Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Telluride Riding

TR and I got out for a nice easy spin on the singles/rigids in Telluride after work on Tuesday. It was a bit muddy from a short afternoon downpour but not too bad. Just enough to irritate you and get the bike muddy. We started at Society Turn/Lawson Hill cruising down the Goose to Bilk Creek across highway 145 and up Deep Creek Road ? to Last Dollar and over to Rudy's and down Mill Creek Road. We ventured onto the Valley Floor single track and back to the cars. 19.5 miles and 2K+ of climbing. A perfect ride as I need to rest the legs for the upcoming weekend of riding/bike packing and for the upcoming Vapor Trail 125 on September 10th. Also in the prairie dawg colony was a badger looking for dinner. Very cool to see the wildlife at work. Eat those damn dawgs up!

On Rudy's Ridge overlooking the $50 million piece of land that TRide wasted money on. Just my opinion.

Bilk Creek climbing wall.

A badger on the prowl for prairie dawgs. I was told they eat 30 dawgs every 6 weeks. No shit!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Rico-Telluride 100

The roll out for the Rico 100.
I knew without a doubt I would finish the Rico 100 but it was not to be. Damn! We had 11 riders sign in and 5 finish the entire route. Congrats to the finishers; 3 on single speeds and two geared riders. See results posted here:

The course was in great condition despite two days of rain in the area. We made quick work of the first leg making it to highway 145 at the Eastfork TH at 10.30am. We had a neutral aid station with water, cookies, soda, etc that Laura had set up that morning for us. Thanks Laura!!! We caught up to Danny and Ryan at the aid station as they were getting ready to head out toward Telluride on the next leg of the adventure. Brian, TR and I downed some fluids, refilled bottles and ate some food and headed onward to Telluride as well. This next leg of the course would take 6 hours to navigate. Much longer than I had anticipated. We stopped at the Conoco in Lawson Hill for a much needed resupply for water and food. I didn't feel like eating but forced myself to eat some fries and a cookie along with a Mountain Dew and bottle of Gatorade. TR and Brian opted for a corn dog which they said was awesome. The grease stick didn't sound good to me at that time. The thunder and rain had started as well but looked like it would clear up a bit for us which it did for the most part as we negotiated the Galloping Goose Trail back to highway 145 and on up the climb to Lizard Head Pass putting us back to the resupply point.

TR, Brian Brothers and I arrived back at the neutral resupply at 4.40 pm; about an hour later than I had planned. I wasn't feeling so hot after grinding back up the pass and the weather wasn't looking that favorable for us. So us three who had ridden together for most of the race called it. I finished my ride with 75 miles and 10,150 feet of climbing. Not a bad day on the bike for sure. I cleaned up the aid station area and packed the Jeep up and drove it back to Rico while Brian and TR pedalled back down the highway in the cooling temps. And I saved Laura a trip to pickup the Jeep at the same time. I was bummed to not have finished it but that is bike riding. Sometimes shit happens and you move onto the next goal. It was a great full day on the bike in the outdoors with some awesome people. Sometimes you need to appreciate what you can do and not what you couldn't or didn't do. Someone hand me a tissue please. LOL!!

More fun on tap this weekend with a bike packing trip on Friday night in the local high country. Anybody is invited to join in on the fun. Heading North out of Rico on Friday evening riding up the Dunton Road and camping in the Dunton area with a great route back over to Rico and coming down Burnett or Horse Creek via Eagle Peak or Johnny Bull. And yes there will be some hiking.

The Vapor Trail 125 on September 10th in Salida.

On Sunday we went for a short recovery ride on the Rico locals loop with TR, Danny, Ryan, Brian and myself after having an awesome breakfast at my house and coffee. Damn we are great hosts!

TR rocking up the climb. Recovery ride my butt!!

Ryan digging the old mine building.

Danny and Brian appreciating the recovery ride I chose.

Friday, August 26, 2011

24 Hours in the Sage/Laura's First Ever Solo Effort-3rd place

Laura on one of her 9 laps.

