and choose to give the bike everything I’ve got, I am amazed at just how much is actually there.  Every. Single. Time.   Rewind my life back two and a half or three years ago and there would have been no way (and I mean NO WAY!) I would have even thought of trying, let alone pushing myself.  I was operating under the false assumption that I was only capable of a finite amount.  Yet, what I am repeatedly discovering is that by pushing that little more every time what I am actually capable of becomes infinite.  Now, if you have read my previous online essays you may be noticing a theme.  Good.  Because there is one.  If cycling has taught me nothing else, it has taught me this: I CAN DO IT.  Cycling has repeatedly pummeled me across the head with this awareness.  I am by nature an obstinate person, so it has admittedly taken a bit for me to full receive and accept this fact.  Don’t waste your time dwelling in doubt, as I did.  Accept your infinite power.  Accept that when you take up any and every opportunity to give more, to the bike, to yourself…that what you ultimately gain is tenfold compared to whatever temporary physical or mental travail you may endure. This is a key truth that we must accept in order for us to continually push. Okay, back to those six minutes.  Those teeny tiny six minutes.  Those six minutes that stand between you and that oh so yearned for increase in your might as a cyclist.  Quite often at Inspired Training Center our rides consist of many intervals.  The clever and blessed souls who create these mapped out plans of just what our legs will go through on any given session invariably give us enough of a challenge so that we may grow.  And lately it seems that the six minute block is their method of choice.  Not always, sometimes it is one, two, five, or even eight minutes of “Intense Effort” as they so affectionately call it.  Within these blocks your effort will tend to build upon itself until you reach a zenith; there you push with an energy that comes from the reserve’s, reserve’s, reserve.  Kind of rad, right?  Totally!  Especially when you think about how much more untapped fuel you harbor lying in wait for just the right moment to spring forth and conquer that next minute, hill, or mile.  Just waiting for us to push.  We stand at this precipice daily, sometimes even minute by minute, and the choice to push is just standing by eager for us to seize it!  Push, my friends, PUSH! *“The Road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with eager feet, Until it joins some larger way Where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say” -J.R.R. Tolkien  

The post Training Blog: Push appeared first on Denver Century Ride.

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Push
By: Fleur Alvarez

Six minutes may not seem like a very long time.  And framed within the vastness of the universe, it isn’t.  However, when you factor in the sensation that your heart is going burst out of your chest, your legs seem to be burning with strength of a million red hot suns, and your mind and stomach are conspiring to ditch it all to go get a burrito the size of Jabba The Hut smothered in molè…six minutes then seems like a very very long time.  These are times when we push!  Push all those nagging aches and internal voices to the wayside.  Push our spirit to continue.  Drive our legs like the pistons that they are.  Drive our will “ever on and on”*.

You’ll notice I say: “we” and “our” here a lot.  And that is because we all collectively share in the same spirit, and drive.  We share in the same agony and the same triumph. There is some pretty serious comfort in this.  When sweat is dripping down my face and I am taking those deeply seated breaths as far into my diaphragm as they can possibly go; I revel in the fact that countless other have been exactly where I find myself.  That at any given moment there is a cyclist somewhere out in our wide world who is pushing, just as I am.  That someone too, is ignoring doubt and pedaling on towards that tiny increase in greatness we gain with every ride.

Every single time without fail, when I arrive at these “pushable” moments and choose to give the bike everything I’ve got, I am amazed at just how much is actually there.  Every. Single. Time.   Rewind my life back two and a half or three years ago and there would have been no way (and I mean NO WAY!) I would have even thought of trying, let alone pushing myself.  I was operating under the false assumption that I was only capable of a finite amount.  Yet, what I am repeatedly discovering is that by pushing that little more every time what I am actually capable of becomes infinite.  Now, if you have read my previous online essays you may be noticing a theme.  Good.  Because there is one.  If cycling has taught me nothing else, it has taught me this: I CAN DO IT.  Cycling has repeatedly pummeled me across the head with this awareness.  I am by nature an obstinate person, so it has admittedly taken a bit for me to full receive and accept this fact.  Don’t waste your time dwelling in doubt, as I did.  Accept your infinite power.  Accept that when you take up any and every opportunity to give more, to the bike, to yourself…that what you ultimately gain is tenfold compared to whatever temporary physical or mental travail you may endure. This is a key truth that we must accept in order for us to continually push.

