The alarm goes off at 4 AM. Why the heck are you getting up so early my head screams? Early mornings are never easy, but coffee does wonders and after a 30 min drive to Aspen for even more coffee I was awake. Downtown Aspen at 5 AM is a little different than usual but I met up with a small crew of like minded folks for the first annual Pain in the Aspen.
We rolled out of town in the chilly pre-dawn air but quickly climbed through a temperature inversion and spun upwards as light crept through the sky.
Around the Iowa Mill area there were 3 of us riding fast together and I decided to put in a bit of a effort and see what happened. Suddenly I was off the front and would stay there for the next 6 hours.
For the remainder of the day I rode on some amazing trails, some of which had seen my tread before, some with had not, and held on to the lead until the finish.
All told I rode for 6:45 and climbed just a tad shy of 10K, however the highlight of the day was hanging out with everybody after they finished. That just doesn't happen at big events. Put this event on your calendar for next year!