Thursday, June 30, 2011

Because We Can

On our way home to Rico from Telluride (where we both work) we (Laura and I) decided to ride the Groundhog Stock Trail. We rode it clockwise from the bottom of the Dunton Road and Hwy 145. It it only a 14 mile or so loop with just under 2k of climbing but feels much longer. Especially when my legs are tired and I'm on the full rigid. There is some hike-a-bike toward the end of the single track riding in this direction. A bit bumpy from the hoofs that have been pounding it but overall a good trail to hit after work or a good one to connect to other trails in the area such as East Fork or Winter, etc, etc.......

Monday, June 27, 2011

Death Loop 2011

Well, I wanted to  ride the high country on the single speed mountain bike this past weekend to scout out Blackhawk but I had a better idea pop into my head: DEATH LOOP-aka-San Juan Scenic Byway in one day. Solo. And on my geared ti Dean road bike. Yep, 225 miles of road riding in one day. I have done the ride two years ago in a clockwise direction and missed the chance last year and this time I was to ride it counter clockwise from Rico. I started at midnight on Friday night and finished back in Rico at 6.15pm Saturday night. 225 miles, 16k of climbing, 14.3 mph average ( I wanted closer to 15 mph avg) 15 hours and 46 minutes of pedaling time and 18 hours 15 minutes total time out in the elements. I saw many deer and elk at night, several coyotes and a set of green cat eyes staring at me through the scrub oak atop Mancos hill at 3am within 15 feet of me. And it looked to be a very big cat. I was a bit freaked out after that encounter.
My pedaling time was good throughout the day. I was at mile 84 in Durango at 4.30am. I had to conquer two passes on my way to Silverton, Molas at 10,910 elevation and Coal Bank at 10,640 feet elevation. I arrived in Silverton at 9.30 am. I have raced the Iron Horse Classic in under 3 hours from Durango to Silverton but I wouldn't see that kind of pace today. Uh duh! I was granny gearing (39x25) the passes as the legs were tired from the previous weekends 24 hour racing efforts. I really could have used a compact chain ring up front. I expected the fatigue to set in climbing the passes and knew I was in for a long day. I was not disappointed.
I arrived in Ridgway before 1pm at mile 165 after clawing my way up Red Mtn Pass at 11,018 feet elevation. That was a long 8 miles up from Silverton. Now it was a nice downhill 16 miles to Ouray. The headwinds were kicking in now and the 9 mile ride from Ouray to Ridgway wasn't pleasant. It was going to be brutal climbing up Dallas Divide over to Placerville. The winds were worse than I thought they were going to be. At times climbing Dallas Divide I was pedaling at a mere 5-6mph. I was getting battered. After an eternity I made it to the top of the divide and battled the wind all the way to Placerville. The downhill was even a hard effort. After a brief stop in Placerville to rehydrate I started the 16 mile grind up to Telluride. Keystone Hill was hot! I was wilting like a drought stricken daisy. I stopped at the gas station for some cold drinks and knew I had to battle up Lawson Hill still and onto and over Lizard Head Pass. I know these roads like the back of my hand and knew what was to come. After grinding to Lizard Head Pass at 10,200 feet elevation I saw Laura riding to meet me and to get her own training in for the day on her cross bike. The head winds picked up again on the South side of Lizard Head and all the way to Rico. Of course more wind, why make it easy on me on the final 12 miles descent. Damn I was tired. My initial goal of 16-17 hours were put to bed earlier with the ferocious head winds and I was looking at 18 hours total time which was fine with me. Cross it off the list until next year. A great day in the saddle with amazing scenery. I truly live in a great place.

File:Molas Pass sign.jpg

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest-The Results

Jeff And Paul of Kokopelli Bike and Board Racing Team on the wooden box!!!
The end result: 2nd place overall in the solo single speed class. 13 laps, 208 miles and over 14,000 feet of climbing. Kokopelli Bike and Board Racing ended up with two on the podium; Paul Adams in third place. Nice job!!
It was a battle royal throughout the night and into the morning. I was in 2nd place by only a few minutes at times behind teammate Kiviok Hight until he dropped out with a mechanical on his Trek just before the halfway point. I just smiled and motored out without eating or drinking any food as I saw the opportunity to gain some time on Kiviok if he did manage to get back out on course which wasn't the case in the end. Bummer for him. Around lap 9 or so Jeff Wood got around me and I was chasing the whole time. After I completed lap 10 at 4am I was in rough shape and had to try to calm my nauseous stomach down by eating some solid food and drinking a Coke. It was hard to choke down the food but I forced myself so I could get myself going again. It took awhile and I was back on the bike after chilling for two hours which didn't cost me any placing as my teammate Paul Adams had to chill out for a bit as well and we ended up going out together on our 11th lap. This was 2nd and 3rd place going out together. Game on!! Toward the end of the 11th lap Paul had dropped off into his own pace as I kept on the gas and I came into the pits fired up. I needed to close out the race still with two more laps and with the sun shining my energy was renewed. I was feeling great on my 12th and 13th lap with some good lap times but not enough to close in on the eventual winner Jeff Wood (2 hour down time cost me). Teammate Paul Adams kept it going as well to maintain a firm secure grasp on 3rd place with 13 laps to boot. Paul and I were pretty consistent with the lap times with the exception of the down time. Awesome job by the Kokopelli Bike and Board Racing Team!

