Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Meet Bear Peak

This is Bear Peak taken about 20m from my doorstep. Bear Peak and I have a special relationship. Bear Peak has helped me cope through some of this drama that I've experienced these last 4 months. Heading up to the summit (8400 ft above sea level - so about 2800ft gain) is hard enough to purge all the crummy feelings that I may be having and allow me to feel a little closer to nature. And no matter how many times I get to the top, I feel like I accomplished something because there's no easy way up there. Plus, the views on a clear day can't be beat.
This is Longs Peak from the top of Bear Peak. At 14,259 ft above sea level, it's the closest 14,000+ ft peak to Boulder. It's an incredible mountain to hike. It has so much character and is my favorite of the 10 or so 14ers I've climbed.

This is Boulder from the top of Bear. In an attempt to include the CU campus (red brick roofs in the middle-left of the pic), I cut out our house which is just a little bit to the right of lower right quadrant.

This is Green Mountain (also a great hike) from the top of Bear Pk. You can also see where the foothills meet the plains in the background.

Anyway, I just wanted to share one of the many features in this area that have helped keep me happy (and sane). Also, because I need a competitive outlet these days, a couple of months ago I raced myself to the top and down from my house in 1:21:30 (50 min. up, 31 min. down). That was in snowpack so it was a little slower going up but really fast and out of control at times sliding down! I'd like to see how that compares to the fastest times ever done, so if any of you locals know some ascent times of Bear, Green, and/or Sanitas - let me know if you get a chance. Thanks!

No leads on the job front yet, but I've had a couple of chats with Mr. Tygart from USADA since announcing that I was no longer going to play the game. They've been potentially productive chats and I've been trying to give them the benefit of the doubt now. After all, they are the good guys right? I've just been trying to convince them that it's in their best interests to help me find out (or allow me access to find out) how this positive test happened. But it takes a lot of trust on their part, I guess. Can't they just see things my way? :)
Also, in a show of my personal recovery of sorts, I was excited to hear that DirecTV will be adding Vs. again to their channel lineup. That means I'll be able to watch the Classics this spring. I'm pretty excited. I guess I'm still a fan of this cycling thing.


ACS said...


Bill Wright maintains a pretty decent list, some of the records are off due to lack of reporting, one fellow I know can top out on Green in about 31 minutes.

otis said...

I love the weekly posts! Keep it up bud.

Jody said...

Wow Tom! Judging by the number of comments your last to two posts have generated, I'd say your popularity greatly decreases when you talk about non cycling topics. But your friends love hearing what your up to, so I agree with Otis, keep it up! :)

Kira Evie said...

If you want another serious challenge, you guys should come to Montana this summer and do Granite Peak with me :) It's a royal ass-kicker, so I've heard. Bring lots of warm clothes. And snow shoes. ;)
It's SO good to turn to nature when you need a challenge. Nothing like summiting a Fourteener. Keep it up, my dear.

Kyle said...

Hey Tom! As I was pulling out my virtual kit for another season of fantasy cycling (yeah I said it), I remembered how proud I was of my permanent rainbow bands I got from winning both the '09 Worlds TT and RR. Bet you didn't know this: you teamed up with Tony Martin and Chris Froome to win me the TT title! The results stuck, despite the problems that were forced on you. My virtual rainbow bands inspired me to send you a quick message to say, we're all with you, you've got our support, and keep on keepin on.

My awesome cycling kit is on display here: www.crazyguyonabike.com/pedalingsquares
where you can read all about the love of a bike ride (hopefully in a humorous way) as we ride across the USA this summer.
Thanks again!

Sarah Stewart (broom) said...

Tom, it's good to hear you're taking time to decompress from the madness and are enjoying the beautiful outdoors. I still think you are one of the nicest, if not the nicest, pro athlete I've ever met. I'm still a fan and trust the right doors will open for you. You have a wonderful attitude and spirit, and I wish you all the best!

michelle said...

Ever hike, or consider hiking, the John Muir Trail? If not, you should add it to the list of new challenges you're going to tackle even if you only have time for part of it.

Good luck!