... than to jump on the bike and do a little bit of climbing. With yesterday's official clearance to ride wherever, I couldn't have been more excited to get on the bike this morning and go on a ride with friends Carl and Brady for a ride up to Brainard Lake.
Even though it is climbing, I'm never crazy about the way to start to get there: you get about 1 mile to warm up on a gradual incline before things kick-up: 8% average for the next mile, followed by .3 mile false flat, and then a leisurely 5% average for another .6 mile. But hey, I'll take it over flats and gentle rollers. And it gave me a chance to see how my legs and lungs were after several weeks of inconsistent riding. The early indication: OK, considering.
After a brief descent, we took the next 20 miles to climb up to Brainard. I'm sure there are many vistas to compete with it, but on a clear day like today, the final approach to Brainard is hard to beat. You come over a slight knoll and all of a sudden in front of you are some of the mountains of the Indian Peaks Wilderness, and their snow covered slopes and peaks reflecting off of the lake. After the knoll, I realized that that view — and the solitude that accompanies it — is in my backyard (expanded).
After taking in some liquid and solid fuel, and putting on some clothes for the descent, we pointed the bikes downhill and headed home, taking one last glimpse of the peaks as we rode away.
Not a bad way to resume my cycling in earnest. Not bad at all.
(Pictures, top to bottom: profile of today's ride; me, Brainard Lake, and some partially snow covered mountains of the Indian Peaks Wilderness.)