Okay, back to those six minutes.  Those teeny tiny six minutes.  Those six minutes that stand between you and that oh so yearned for increase in your might as a cyclist.  Quite often at Inspired Training Center our rides consist of many intervals.  The clever and blessed souls who create these mapped out plans of just what our legs will go through on any given session invariably give us enough of a challenge so that we may grow.  And lately it seems that the six minute block is their method of choice.  Not always, sometimes it is one, two, five, or even eight minutes of “Intense Effort” as they so affectionately call it.  Within these blocks your effort will tend to build upon itself until you reach a zenith; there you push with an energy that comes from the reserve’s, reserve’s, reserve.  Kind of rad, right?  Totally!  Especially when you think about how much more untapped fuel you harbor lying in wait for just the right moment to spring forth and conquer that next minute, hill, or mile.  Just waiting for us to push.  We stand at this precipice daily, sometimes even minute by minute, and the choice to push is just standing by eager for us to seize it!  Push, my friends, PUSH!

*“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say”

-J.R.R. Tolkien

 

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Training Blog – Threshold http://denvercenturyride.com/training-blog-threshold/ http://denvercenturyride.com/training-blog-threshold/#comments Fri, 05 Feb 2016 18:32:44 +0000 http://denvercenturyride.com/?p=3646 Threshold by Fleur Alvarez One thing I’ve found continually running through my mind as I venture on this path towards constantly becoming* a cyclist is: “What do I have left?”  What do I have left to give?  What do I have left to push?  What do I have left to dig up from gut and shove into my legs?  Over the past couple of weeks this has been my steady state of mind.  I want to give my all…but how much do I have? Two and a half weeks ago I went into Inspired Training Center for something they call a “FUNCTIONAL THRESHOLD POWER TEST” (in summation: a warm up ride that culminates to a 20 minute block where you increasingly give everything you’ve got.)  I had built this up in my mind to be something very intimidating; something that would leave me bloodied and bruised like some victorious Viking Maiden Warrior, holding my bike aloft my head as if my war axe!  Happily, I was almost totally wrong.  Intimidating?  Not at all.  In fact, as soon as I hopped on my saddle and Coach Sue was talking me through what we were about to do I was completely at ease.  I was amongst my people; friends.  I was on my bike; a faithful mount.  This wasn’t about judgement nor was it about holding myself up to some fictitious measuring stick of what makes a cyclist.  This was about me and, as I discovered, my heart.  Once things sufficiently warmed up and I was halfway through the 20 minute melee, it wasn’t my legs or my chest I was battling, it was my mind. Throughout our lives we run into a lot of “noes”, a lot of other people telling us what we are and are not capable of.  Somewhere along the line the fear of failure becomes instilled in our minds and in turn creates a huge barrier that stands between us and our aspirations.  All of the “what if’s” cloud our vision and often times feel more real to us than the reality of the minutes, hours, days, months, and years we have lovingly poured into our dreams.  I am here to tell you straight up, this is a lie.  These are the moments where we have to allow our hearts to win out over our minds.  It’s that extraordinarily easy, as well as that extraordinarily difficult at the same time.  Surely, our minds are key in the cycling process.  Always check in, always listen when your mind is telling you legit reasons to maybe slow down, ease off, or even dismount and “live to ride another day”, as it were.  This cannot be overstated.  However, there are many many times that your mind will decide to haze you…cause you to needlessly doubt your veracity.  And it is these times when your heart must step in.  After all, true vehemence is born of the pounding visceral heart, not of the calculated cerebral mind.  Trust this.  I promise you it will take you so much further than thought possible. Because I am one of those people whom happens to have a rabid shrew whose downed about 12 shots of perfectly “crema’d” Italian espresso turning the cranks of my thought, (seriously, look up these little buggers on YouTube, they never stop!), all of this and more was rushing through my brain those last ten minutes of the Functional Threshold Power Test.  My head was giving sway to doubt, I started asking myself: if I had what it takes to finish?  How could I go on?  Will I let everyone down?  Frequently during these hard moments we are graced with acute clarity…my heart began projecting images of resolve and comfort; seeing myself screaming downhill out of Castle Pines after being lost for the better of two hours, my first time walking into the training center and seeing the reassuring smiles of my new coaches, and the look of patience and joy on Tom’s face (from my bike shop, Lucky Bikes) as he explains for the third-plus time on how to execute a common repair.  This is what stays the heart, and the heart is what stays the legs.  My full clarity was this: 1) The only way I could let these people down is by not trying. 2) Not trying will never be an option. And 3) “What I have left” is perpetually limitless. So, when next you find yourself affixed to the line of your assumed threshold remember this: Limitations do not exist for the heart and the heart of a cyclist harbors no threshold. You always have more to give and, just between you and me, when I stepped down off my bike I kind of did feel like a Viking Maiden Warrior, ya know, just a little.   Written by: Fleur Alvarez, First time Denver Century Rider *”becoming” is used here in the philosophical sense; Heraclitus of Ephesus wrote “panta rhei, os potamòs” meaning, “the whole flows, as a river,” or figuratively as “everything flows, nothing stands still.”  These words perfectly embody my approach to being, or better constantly becoming a cyclist.  

