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.


Judd said...

CTR in 2012. Awesome! My plan for 2012 is to leave about 5 days prior to the group start - that way I can watch all your dudes & dudettes fly in the high country. And bears? I was attached by a mouse last weekend out on Segment 3. No joke. Scared the hell out of me at 10:30 at night. Couldn't sleep for hours - wondering what would happen if the damn rodent came back and actually bit me.

Jeff Hemperley said...

Hey Judd. Yep, 2012 will be my year to race the CTR. I just didnt have my act together for this year. I'm going to do lots og bike packing in the next 12 months. It is freaky out there in the woods by yourself. I'm sure the mouse ordeal wasnt fun. Funny but not.

Judd said...

Yeah. It was nuts. So stupid. The Converstion: 'Tedd - you here that?' Tedd: 'No, nothing'. Judd: 'I swear something is digging into my tarp tent - and I don't see s*^T'. Tedd: 'You're an idiot'. 20 minutes later this mouse runs right up onto my sleeping bag. Wow. Pitch dark and I still saw the damn thing stare me down. Oh well. It's all cool when it's just a mouse. But I always keep an eye open for bears and/or mtn lions. Maybe next summer we can arrange a few bike packing trips. Best time ever on a bike. But we'll need to arrange the stopping points - as you'll get there 2 hrs before us dudes that walk more than ride.