Monday, April 29, 2013

Big Miles Weekend

I started my my new position with San Miguel County last week and lucked out receiving a four day weekend. Bike packing time. I was looking for big miles and opted to ride to Fruita and back. I wanted a straight forward route and took all roads with lots of asphalt. I chose the El Mariachi SS with a 32x18. It was spinny at times but with the full load of gear it seemed alright. 

I started in Telluride on Friday morning with Laura dropping me off on her way to work. I pedaled straight through to Fruita with some nasty winds out of the North. I arrived in Fruita just before nightfall with 136 miles for the day. I was spent. I grabbed some food and hit the sack. 

Saturday morning I awoke and headed over to the Fruita Fat Tire fest pancake breakfast. My goal for the day was open ended and pedaled out of Fruita at 10am. I pedaled to Montrose where I arrived about 3.30pm with TR meeting me on his bike by Delta. I decided to stay that night in Montrose so TR and I headed over to the brewery. Later on we BBQ'd at his house with some beers and friends. It was a good time and my legs were happy to stop with 75 miles in for the day.

Sunday morning TR and I rolled out of Montrose a bit after 7am heading to Ridgway. The winds kicked up early and the ride wasn't so pleasant into Ridgway. My left ankle area was hurting from the previous weekends injury in Moab as well. TR stopped in Ridgway to meet family for some hilljack truck fest. I continued on to Dallas Divide riding with a old salty roadie named Gino who has lived in the Telluride area for over 40 years. We chatted all the way up to the top where he dropped me with his geared road bike. 

I just kept pedaling along bumming some water from a friend near Sawpit and rode up through Ilium valley onto Lizard Head pass which was all climbing. Laura had rode up to the pass to meet me and we pedaled back down to Rico stopping at the bar for some much needed food and beer. 300 miles with 15k of climbing for the weekend. 

It was a fun weekend without too much discomfort. Big miles carrying a bunch of gear and suffering on the single speed on the road. I'm getting ready for the Colorado Trail Race and I will be doing big rides with lots of brutal climbing and hike-a-bikes involved. 

Log Hill looking toward the Sneffels.

Lunch time in Montrose with a spicy tuna bowl I packed with me from Telluride.
Leaving Fruita on Saturday morning where I spotted Rick Watts from Vegas.

TR's house where we washed my clothing after two days of pedaling.

At 2 Rascals Brewery in Montrose Saturday afternoon.

Testing TR's bottle opener on his Toyota.

Back in Rico Sunday afternoon......300 miles and 15k climbing. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WRIAD 2013

White Rim in a Day....always a big ride when you ride the regular 100 miles either direction. I had a great idea to ride the White Rim starting from our camp at Willow Springs Road ten miles North of Moab and to ride out to the route via Potash Road  into the rim route at the bottom of Schafer Road. Sure we would miss the fun downhill descent on Schafer but after riding the route a handful of times lets do something different. Oh, and do it on the fat bikes again! The other guys; Paul Adams, Dan Holmes and Pete Eschallier bought into it...kind of. LOL!!!

Photo: WRIAD vis Potash on fatties and a Krampus.
Rolling out in the early dawn along the Colorado River.
Photo: WRIAD plus.......141 miles on big tires.
Paul, Pete and Dan.

FITFP (feet in the fucking pedals) 6am. We rolled out of camp and headed out to the highway riding a few miles before hitting the bike path that runs parallel to highway 191. The temperature was about 40 degrees making it a cool descent down the bike path but not unbearable. At mile ten we turned right on highway 279 that leads out to Wall Street (climbing area), Poison Spider Jeep route, Portal exit from atop the rim and to Potash road that leas us straight into the White Rim. The road follows the Colorado River making for some sweet scenery riding out to Potash Road. We really didn't take many pictures on this trip. It was hands on the grips and stops were for eating and drinking. I did understate the miles that would carry us to the White Rim. I was thinking around 30ish miles and we were at mile 39.5 with 3 hours pedalling time when we arrived at the tie in. We rolled left and we were on our way with winds already in our face. We should have pedaled it counter clockwise with the winds we faced later on. Hindsight is 20-20.

At mile 48 the winds were really whipping in our face and I was unsure with the longer miles added to the route and with the fierce winds battering us that we would have enough water. I was carrying nearly 170 ounces which would typically get me through a hot long day but the winds dry you out quickly. The temperature had also rose to the mid 70's. And pedalling a nearly 50 pound bike doesn't help at all.

A few miles later we ran into a group from the front range that was doing a multi day ride and Pete didn't hesitate to ask for water. The group filled a couple bottles for us. Thanks!

Photo: Topping out Murphy's  on the White Rim
Me topping out at Murphy's Hogback at mile 80.

We made it to Murphy's Hogback for a lunch stop around 2pm dropping down out of the wind to eat. This was mile 80 and I wasn't feeling so hot at this point with my body feeling a bit weak. I had just fought a bout of food poisoning on Wednesday night and bounced back quickly to ride the route. I'm not sure if that was smart or not. We ate and jumped back on the pony's heading to our next climb which was Hardscrabble. With the gearing of a 22x36 and 4 inch tires the first big climb of the day on the Hogback was rideable. We headed off to Potato Bottom, 20 miles away from Murphy's Hogback which is typically a silt garden. It wasn't any different on this day and Pete took a digger in the Potato Silt. He was on my wheel tight on his 3 inch tire steed Krampus and couldn't see the line and ate it. He looked like Casper the ghost. We made quick work of the climb on Hardscrabble descending to ride along the Green River which leads us to Mineral Bottom and the way out. Yaah!!

Pete eating dust on Potato Bottom.

The next big climb was Mineral Bottom and a long 13 miles to highway 313. I was not looking forward to this long meat grinder. As we made our way up Mineral Bottom the winds were shooting down off of the cliff walls. Once we topped out it was game on to the highway and to camp which at this point was 20 some miles away still. It was around 6pm now and I knew we would be back by dark. We all had some type of lights so the darkness wasn't a worry. the wind was now to our back for the grind to 313. Thank you!

It was every man for themselves it seemed at this point and Pete was up front putting down the pace on the Krampus. The 30.5 inch Knard tires ate up the route and with his 1x11 gearing it was working out well. Us other three were on Salsa Mukluk's with 4 inch Nate tires. They roll fast but not as fast as a 3 inch Knard tire.

Once we arrived at highway 313 it was a horse race to highway 191 and to the gas station to get ice cream before they closed. I was time trialling down the highway with Dan right behind me. Pete had stopped at the end of the Mineral Bottom road at 313 to eat and wait for Paul who had imploded and was limping up the road.

Dan and I were eating our Fat Boy's when Pete and Paul rolled up. They went inside to do the same and Dan and I rolled to the highway and back to camp arriving back at 7.45pm. We had been gone nearly 14 hours. What a day! 141 miles with 10k of climbing.

Eat, beer and bed.