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Threshold
by Fleur Alvarez

One thing I’ve found continually running through my mind as I venture on this path towards constantly becoming* a cyclist is: “What do I have left?”  What do I have left to give?  What do I have left to push?  What do I have left to dig up from gut and shove into my legs?  Over the past couple of weeks this has been my steady state of mind.  I want to give my all…but how much do I have?

Two and a half weeks ago I went into Inspired Training Center for something they call a “FUNCTIONAL THRESHOLD POWER TEST” (in summation: a warm up ride that culminates to a 20 minute block where you increasingly give everything you’ve got.)  I had built this up in my mind to be something very intimidating; something that would leave me bloodied and bruised like some victorious Viking Maiden Warrior, holding my bike aloft my head as if my war axe!  Happily, I was almost totally wrong.  Intimidating?  Not at all.  In fact, as soon as I hopped on my saddle and Coach Sue was talking me through what we were about to do I was completely at ease.  I was amongst my people; friends.  I was on my bike; a faithful mount.  This wasn’t about judgement nor was it about holding myself up to some fictitious measuring stick of what makes a cyclist.  This was about me and, as I discovered, my heart.  Once things sufficiently warmed up and I was halfway through the 20 minute melee, it wasn’t my legs or my chest I was battling, it was my mind.

Throughout our lives we run into a lot of “noes”, a lot of other people telling us what we are and are not capable of.  Somewhere along the line the fear of failure becomes instilled in our minds and in turn creates a huge barrier that stands between us and our aspirations.  All of the “what if’s” cloud our vision and often times feel more real to us than the reality of the minutes, hours, days, months, and years we have lovingly poured into our dreams.  I am here to tell you straight up, this is a lie.  These are the moments where we have to allow our hearts to win out over our minds.  It’s that extraordinarily easy, as well as that extraordinarily difficult at the same time.  Surely, our minds are key in the cycling process.  Always check in, always listen when your mind is telling you legit reasons to maybe slow down, ease off, or even dismount and “live to ride another day”, as it were.  This cannot be overstated.  However, there are many many times that your mind will decide to haze you…cause you to needlessly doubt your veracity.  And it is these times when your heart must step in.  After all, true vehemence is born of the pounding visceral heart, not of the calculated cerebral mind.  Trust this.  I promise you it will take you so much further than thought possible.

Because I am one of those people whom happens to have a rabid shrew whose downed about 12 shots of perfectly “crema’d” Italian espresso turning the cranks of my thought, (seriously, look up these little buggers on YouTube, they never stop!), all of this and more was rushing through my brain those last ten minutes of the Functional Threshold Power Test.  My head was giving sway to doubt, I started asking myself: if I had what it takes to finish?  How could I go on?  Will I let everyone down?  Frequently during these hard moments we are graced with acute clarity…my heart began projecting images of resolve and comfort; seeing myself screaming downhill out of Castle Pines after being lost for the better of two hours, my first time walking into the training center and seeing the reassuring smiles of my new coaches, and the look of patience and joy on Tom’s face (from my bike shop, Lucky Bikes) as he explains for the third-plus time on how to execute a common repair.  This is what stays the heart, and the heart is what stays the legs.  My full clarity was this: 1) The only way I could let these people down is by not trying. 2) Not trying will never be an option. And 3) “What I have left” is perpetually limitless.

