When my friend Wade, asked me to join him on a training ride in Leadville, I wasn't sure what I was getting into when I agreed to go. I knew it was going to be a long ride and a big day but I don't think I knew how big.
He explained that we would park in one place and go up the Columbine climb and then head back across and go up the Powerline climb. Sounded easy enough. Little did I know that we were going to park 22 miles away from the base of the Columbine climb.
So the day started with us parking by the Powerline climb and we started to go over towards the Columbine climb via the pipeline trail. The Pipeline trail was a fast/flat trail maybe with a slight downhill over past the damn at Twin Lakes. We covered the 22 mile distance in just about 2 hours.
After we crossed the damn we noticed a van there with the name UltraRob.com on it. Robs been getting in a lot of training lately so it made sense that he was there.Wade informed me that the climb was about 10 miles to the top. We started to climb. Wades is a way better rider than I am so after about a mile or so he went on ahead. I climbed slow and steady and began to get a little sore in my lower back. I continued to climb. After a little while I had to stop to stretch out my back for a few minutes then I hopped back on the bike and kept going.
After about 5 miles of climbing by myself, Wade came back down to see where I was. We climbed together a couple more miles and I decided to stop. Wade continued on to the top of the climb.
I stayed behind, took a few photos and talked with some other people who were also training. Wade came down and let me know that Ultra Rob was at the top of the climb.
We then continued down the climb. After only a couple of minutes I hear, "On your left" as a rider comes flying past me. It was Ultra Rob! That dude is FAST on the downhill. We tried to keep up but before too long, he was gone.
We continued down the climb. We got over by the damn and saw Ultra Robs van again. This time he was there but he was talking with someone so we just said "hi" and continued on.
A few miles away, we did a water check and realized that we had very little left. We kinda panicked and decided to go down Highway 82 to 24 and get some water down there. We got topped off with water and decided to take 24 back to the cars.
A few miles into our ride down 24 I hit the wall. I was just done. I was like "Wade, I gotta stop and rest". We stopped. Less than a minute later who comes driving up behind us, it was Ultra Rob! He says, "Hey, you guys need a ride?". We say yes and he gives a ride back to our cars. We had about 10 or 12 miles left in our ride. I was very thankful for the help.
After he dropped us off, we chatted for a little while, talked about bikes and racing and then went our separate ways.
So that's how Ultra Rob saved my life. Well, maybe he didn't "save my life" but I was sure glad to see him.
Thanks Rob!! Good to see you out there.
Check out Robs website here: www.UltraRob.com