Category Archives: Colorado Springs – 2016

The Subdivision Formerly Known as Nature

Northwest Colorado Springs

Tucked away against the mountains, in the northwest corner of Colorado Springs, there lie foothills littered with homes of the affluent – and rightly so: these views should not come cheap. Fortunately, unless your far east in Colorado Springs, there is no lack of scenery around town. It just so happens, that these views are the most secluded and probably least visited.

The road: West Woodmen Road. Cornering off a section just south of the Air Force Academy, this road at one point was probably the best place to ride in Colorado Springs. It probably still is, though I don’t think it should be – I’ll get to that later. Equipped with a bike lane for about 3 miles, the road winds this way and that, with gun-killing climbs and blinding descents. After enduring the torture of these climbs, you’ll be rewarded immediately with some stunning photographs.

iPhone 680

Southerly view from Woodmen

Mind you, this view is still in winter mode. These hills turn green when the grass and oak shrub come to life in the spring and summer. Still, the view goes on forever. If you blow this picture up, you can see bits of Colorado Springs in the background.

One thing worth noting, all of Colorado (except maybe Denver with it’s wonderful traffic pollution) has the deepest blue sky. Photos can’t do it justice, and anyone who’s visited Colorado can tell you the same. It just turns out, I enjoy the blue sky more when I’m surrounded by mountains.

So, if you fancy some climbs, there are 2 ways about tackling Woodmen. First, there’s the West-East route.

Woodmen - East-West

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the crossroads to show at this level. The start is at the crossroads of Centennial Blvd. and Vindicator Dr. and ends at Woodmen and Rockrimmon Blvd.

This route has a much smaller climb total, but the hills tend to come at a higher grade, so depending on how you roll, going West-East might be more appealing. Either way, you’re up for some hard word and great rewards!

The Downside

I’ll say this a lot while I’m writing about Colorado Springs – the roads are horrendous. Years of maintenance ignored thru snow storm after snow storm has left sections on the West-East descent terrifying. Prepare to slalom the potholes! If you’re running 23mm tires, you may want to think about changing out for Colorado Springs, especially this section of road. I ride 25mm, and am a bit heavy for the road, and every time I descend here, I pray for true wheels and inflated tires the entire way.

It’s also not uncommon that you’ll outpace automobiles on the descent, which, combined with the road conditions, makes a dangerous situation. In my opinion, best to keep your distance and brake to keep from passing or even coming close to autos here.

That being said, the descent on the East-West route is quite amazing asphalt.  If you don’t mind climbing out of the saddle most of the way up to save your rear the punishment, this is the better way to go. The descents are steep and smooth as a baby’s bottom. Hitting 50 mph is no problem! Just be prepared to corner well and with traffic around if you do hit 50!


There’s no shortage of Colorado Springs’ most abundant wildlife on this route. Always keep your eyes to the periphery for deer coming out of the fields and neighborhood backyards and driveways!

Can’t seem to get started again…


I find myself repeating my thoughts over and over when it comes to cycling. Last time I posted was in October. I made this grand plan to get back on the bike seriously again. I made graphs and charts, laid out my coming months, and made a heft blog post about it to keep myself accountable.

In the end…I did nothing. Only recently have I started to ride with gusto. Part of the reason why may be due to the weather in Colorado…and my disdain for trainer rides. Part of it may be due to my job – working 4 12-hour shifts a week now, and driving 1 hour each way really cramps my ability to ride effectively.

If I’m honest with myself though, it’s all due to the fact that I’ve made my whole cycling experience too involved. All the number crunching, all the planning, and all the disappointing thoughts as a result of the former, made me hate riding.

Yes, I said it. I hated to ride. And the way blogging fits into that is even more ridiculous. I blogged about the stuff that makes cycling boring – at least to me. I know some people just hear power meter readings and get figurative erections…I don’t. They lull me to sleep. And that’s exactly what I was doing to myself by blogging all the numbers and plans I had for myself.


After torturing myself for months about the perfect plan, I gave up. Most of the crap on this page is going to go away. This blog needs to be about cycling at its core – to me. So, goodbye power meters, goodbye training plans.


Same place, more posts.

For me, cycling is about adventure. The journey on the road that is the ultimate expression of human ingenuity – the power of your muscles and lungs moving the most simple yet intricate of man’s creation, the bicycle. The adventure for me is all about the intrinsic meaning of adventure – seeing new places. The bike offers intimacy with those new places like no other means of travel. Don’t get me wrong, though – I love feeling my abilities become stronger and more tuned. In the end, however, I’d rather make it to the top of a giant climb to see the view, not to bask in my awesome glory of pedal mashing.

As it turns out, I have the perfect job for being able to adventure – I’m a  travel nurse. I move every 3 months, with nothing but the things I love and need. So, this blog is going to start focusing on each of the new places I move to and what they afford the prospective cyclist.

Don’t be fooled when you see that I still use a power meter on my trainer – I now only do it only to set a maximum during recovery rides. Don’t cringe when you see me talk about average speed or VAM, I’ll use them only to prevent myself from going too hard.

Yes, from here on out, it’s about seeing the USA. Possibly about losing all the weight I’ve put back on, but mostly it’s about the ride.


Well, I’ve been spending a lot of time figuring out the aforementioned problems with my cycling. As I said before, I have been working 4 12-hour shifts per week, which is really cramping my cycling, but I’m starting to make it work now that Colorado has warmed up a bit (I say this, even though it just stopped snowing). The trainer has come in handy a little – but as I said before, it is really tough to get psyched about riding in place, indoors, with no wind, and no views.

I also had my first kid. She’s perfect, as I’m sure every dad says. Mine might actually be perfect tho…just saying. While she might cut into time, my wife has been amazing and she’s handling it better than I am in every single way, and that gives me a lot of hope that I’ll get back into the swing of things very shortly.

Other than that, not much…

To give you all a taste of what the Colorado I’ve been riding in looks like:


Entrance to Garden of the Gods, view of Pike’s Peak, with Manitou Springs at its base.