My flat lander buddy Keevin Blue from Huntington Beach, California impressed all by taking the overall in the solo geared class with 13 laps. He beat up on the local boys while racing on a spanking shiny new 29er Specialized carbon rig. His first ride on the new bike as well as his first time on a 29er and killed it. Just awesome Keevin!!! Congrats!!!

Also a big congrats to the Back of the Pack crew for hanging in there as well to finish with some great laps.

Myself, Jeff Wood and Paul Adams on the podium.

Keevin Blue and Lenny Goodell post race fun.

Enjoying the after affect.

The 2nd place mug.

The pit.

The private after party away from the race venue. The wind drove us to a new location for Sunday night. Paul Adams, myself and Laura, Dan and Kara Dirtland and Keevin Blue. Kathryn Grohusky and crew ended up up in the same spot as well.

Paul enjoying the post-ride relaxing.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Beatdown-24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest

Time for another beating this weekend in the Enchanted Forest racing 24 hours in the solo single speed class. I'm ready!! There are 26 solo ss'ers in my class and it is some stiff competition.

Monday, June 13, 2011

SSUSA 2011 Video

Sweet video just came in from Barry Reese of the SSUSA 2011 in Boulder.

Stoner Mesa/Bean Canyon Riding

A great weekend of riding in Bean Canyon and the ever popular Stoner Mesa loop. Not huge miles but enough to feel it after accumulating 122 miles between Monday and Thursday. No ride Friday after work so Laura and I got out to the new restaurant in Rico; Dew South. The food was good and it is nice to have a place to go eat out when the craving arises. As well the Enterprise bar is open again after a long winter hiatus.

Laura and I ran errands for a majority of the day Saturday in Cortez and finally made it up to Shawn's house to park at our exclusive trail head parking area. Shawn has a nice secret route to the Boggy/Bean trail system from his property. By coincidence Killviok was right behind us so we rode together. Laura went out for her own 20 mile ride as Killviok and I rode Bean Canyon first and than did a loop on the Maverick trail. The trails are in prime condition. Hard, hard packed. We racked up 22 miles and 1800 feet of climbing. By the time we were done riding it was well past dinner time so we decided to stop at the Dolores Brew Pub before driving home. Shawn and family joined us as well and we enjoyed some great food and a beer each. We still had the 35 mile drive home. It made for a long day but that's what you do when you live in a remote town like Rico.

Sunday was to be a ride on the Stoner Mesa trail.  Paul Adams and Killviok of Kokopelli Bike and Board Racing Team joined in and we met up at 9am. We park at the lower Stoner Mesa TH and ride the 8 miles of pavement up and turn right on the dirt rode and ride that another 7 miles up to the trail head. This is a great training ride loop. Than it is 12 miles of pretty rough single track with a wicked switchback rough descent at the end. All of the trees are cut out so there is no tree hopping at all. On my full rigid single speed it was a good beating riding the rough cattle beaten trail with lots of roots and tree limbs to boot. The ride is a solid 2.5 hours of pedaling time and we stopped to take pictures and chat. 27 miles.

After I got home Sunday I took the dogs for a hike just south of Rico. They certainly enjoy the mountains. Lots of creeks for them to enjoy and waddle in. Another good weekend in the books.

Next weekend will be the beatdown in the 24 hours in the Enchanted Forest.

Bushwhacking through a huge Ponderosa on Bean Canyon

McPhee Lake Overlook

Stoner Mesa TH

Paul cranking through the skunk weeds

A small lake on the Stoner Mesa trail

Killviok negotiating a tight turn.

Lucy with her stick.

Enjoying my walk with the dogs Sunday afternoon.

Nacho enjoying the wild.

Friday, June 10, 2011

SSUSA Photos

Boulder Falls

Todd Sadow enjoying the cruiser ride.

TR and Will

Jake Kirkpatrick in the funky white hat and DJ in black tshirt

The crowd watching the river swimmers in the hosting competition

Tubing in the river for hosting rights for 2012.

Some cold folks.

TR getting his drink on at Shooters.

DeeJay riding the bull.

Hillside Grinder

Grinding up Hillside. The road is in primo condition.
I had a mid week day off and took advantage and rode the cross bike down HWY 145 to Hillside to see how far I could get before the snow turned me around. I was able to get up to 10,700 feet and 13.5 miles up hillside from highway 145. I ended up with 50.6 miles and just under 4k of climbing. 3 hours and 55 minutes of pedaling time. This is a perfect cross ride if you want to stick to just pave and fire roads but Grindstone/Bear Creek are up there for a great mountain bike ride once the snow recedes. The gearing seemed appropriate with a 42x18 and with the Crusher coming next month I will be doing more of these type of rides getting used to the beating the cross bike gives you on the fire roads. The Crusher may require a lighter gear (42x20?), cheater brakes, gel padding under the bar tape and fatter tires. I recently put new Avid V brakes on which are much better than the cheapo's the bike had originally.