Yep, Laura's first ever solo effort and she placed 3rd in the women's solo division in the 24 Hours in the Sage!!!  9 laps, 126 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing in 24 hours. Very awesome! I'm so proud of her. Laura had less than two weeks to prepare for a solo effort after losing her duo partner. She only slept for an hour at 7am and she just kept it going otherwise. She learned a few things about solo racing and she experienced what I go through during one of these events. It's as equally fun as it is painful. You get tired, your body starts to hurt but you keep going. If you can't keep going you shut it down for awhile. I am familiar with what she was going through so having me in the pit was an advantage for her. She has pitted for me over the last 12 years and now it was my turn to reciprocate. TR was there as well to lend equal support and with two seasoned bikers in her pit she was destined to succeed. Shawn and Dani Gregory were also on hand to assist with Dani pacing her on one lap before dusk. She used my Ay Up lights and loved the night riding. The right lights make all the difference. Thanks everyone who helped in Laura's effort. All she had to do was stay on the bike and she did.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Some random pictures from this past week on my adventures around Rico. I really do love where I live; until the snow starts to fly than I will bitch for a while.A long while!

After work ride on our locals loop in Rico on Wednesday night.

Lucy and Nacho after our hike up Ryman Creek.

Shady and Lucy swimming in the beaver ponds in Ryman Creek.

Horny Toad....first time to see them around Rico.
On the high road above my house. 3.7 miles up and 1200 feet of climbing.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Escalante Days XC Race

Out front leading the start of the race.
 The Escalante Days XC race in Dolores Colroado this past Saturday was another tough one. Aren't they all! The weather conditions were near perfect with it being a bit warmer than last year. I had ridden every day during the week leading up to the race with a light spin Friday in Rico the day before. I knew my legs would not be the freshest up the hill. Give it hell is all I could do. We hit the hill and four single speeders were in front of me (Dave Lefevere, Steve Reiter, Robin and some dude from 3D racing) . Damn. Not much I could do but ride my ride and not fret. Hopefully I would catch some of them but knowing the course as I do I know it is hard to catch anybody once in the single track unless mechanicals come into play. I had Max from Telluride on my wheel with his music blaring away with Terry Gorsuch not far back. Max flatted in the  Maverick trail in the big drop and now it was Terry chasing me like Sasquatch. He eventually caught me in the Boggy trail area and went around me which played to my favor as all I would do now is ride his wheel (talk him to death as well) and see what would happen on the climb out of Bean Canyon. He couldn't drop me. Terry and I were all alone for the next 10 miles or so and as soon as we started the climb out of Bean canyon Terry started to fade. I said I would get in front and pace but he quickly faded off of my wheel and I soon caught a geared full suspension rider (full Pivot Bikes kitted dude) and passed him at the bottom of the last climb. Now I was sitting 10th overall in expert/pro class and all I had to do was keep on the gas. Also back on the descent into Bean Canyon we passed a single speeder with a flat. The 3D Racing guy. One down and still three single speeders up front. I hit the pavement to the downhill finish and passed Robin from Durango on the road as he was fixing a flat as well. Alright, another single speeder down so only two single speeders in front of me. The day was looking brighter and brighter. I finished 3rd overall single speeder and 1st in my age group and 9th overall expert/pro rider. I'll take that! I finished in 2:15:59. A bit slower than last year. Terry came in at 2:17:20 with Shawn Gregory in at 2:20:21 (amazing he raced with 500 miles in the legs from his Colorado Trail Race finish a week prior.) Dave Lefevere finished first again with Steve Reiter in second position. Great race everyone.

Cortez Journal write-up here:

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bikepacking and Some

The bike packing setup. Sleeping bag on the handlebar. All food in frame bag. 3 bottles of water on the bike with 3 liters in the pack = HEAVY!

With the Colorado Trail race going on I decided to do my own overniter on the Colorado Trail. I have never bike camped as all of my overnight rides have never allowed me to actually stop and sleep. I'm committing now to race the CTR next year.

My good friend and Kokopelli Bike and Board race teammate Shawn Gregory finished his first Colorado Trail Race in 13th place overall on Saturday night. Congrats to him. We were there with his wife and daughter when he finished. He rode a single speed with a 32x22 gearing.

