The Bob Cook Memorial/Mt Evans Hill Climb has long been a favorite race of mine. I am aspirationally a climber on a bike, which is to say that I am not able to compete with the people who are really good, but I love doing it anyway. I first did the race when I was 29 and did a pretty good time. When I turned 40, I decided that I would beat my time from 11 years before. It turned out that that was a slightly more difficult goal than I gave it credit for, but after 4 years of trying I finally did it and bettered that time by 2 minutes.
That was 2 years ago. This year in February I registered for the race with good intentions of getting fit and trying to do well again. Fast forward to a crazy busy summer without much time for training as well as not being very diligent in keeping the weight down and I started to think about not doing it. Instead I made the decision to go ride it just for the fun of it, and not worry about my time or anything. I am so glad I did. It is such a different experience riding that mountain without trying to go hard. My time was 36 minutes slower than last time, but at the top I felt relaxed and happy instead of ready to throw up. I had thought I might be done riding in the Mt Evans race, now I just think that I am done racing in it.
If you are a cyclist and have never ridden Mt Evans, I highly recommend it. Just don’t worry about trying to go fast, just slow down and enjoy it.