Other excellent cross rides:
Dunton loop from HWY 145 (approx 60 miles and 3k+ of climbing)
Roaring Fork from HWY 145 (options are an out and back up to the divide road, over to Purg/Durango. Or loop around to Bolam Pass and down Barlow to HWY 145)
Taylor Creek from HWY 145 (out and back)

There are lots of options for these type of rides around Rico.

ps....Rode up Scotch Creek this week too. Snow turned me around ajust below 10k. I think Blackhawk may be rideable later in July. The Durango Dirty Century may have to reroute depending on snow melt off.

Monday, June 6, 2011

SSUSA 2011 Post Race Report ...........

I'll get right to it...bragging rights....4th place!!!

SSUSA 2011 in Boulder was pretty awesome. 100 of the finest single speeders around. TR and I from the Kokopelli team made our way over to Boulder on Friday morning. The event organizers did a great job putting this together with some fun hosting competition festivities for hosting the 2012 SSUSA. Vermont won. East coast next year for this one. Friday night kicked off with a mandatory cruiser ride to a couple of drinking establishments. First stop was Shooters where we drank PBR's, registered for the event and rode a mechanical bull. The bull was intimidating but I gave it a go and was put to the ground fairly quickly. Next stop was to a bar in a basement called Downers or some thing close to that. Things got a bit out of control for sure. Getting to bed early for the 9am race start was the goal but 3am comes quick when hanging out with the Niner crew; Fuzzy, DJ to name a few. Wow, I was wrecked trying to get up Saturday morning after a passed out drunken stupor with 3 hours of sleep. If you want to call it sleep. Anyways TR and I drive over to the Nederland High School where the start of the race was to begin. There was some heavy hitters for this one; Fuzzy, DJ, Nick Gould, Cameron Chambers, Robin G, Chad Cheeney etc, etc. etc.....The neutral roll out was about 5 miles up the paved road and over to Rollinsville where we took a right turn on a dirt road and another right where to our surprise was the Dale's Pale Ale motor home blowing his horn. Awesome. No beer for me but Christina Begy was soon chugging one down before the start. For those of you that recognize that name she is a bad ass single speeder. So, Jake gives us a talk about the course and we do a short Le Mans style start and up, up, up we go. The first fire road climb was steep than we turn onto a short steep singletrack section where it is rocky and than over a short snow field. Game on. I had shaken off the drunken cob webs and realized it's racing time. Let's go people. Race time!! With the uphill fire road section at the beginning the field had fractured apart. There was a handful of us blazing the first few miles with Eszther, DJ, Todd Sadow (Epic Rides Guru) and some others. Soon it was just a few of us. We saw Chad and some others at a later intersection looking for the flagging and they chose a direction that wasn't correct and Eszther found our way with our small group. Back on track and going again. The singletrack was awesome with some creek crossings, tight swooping climbs that were leg busters with the 32x20 gearing. The short punchy stuff was a fuel zapper but I just kept on the gas with a few of us hanging together. We soon made it to the halfway point where I kept on going and Todd stopped for some water and later missed a turn where a lot of others missed as well. I later passed up on the next feed stop where apparently there was margaritas and such but I motored through and a guy was handing out Slim Jim beef jerky so I threw that down for some fuel and kept on motoring. I was soon by myself and caught up with Will Inverso and DJ. Will was fading and DJ punched it and took off. He apparently soon missed a turn. I was up and over the final climbing sections where we were going backwards on where we had descended earlier. A lollipop route. I was to the final switchback and some dude passed me which to my surprise I rolled in at 4th place. That dude took my third! LOL!! I was stoked to get 4th. I was amazed so many had missed turns. I really should have been closer to 8th or 10th place. Nick, Fuzzy, DJ, Cameron, Chad, etc all missed turns (some multiple turns) on the route. TR as well missed a turn and rode a couple more miles. I was diligent to watch the flagging as I have learned in previous experiences it will pay off. Just don't put the head down and hammer. Nick probably would have won as he was off the front at the beginning but FAIL. Eszther finished right behind me and took the women's overall. She is tough!  People were trickling in for the next hour or more and we drank some Dale's fine beer and pedaled our way back to the high school in Nederland in which involved  more climbing on the pavement. The after party was held at 6pm at the 303 Distillery in Boulder.  Great schwag give aways and good times talking to old friends and meeting new friends. What a weekend!!!

Miles. 26.66 including warm up
Elevation gain: 3800 feet
Calories burnt: 2000
Beers consummed: A fucking boatload.
Hours of sleep in two nights: 9 hours (3 on Friday night and 6 on Saturday)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Zuni Birthday Weekend

Zuni birthday weekend. Fun riding. Rode approximately 100 miles and 9000 feet of climbing. This place is awesome. Enjoy the pictures.