So, when next you find yourself affixed to the line of your assumed threshold remember this: Limitations do not exist for the heart and the heart of a cyclist harbors no threshold.

You always have more to give and, just between you and me, when I stepped down off my bike I kind of did feel like a Viking Maiden Warrior, ya know, just a little.

InspiredFleur

 

Written by: Fleur Alvarez, First time Denver Century Rider

*”becoming” is used here in the philosophical sense; Heraclitus of Ephesus wrote “panta rhei, os potamòs” meaning, “the whole flows, as a river,” or figuratively as “everything flows, nothing stands still.”  These words perfectly embody my approach to being, or better constantly becoming a cyclist.

 

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Training Blog: Meet Fleur Alvarez, 1st Time Denver Century Rider http://denvercenturyride.com/training-blog-meet-fleur-alvarez/ http://denvercenturyride.com/training-blog-meet-fleur-alvarez/#comments Fri, 22 Jan 2016 17:36:35 +0000 http://denvercenturyride.com/?p=3595 I am a Cyclist My name is Fleur and I am a cyclist.  It has taken me over two years of cycling to say this phrase.  Even though I have been on my bike five to six days every week, in the rain, heat, sleet, and snow, broken a couple bones, lost a couple teeth…even though I have loved every minute of the searing muscle pain and savored the intense sensation of triumph that is climbing hills…still, I had felt unworthy of this moniker. Just over two years ago I was sitting in the passenger seat of my car, being driven home by my husband, Ismael, after having been seen by my doctor.  In my hand I held seven slips of prescription paper.  I walked out of that office with the diagnoses of: Severe Hypertension, Fatty Infiltrate of the Liver, High Risk of Stroke, Clinical Obesity (flirting with the line to morbid obesity, being five-nothin’ and over 220 pounds) and the instructions to be on bedrest.  I was daunted to say the least; crushed with hopelessness is probably more accurate.  For about a day I allowed myself to accept this fate, “Maybe this is just who I am supposed to be?” I told myself.  The following early afternoon I had cried myself to sleep on my couch.  And when I awoke I sat up, wiped my snotty face, and was struck with this thought: “But, I’m a fighter.”  Why would I not fight now for my health?  So, with this thought quickly becoming my mantra I picked up my phone, called my doctor and told him that I didn’t want to be on any medications at all and wanted his help to achieve this.  He laughed at me.  Without hesitation I told him that if he wouldn’t help me that I would find a doctor who would.  And I did.  My new doctor wanted me to taper off my heart medication while increasing my activity and while also being much more closely monitored.  He suggested a few activities but as soon as he said: “bike riding”, I was instantly transported to my childhood filled with endless hours of me on my cruiser, armed only with my survival kit of squashed peanut butter sandwiches, a bruised apple, and as many G.I. Joes and WWF wrestling figures that I could manage to stuff into my mom’s emptied sewing bag.  Yes!  This, I could do.  There was some stumbling and embarrassment at the beginning, but as soon as found myself flying down the trail, sun casting shadows to my left and my ears filled with the easing sound of the wind rushing past me…I was hooked! Within the first six months of cycling and eating fresh natural foods all of my ailments and medication dependencies had completely disappeared and my focus quickly shifted from cycling to live to LIVING TO CYCLE. Yet, it wasn’t until very recently when I found myself pedaling down my regular turf of the South Platte Trail…all throughout this ride; hearing the all too familiar sounds of harried frontage road traffic to the right and scores of Canadian Geese making their accent onto the water to my left, passing over the little bridges where I have grown to love watching the light flicker and play through the slats, and then standing on my pedals as I conquered my final stretch home over Ruby Hill…I was left with this overwhelming sense of ownership.  For my bike, my trail, my trek…my sport.  It suddenly occurred to me that the only requirement for “being a real cyclist” is simple passion.  Doesn’t matter how far, how fast, or how graceful you ride.  If you love riding your bike, you ARE a cyclist. And so this is me: a 35 year old, mother of five, now weighing 140 pounds, still collecting action figures…and I am starting my training to complete my very first Denver Century Ride.  My excitement concerning this is not something I can easily put into words.  And although I know that the road ahead will push me well beyond my perceived limitations, I also know every moment of training will be worth the refinement of my craft that I will gain.  With a smile on my face I lift my chin to the next precipitous hill and growl: “Bring it on!” My name is Fleur and I am a cyclist.

