Mountains, Thin Air, Unpaved Roads
Do you remember your first plane ride? One that took off on a cloudy day? Perhaps you were gripping your armrests with white knuckles because the sound of the turbines spooling up made you nervous. With the aircraft moving at take-off speed, you felt the initial g-forces pulling your vital organs back down to earth. You had the window seat and in hesitation, you squinted to look outside. The ground below became smaller and the terrain quickly became vast.
Next thing you knew, you were in the thick clouds. The armrests felt relief and for the next several minutes, it was a total whiteout. Just as you began to take your eyes off the window, the thick white clouds disappeared and became like the ground you experienced not too long ago. The clouds were now your terrain and the sun peeked over its horizon. Breathtaking. Your fears disappeared and you forgot your racing heartbeat.
Riding your bike in new environments isn’t much different than your first time above the clouds. For those of you that have ridden gravel after spending most of your time on asphalt, it’s a totally different experience. You can spend hours in pain on the gravel, yet be totally overcome by the surrounding beauty of the landscape. This year, like many years before, there will be hundreds of gravel events around the United States. Some have extremely unique aspects and some are just grueling. The gravel movement isn’t calming down and the coolest part about it is that it’s allowing people who are uncomfortable riding on high trafficked asphalt to get out on their bikes for well-supported and well-organized races.
Here in Colorado, we pride ourselves in the elevation that comes with the terrain. With 53 peaks in our state that reach an elevation of 14,000 feet or more, there are a couple that allows you to pedal your way to the top. The trouble is, for those of you glued to gravel, it doesn’t become an option. But there is good news! This year, RyseOn and The Crippler are putting on events that allow you to experience the best of gravel riding and the best of Colorado while riding above the clouds and pushing your physical limits to their maximum.
On April 5th, the Firepower Cycling Camp will commence and carry on through the weekend. Base camp is deep in the Aspens of Colorado directly west of Colorado Springs. For one weekend, you have the ability to completely unplug from cell phones and email accounts to enjoy campfire training talks, endless gravel roads, and all-inclusive amenities. Not only that but RyseOn’s power meter partner, SRM, will be supplying power meters for camp athletes to use for the full weekend. You will be able to walk away with training zones, personal physiological capabilities, and bike handling skills on gravel that you didn’t have before.
If you can’t make it in April, you have the option of registering for one of the coolest and most unique gravel races in the state, The Crippler. Distance being little more than a metric century, the start/finish line has an elevation of approximately 5,300 feet. By the time you finish the first big climb, you reach nearly 10,000 feet. On September 29th, it will be the third running of the event. Each year its attendees grow larger. Known for its arduous 25-mile climb and crippling descent, this race is aptly named. Being that the altitude is the limiting factor of performance, it adds its own dimension of difficulty that other gravel grinders around the country simply cannot simulate.
RyseOn is an endurance coaching company that prides itself in two things: athlete support and athlete performance. Not only are the coaching services of the highest standard, but the customer/athlete experience is on the same level. RyseOn has partnered with The Crippler for this reason. Our local gravel is elevated and after you experience riding it with us, your standard of what we do will be too.