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Aug. 31, 2009
Troy checks in…
With the start of the cyclocross season only a few weeks away, Team Clif Bar pro rider and Durango resident Troy Wells just checked in to share how his training is taking shape. I have to admit, his ride descriptions and pictures made me long for the days when my only responsibilities involved making sure that my chain had some lube and that I had a ride up to Tahoe for a weekend of trail riding. Anyway…here is what Troy had to say:

With ‘cross season kicking off in just over 3 weeks with CrossVegas, people are starting to catch the cyclocross fever. I’m excited for the season to get underway, especially with one of the coolest races all season under the lights in Vegas. I always take a different approach than most for my ‘cross season prep. Instead of lacing up the running shoes or doing a lot of short, intense intervals, I take the time to do my second base period of the year. But, I’m not out logging in mile after mile on the road bike. Instead, I get to do the numerous high-country mountain bike rides that Durango, CO has to offer. Nothing beats riding around in the extra-thin air on some amazing single track. Over the next week and a half, I’ll bust out my Salsa Mamasita and do about 5 of my favorite high-country rides that generally take between 3 and 5 hours.

Yesterday was my first big ride after a couple 2-hour rides to get my body back into riding after two weeks of down time. I did the Junction Creek road to CO trail, which is one of my favorites because I can to ride right out of my door and get straight into the high country. The ride begins about 4 miles off of Main in Durango, CO and has a couple variations to choose from. I usually just climb up the Junction Creek road, which is a rough dirt road for about 20 miles. You start at around 6500 feet and after 20 miles you are up around 10,500. The climb is never steep, but with the thin air it makes for a solid 2+hour climb. Instead of the norm, though, I took some single track, which dropped me off at mile marker 5. This added some time to my climb and I hit the CO trial after 2.5 hrs of climbing.

Once you hit the single track the ride finally gets going. You descend for 30 minutes of east coast style riding, with some roots, rock, and of course, lots of mud. The last 5 minutes of the descent you crisscross a creek bed before you finally come to a wooden bridge and start a tough climb with a number of switchbacks, which is nice because your hands really need a break at this point. The climb takes about 40 minutes, with the worst of it coming right after the bridge. The first 10 to 15 minutes you are in your granny gear balancing your machine while trying not to fall off the drop to your left. Nothing like seeing stars and trying to stay steady! To make the climb more tolerable, I always keep in mind that the climb gets much easier towards the top, as it is basically a rolling single track with elevation gain. Finally, you reach a classic mountain look-out and then it is all downhill to town. You have 50 minutes of fast, west coast style rip and grip downhill—can’t beat that!

I was on my bike for total of 4 hours and 35 minutes and took in a ton of food, including 1 Chocolate Chip Z Bar, a Mixed Nuts Mojo bar, 3 Fastpaks of Bloks (Orange and Cran-Razz), as well as 1 bottle of Cran-Razz Shot Electrolyte, 1 bottle of Mango Recovery and half a CamelBak of good old H2O (should have been a whole one as I ran out of water by the end).

If you have any question about the ride you can e-mail me @ or follow me on twitter tdub255.

Thanks for the update Troy! We’ll see you in Vegas on September 23rd.
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Team Clif Bar

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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