Anyways, I had the bike all ready to go for my Friday evening assault. I left Rico at 6.30 pm riding up the highway to Barlow and climbed Barlow to sleep at Celebration Lake. That was a long two hours to pedal 15 miles and 3k of climbing. I arrived right at dusk. I felt every pound of gear I was carrying. The extra weight of a Fosters oil can and Dirt Rag magazine was worth it. I think. I ate two mini burritos and read my magazine and drank my Fosters after arriving at the lake. I didn't sleep exactly great. When you are by yourself in the woods you hear every little noise. I had brought my IPOD to listen to music as well. I expected to see some of the CTR riders go by during the night but nobody came by until 5am. I was looking for the Carney brothers and my buddy Shawn to come by sometime in the early morning hours. The Carney brothers showed up around 6.30 am with no sign of Shawn. He turned out to be a few hours back at this point. I spoke to them a few minutes and they continued on there way to finish the last 50 miles of the race. I packed up and eventually caught back up to them and we rode together over Blackhawk. I turned off at Scotch Creek to continue back to Rico. It was a great experience to bivy overnight. I will definitely do more bike packing trips which will allow me to grow more accustomed to being by myself in the back country. My biggest concern/fear was bears. I pedaled 35 miles and climbed 5000 feet. Carrying the extra weight was a great workout. The legs were well tired. I have great respect for the CTR riders carrying all that gear for nearly 500 miles. It will be my turn next year. Now I will obsess over it and by this time next year Laura will be tired of hearing about this race.

I went back out on Sunday on the full rigid Vassago. The Vassago just had a makeover done this past week with a new Stan's No Tubes Crest wheel set, fresh Maxxis Ignitor tires, Easton carbon seat post, replaced the black Chris King headset with a mango Chris King headset (thanks Laura), replaced black salsa seat binder for a mango Salsa seat binder (thanks Laura), took off the white Clarence bars and put back on the black Mary bars. No more white except the white brake housing which looks cool by itself. A new look. I love it.
I again like Friday night rode up the highway North to Barlow Creek Road and hit the Colorado Trail at Hermosa Peak traveling to Section Point where I descended down the Circle Trail. I had intentions of riding up the highway to East Fork but Barlow was calling me again. I had two crashes along the way that beat me up pretty good. One was a helmet to rock impact with no major harm done but some bruising and the first one was an over the handlebars rodeo after the front tire slid off of the trail. The full rigid is tough on some days. This is one of my favorite loops in the Rico area and takes about 2.5 hours covering 25 miles and just over 3k of climbing. I love where I live.

The comforts of home. A Dirt Rag mag and a Fosters Oil can. Carrying the extra weight was worth it.

Awesome morning at Celebration lake.

On Blackhawk Pass. A perfect day for a ride.

Sunday ride up Barlow to the CT and down Circle on the full rigid. Barlow Lake in the background.

Wild flowers at the base of Hermosa Peak on the Colorado Trail.

Hermosa Peak.

Section Point.

Getting ready to drop into the Circle Trail and into Rico.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sneffels Beating

The Sneffel's endurance ride went off at 6.30am on Saturday morning in Ouray with 9 brave souls. 4 single speeders and 5 geared doods. We started promptly at 6.30am. I was left to organize the sign in/out list as Matt Turgeon bailed. I think he made a wise decision. LOL!!

I was on my single speed 29er Ti Airborne with a 32x22. I had completed this race the prior year and it's funny how quick the memory of the pain and route diminishes in that one year gap. Pain is temporary I'm told. Instantly on the beginning climbs out of Ouray I was fullly in tune of the pain and route as we grinded up to Imogene Pass. It was all Colorado boys up front; Doug Byerly (Durango), myself (Rico), TR Larsen (Montrose), Thomas Ray (Aspen) and Paul Adams (Cortez) leading the pack. Myself, TR and Paul ride for the newly formed Kokopelli Bike and Board Racing team.