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I am a Cyclist

FLEURblogPIC1

My name is Fleur and I am a cyclist.  It has taken me over two years of cycling to say this phrase.  Even though I have been on my bike five to six days every week, in the rain, heat, sleet, and snow, broken a couple bones, lost a couple teeth…even though I have loved every minute of the searing muscle pain and savored the intense sensation of triumph that is climbing hills…still, I had felt unworthy of this moniker.

Just over two years ago I was sitting in the passenger seat of my car, being driven home by my husband, Ismael, after having been seen by my doctor.  In my hand I held seven slips of prescription paper.  I walked out of that office with the diagnoses of: Severe Hypertension, Fatty Infiltrate of the Liver, High Risk of Stroke, Clinical Obesity (flirting with the line to morbid obesity, being five-nothin’ and over 220 pounds) and the instructions to be on bedrest.  I was daunted to say the least; crushed with hopelessness is probably more accurate.  For about a day I allowed myself to accept this fate, “Maybe this is just who I am supposed to be?” I told myself.  The following early afternoon I had cried myself to sleep on my couch.  And when I awoke I sat up, wiped my snotty face, and was struck with this thought: “But, I’m a fighter.”  Why would I not fight now for my health?  So, with this thought quickly becoming my mantra I picked up my phone, called my doctor and told him that I didn’t want to be on any medications at all and wanted his help to achieve this.  He laughed at me.  Without hesitation I told him that if he wouldn’t help me that I would find a doctor who would.  And I did.  My new doctor wanted me to taper off my heart medication while increasing my activity and while also being much more closely monitored.  He suggested a few activities but as soon as he said: “bike riding”, I was instantly transported to my childhood filled with endless hours of me on my cruiser, armed only with my survival kit of squashed peanut butter sandwiches, a bruised apple, and as many G.I. Joes and WWF wrestling figures that I could manage to stuff into my mom’s emptied sewing bag.  Yes!  This, I could do.  There was some stumbling and embarrassment at the beginning, but as soon as found myself flying down the trail, sun casting shadows to my left and my ears filled with the easing sound of the wind rushing past me…I was hooked!

Within the first six months of cycling and eating fresh natural foods all of my ailments and medication dependencies had completely disappeared and my focus quickly shifted from cycling to live to LIVING TO CYCLE.

Yet, it wasn’t until very recently when I found myself pedaling down my regular turf of the South Platte Trail…all throughout this ride; hearing the all too familiar sounds of harried frontage road traffic to the right and scores of Canadian Geese making their accent onto the water to my left, passing over the little bridges where I have grown to love watching the light flicker and play through the slats, and then standing on my pedals as I conquered my final stretch home over Ruby Hill…I was left with this overwhelming sense of ownership.  For my bike, my trail, my trek…my sport.  It suddenly occurred to me that the only requirement for “being a real cyclist” is simple passion.  Doesn’t matter how far, how fast, or how graceful you ride.  If you love riding your bike, you ARE a cyclist.

And so this is me: a 35 year old, mother of five, now weighing 140 pounds, still collecting action figures…and I am starting my training to complete my very first Denver Century Ride.  My excitement concerning this is not something I can easily put into words.  And although I know that the road ahead will push me well beyond my perceived limitations, I also know every moment of training will be worth the refinement of my craft that I will gain.  With a smile on my face I lift my chin to the next precipitous hill and growl: “Bring it on!”

My name is Fleur and I am a cyclist.

