A Misty Morning in the Mountains: Logan Mill + Chapman

Since Dirty Kanza was postponed to September, I’ve been feeling much less pressure to go on big, stupid rides every weekend until race day. In the next couple months I’ll really have to dial things up, but right now we are still relatively far out, so I have been enjoying less structure and more go-by-feel rides. 

Last week, one of my friends posted a big ride on Strava that hit several of the major climbs west of Boulder; one of them was Logan Mill. I hadn’t ridden up there since last year before we got our first snowfall of the winter, so on Saturday morning I headed out early to beat whatever nasty rain we were supposed to get later that afternoon.

The best way to get to Logan Mill from Boulder is Sunshine Canyon, which heads straight into the mountains past Mount Sanitas.

After a steady and sometimes steep ride up, I took a left onto Poorman, a winding dirt road that connects to Fourmile, which is another paved climb up to a lefthand turnoff to Logan Mill.

I’m glad I didn’t remember how steep Logan Mill is because halfway up, when my legs were seizing and my lungs were burning, I wanted to turn around but knew I’d be really disappointed in myself for giving up. Plus, the ride up was beautiful.

The higher I went, the thicker the fog and cloud cover got.

I was hoping to make it above the clouds at one point, but they must have been really high up because I never saw sunshine. I was listening to podcasts almost the whole way to Logan Mill, but once my tires hit the dirt I took out my headphones and enjoyed the quiet.

And it’s a different kind of quiet up there. It’s peaceful, not eerie. Residents go about their business, waving neighborly at me as I struggle to make it around the next corner and then the one after that. One older guy was chopping wood on his front lawn—a clearing on which he could simultaneously look out at snow-capped 14-ers above and the city of Boulder 2,500 ft. below.

I would commit unspeakable crimes for views like that every day.

After several sections of 17% grade and deep belly breathing (ok, wheezing), I was at the top of the climb and the furthest from any signs of coronavirus I’ve been in awhile. It felt really nice to forget about that reality for a few hours. I think we all need that every so often.

The best way to get down is to follow Escape Route to Mountain Meadows Rd. (a flowy dirt descent) to Sugarloaf then to Boulder Canyon, which is FINALLY open to cyclists heading east into town. One time I had to backtrack a couple dozen miles and several thousand feet of climbing because I didn’t know a small stretch of Boulder Canyon wasn’t open. Woof. Bad day. 

From Boulder Canyon I zoomed up Chapman Dr., which is a steady, popular dirt climb in Boulder that you can make easy or hard depending on how you’re feeling that day. I was pooped, so I slow pedaled, listening to the birds and thinking about what I was going to make for a late lunch. I had leftover tuna salad in a couple wraps plus the coffee I didn’t finish earlier that morning. I can’t quit it. It’s just so satisfying.

Surprisingly, I woke up Sunday morning feeling pretty good, so I did a little more climbing, but nothing to write home about. I have a quarantine week 7 post coming tomorrow because I have feelings. I think it might be my last “recap” because things are just feeling the same these days. A different day that ends in Y with the same workouts and cups of coffee and calls to my mom sprinkled in.

Did you have a good weekend? 

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