Toward the top of the pass Doug made his move with his spinny gears and charged ahead not to be seen again until we finished at the Ouray brew pub. We summited at the pass and ate some food and took a few minutes for pictures. The 4 of us charged down Tomboy into Telluride where we watered at the courthouse water spicket. Fast and furious we left Telluride and made our way up Jud Weibe and onto Deep Creek. The single track here is steep. Lots of hiking on the Deep Creek section. At mile 20 we had already amassed 6500 feet of climbing. Oh yeah...I remember this from last year. The 4 of us were spread out a bit with TR and I staying together for the most part. He seemed to have the better legs of the day and I was pushing hard to stay with him when we where actually pedaling. The hiking was no problem for me and we pushed hard on every hike-a-bike. TR and I hit the Last Dollar Road section at about 1pm which would put us at CR 9 around 2.30pm and hopefully before the rain came down. We made good time on the climbing on Last Dollar Road. We stopped in the Grey Head area to eat and hydrate before the bigger climbing began. I knew there would be some hiking on the 2nd to last switch back on the ascent to the summit of Last Dollar Road. My plan of carrying only 3 water bottles on the bike and no water bladder on my back was working great as I could water up at T-Ride and water up at a stash of water and food I had at County Road 9. TR and I hit CR 9 at 2.30pm and soon came Paul and Thomas. All together again just like a party. We ate and filled up with the water that I had stashed the night before. The Gatorade and Coke were most enjoyable at this juncture. We had a brutal 25 miles ahead of us and nearly 6k of climbing. The pain was staring me straight in the face. I was not looking forward to either the mud or the long hike-a-bike switchbacks that were to come. I wasn't exactly feeling great at this point. TR was feeling good and Paul was in survival mode and ready to pull the plug and bail down the highway but he seemed eager to continue and finish the route. Paul wouldn't be very happy later on. Thomas was in cruise mode and was looking forward to the adventure still awaiting us in the Dallas Divide trail system. We where at mile 50 with 10k in the legs and 8 hours logged. The clouds were forming and I knew it would be 50/50 with the rain. Optimism is key when diving head first into what you know may be a miserable handful of hours clawing to get through the terrain that lay up ahead. I went through this in the prior year riding solo for nearly 6 hours; miserable in the rain and mud. This time I would have company. We all 4 started the 7 mile climb to the Dallas Divide trail head. It was warm and muggy and I had to keep taking my endurolytes so I wouldn't cramp. I was losing mass amounts of electrolytes in the hot humid air. We made it up to the trail head where we turned left and we waited a bit to see if Paul was coming up. We made a visual and kept pushing on. We definitely stopped much more than I would have if I was flying solo. It happens at times like this. It's not always who is the fastest and I already knew I wouldn't beat my previous time. We were in 2nd place standing still with Doug up front. I was fine with that. It seemed all up hill from the start of the single track with some short downhill sections. We climbed toward Blaine Basin and onto the nasty 1.3 mile switchback ascent to the summit of Wilson Creek. This is a poorly designed trail and obviously not designed for a bike to be ridden in either direction. The rain had started while climbing into the Blaine Basin section but just a drizzle to make it feel nice and cool out. This was going to get ugly. We made our way over the summit of Wilson and down hill to the Moonshine Park section. The clay was beyond rideable yet alone hiking condition. We had to walk most of the way to the summit of Moonshine Park and slipping backwards at times in the clay to make the last 50 feet of Moonshine Park summit. STUPID! The descent was equally as fucked. I couldn't even roll my wheels while walking the bike. The clay and grass were enemy #1. I was pulling hunks of the clay from my front wheel and fork crown. We slid and crawled on down for a bit and we eventually hit some alpine type soils and we could ride most of the single track. We saw Paul up at the top and watched as he went down in the clay. DUH! I did go down once on a hidden root in the wet grass. Lots of hidden obstacles to watch for. I didn't need to get hurt at the end of a long day. The switchbacks down to the frontage road were precarious at times and I had to walk some of them. Paul had caught back on at the beginning of the 3 mile descent. Once at the frontage road it was a nice 3 mile cruise into Ouray and finish up at the brewery. Us three tied for 2nd overall with TR and I tied for 1st single speeders. The beer, bison burger and fries hit the spot. Thomas came in shortly behind us for a 3rd place finish and 5 rider in. three after some navigation issues. 3 other riders came in after midnight. These endurance rides can be super adventurous. You need to be prepared for a long day or night out in the extreme elements. Congrats to all.

TR and Thomas atop Imogene Pass. 2.5 hours into the ride.

Paul Adams and I atop Imogene.

TR and I posing for pics.

Thomas taking a nature break.

The Kokopelli Bike and Board race team members enjoying the after affects of finishing a monster epic ride.