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Bicycle Pre-Ride Check http://denvercenturyride.com/bicycle-pre-ride-check/ http://denvercenturyride.com/bicycle-pre-ride-check/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 21:31:46 +0000 http://denvercenturyride.com/?p=3244 Bicycle Pre-ride Check by Marty Albe, Altitude Cycling This check list is assuming your bike has not been: sitting out in a field for months, has not been in a crash, run over, driven into your garage while on the roof rack of your vehicle, from 1967, or generally abused. Tires: Worn, dry rotted, holes or areas that have cord showing, any sidewall cuts, excessive patching on tubes. Consider a sealant such as Stan’s Notubes Tire Sealant if your valve will accept it (removable valve on presta type). Wheels: Are they “true” (mount to bike and spin to detect and wobble from the brake calipers). Inspect spokes to see if any are loose or are showing stress at the hub or rim. Inspect spokes for any other damage. Inspect the braking surface for heavy grooves or concave surface (should be smooth and level). Axle in hub should feel smooth when rotated, if it feels crunchy or loose, take the wheel to one of the sponsor shops Brakes: Pads still have vertical “grooves” and are warn even. Clean off any “glaze” with 180 grit sandpaper. Are they lined up with the braking surface on the wheel? Are the calipers square to vertical? Are they adjusted to the proper brake lever position for your hands? Cables: Do they stick or show fraying areas. Sticking or frayed cables are indicated by stiff shifting and delayed springbuck. Check the housings for cracks or splits. Shifting: Does the bike shift properly through all the gears without hesitation or clattering. Headset: Hold front brake on and move bike back and forth to detect if the headset is loose. Chain: Check with a gauge or stop by one of our bike shops (see list below) and they will check for you. Bottom Bracket: Grab one of the pedals and jiggle side to side. There should be no play in the “axle”, or bottom bracket. If you have a carbon frame and your bike “creeks” when you put pressure on the pedal, get it checked as this could be a sign of a loose bottom bracket (along with many other possibilities). Shoe Cleats, Pedals: Make sure they are not worn, cracked or have chunks missing. I have seen many people’s rides end due to cleats and/or pedals in poor condition. Frame/Fork: Visual inspection for any suspicious damage, cracks, etc.  Concerned?  Have it checked? General once-over: Jiggle, smack, bounce, visually inspect – Do you hear or see anything loose or rattling? Have it checked! Clean it up for cripes sake: Some light degreaser, a little dish soap and a garden hose are all you need. Let it drip dry after you wipe it down. Do not use pressurized air to blow it off. Lube, Lube, Lube: Chain, front and rear derailleur pivot points, brake caliper pivot points (but definitely not the pads!) IMPORTANT: Make sure your bike has been fit. There is nothing more detrimental physically and safety wise than a poorly fitting bike. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact any Campus Cycles (campuscycles.com); Treads Bicycle Outfitters (treads.com) ; Cycleton (cycleton.com); Jinji Cycles (jinjicycles.com); The Bicycle Shack  (thebicycleshackllc.com); or Lucky Bikes Recyclery (luckybikesrecyclery.org) to get your bicycle checked before the Denver Century Ride

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Bicycle Pre-ride Check by Marty Albe, Altitude Cycling

This check list is assuming your bike has not been: sitting out in a field for months, has not been in a crash, run over, driven into your garage while on the roof rack of your vehicle, from 1967, or generally abused.

Tires: Worn, dry rotted, holes or areas that have cord showing, any sidewall cuts, excessive patching on tubes. Consider a sealant such as Stan’s Notubes Tire Sealant if your valve will accept it (removable valve on presta type).

Wheels: Are they “true” (mount to bike and spin to detect and wobble from the brake calipers). Inspect spokes to see if any are loose or are showing stress at the hub or rim. Inspect spokes for any other damage. Inspect the braking surface for heavy grooves or concave surface (should be smooth and level). Axle in hub should feel smooth when rotated, if it feels crunchy or loose, take the wheel to one of the sponsor shops

Brakes: Pads still have vertical “grooves” and are warn even. Clean off any “glaze” with 180 grit sandpaper. Are they lined up with the braking surface on the wheel? Are the calipers square to vertical? Are they adjusted to the proper brake lever position for your hands?

Cables: Do they stick or show fraying areas. Sticking or frayed cables are indicated by stiff shifting and delayed springbuck. Check the housings for cracks or splits.

Shifting: Does the bike shift properly through all the gears without hesitation or clattering.

Headset: Hold front brake on and move bike back and forth to detect if the headset is loose.

Chain: Check with a gauge or stop by one of our bike shops (see list below) and they will check for you.

Bottom Bracket: Grab one of the pedals and jiggle side to side. There should be no play in the “axle”, or bottom bracket. If you have a carbon frame and your bike “creeks” when you put pressure on the pedal, get it checked as this could be a sign of a loose bottom bracket (along with many other possibilities).

Shoe Cleats, Pedals: Make sure they are not worn, cracked or have chunks missing. I have seen many people’s rides end due to cleats and/or pedals in poor condition.

Frame/Fork: Visual inspection for any suspicious damage, cracks, etc.  Concerned?  Have it checked?

General once-over: Jiggle, smack, bounce, visually inspect – Do you hear or see anything loose or rattling? Have it checked!

Clean it up for cripes sake: Some light degreaser, a little dish soap and a garden hose are all you need. Let it drip dry after you wipe it down. Do not use pressurized air to blow it off.

Lube, Lube, Lube: Chain, front and rear derailleur pivot points, brake caliper pivot points (but definitely not the pads!)

IMPORTANT: Make sure your bike has been fit. There is nothing more detrimental physically and safety wise than a poorly fitting bike.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact any Campus Cycles (campuscycles.com); Treads Bicycle Outfitters (treads.com) ; Cycleton (cycleton.com); Jinji Cycles (jinjicycles.com); The Bicycle Shack  (thebicycleshackllc.com); or Lucky Bikes Recyclery (luckybikesrecyclery.org) to get your bicycle checked before the Denver Century Ride

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2014 Post Ride Survey http://denvercenturyride.com/2014-post-ride-survey/ http://denvercenturyride.com/2014-post-ride-survey/#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 15:11:46 +0000 http://denvercenturyride.com/?p=2720 Thank you for riding in the 2014 Coldwell Banker Denver Century Ride! We appreciate our cyclists’ feedback and want to hear from you! Please take a moment to let us know what you loved about the Ride and where we can improve! Don’t forget to take advantage of the 2015 Registration available for a short period of time! See you next year!  

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Post-Ride-Survey-Banner

Thank you for riding in the 2014 Coldwell Banker Denver Century Ride!

We appreciate our cyclists’ feedback and want to hear from you! Please take a moment to let us know what you loved about the Ride and where we can improve! Don’t forget to take advantage of the 2015 Registration available for a short period of time! See you next year!

 

Denver-Century-Ride-VGB

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Download Your Picture from the Ride! http://denvercenturyride.com/download-your-picture-from-the-ride/ http://denvercenturyride.com/download-your-picture-from-the-ride/#comments Sat, 14 Jun 2014 02:03:36 +0000 http://denvercenturyride.com/?p=2709 Cyclists, smile for the photographers from Sundance Images waiting for you at the Finish Line of the Coldwell Banker Denver Century Ride! Click here to view the photos that will be available for purchase of the Coldwell Banker Denver Century Ride cyclists!

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SIFinalLogo

Cyclists, smile for the photographers from Sundance Images waiting for you at the Finish Line of the Coldwell Banker Denver Century Ride!

Click here to view the photos that will be available for purchase of the Coldwell Banker Denver Century Ride cyclists!

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2014 Denver Century Ride Virtual Goodie Bag http://denvercenturyride.com/2014-denver-century-ride/ http://denvercenturyride.com/2014-denver-century-ride/#comments Thu, 12 Jun 2014 20:14:16 +0000 http://denvercenturyride.com/?p=2678   2014 Coldwell Banker Denver Century Ride Virtual Goodie Bag A Special Thank You to our Sponsors for these Fantastic Steals & Deals Only for Denver Century Ride Registrants!          

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2014 Coldwell Banker Denver Century Ride Virtual Goodie Bag

A Special Thank You to our Sponsors for these Fantastic Steals & Deals Only for Denver Century Ride Registrants!

 

 

 

 

 

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