Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Colorado Trail Race 2013 Report

My head is still spinning three days after completing the hardest ride of my life: The Colorado Trail Race: 562 miles and give or take 70,000 feet of climbing. I pedaled and hiked with my bike across Colorado for 6 days and 14 hours. It was such an amazing time. I saw old friends and met/rode with some new friends. The bond that ensued riding together is beyond words that I can describe without sounding to gay. LOL! I laughed so much riding with Cameron, Ian, Adam and Ty. Kudos to Danny Powers and Joey Ernst as well for putting in a great effort. We leap frogged all along until the last day where they finally got away from us. The conversations I had with each rider was unique. I witnessed the lows and highs of each person I rode with including the lows and highs within myself. I witnessed souls sucked away from the continuous hike-a-bikes that would not end. The riders I rode with are some of the best riders in the country in my opinion. This ride is no joke. No aid stations, no support, just you and your bike and what you brought along for the ride. This shit is serious.

I could detail day by day and drag this report out long and dry but I'm not. I'm going to post some pics and call it good. It was a fucking hard race and I got it done. I'm a happy camper. Bike packing is addicting and after days out there in the wild I want more. And more it will be. I want to thank my wife; Laura Kyriakakis. She has heard me talk about this ride for the last two years or so and has let me spend the money on the gear that has allowed me to complete this ride. It's not cheap. She was a trooper to drive to Denver and drive right back putting in a 16 hour plus day to get me back home. I love her dearly. Thank you Laura!!

Sleeping out in the wild is just so awesome. Your head fucks with you when the sounds of the forest comes alive at night. It's amazing. I slept on an ant hill one night and slept in crazy places some of you could not imagine. Bike packing is awesome as much as it is scary.

I want to thank Kokopelli Bike and Board, my team sponsor. These guys rock. The best shop around hands down. Thank you Pete, Scott and Paul. You guys are awesome.

The new 29er Ti frame by Kokopelli Bike Co rocked and met every expectation expected of it by me. I was surely nervous to ride a new frame but I wasn't scared. Ride it and see what happens. Very impressive ride quality. Descends and ascends like no other. I put that bike through the motions and it performed beyond what I asked of it. Thank you.

Near Kenosha Pass

Kokopelli Bike Co Ti 29er. It rocked.

Adam chilling for a second after another long climb. 

Ty looking fresh the whole ride.

Dude and his Llamas heading North.

Ten Mile

Kokomo Pass. 5 mile climb from Camp Hale to get up here.

Camp Hale munition bunkers.

Cameron from Leadville having fun.

Twin Lakes

Refueling in Beuna Vista

Apple the trail angel.

A bull moose hanging out near Slumgullen Pass.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Colorado Trail Race Live Tracker 2013

The Colorado Trail Race kicks off this Sunday July 21st at 4am in Durango. For anybody wanting to track us live as we pedal across Colorado check it out here: http://trackleaders.com/ctr13

Monday, July 15, 2013

Kokopelli Bike Co 29er Ti Hardtail

There is a new bike company in town (Cortez, Colorado).....Kokopelli Bike Co. Paul, Pete, Scott and Keith formed a new company and designed some sweet looking titanium bikes that include a line of 29er hard tails, cross/road and some fatty bike frames. I have one of the first 29er ti hard tails to ride on the Colorado Trail Race. I have ridden on the new frame 4 times as of this writing and I am very pleased with the results so far.

It climbs like as well as any other bike I have ridden and it wants to rip downhill. I switched to a lighter Reba RL 100 mm for the CTR. Set up as a 1x10 it weighs in at 24.05 pounds which includes the heavier Nobby Nics. I typically run Maxxis Ignitors which weigh considerably less but a more robust tire will called for on the CTR.

These frames come decked out with a standard option of a splice in the seat stay to run belt drive along with bolt mounts to run racks. Standard is three water bottle mounts too. Now that's thinking it through. My biggest complaint with most bikes is not enough bottle mounts. The paragon slider drop outs are nice as you can run gears or single speed. I'm running my bike as a 1x10 on the CTR.

More reviews to come after I shake it down on the 500 miles of the Colorado Trail.

Durango Dirty Century 2013

The 2013 edition of the Durango Dirty Century went down on June 29th. I have been meaning to do a write up sooner but it seems time slips away from me. I'm consumed by the CTR which is coming up quickly. 6 days and change!

The bike I chose to ride on the DDC was unconventional to say the least. I had to be "that guy" as Ryan Douglas proclaimed out loud when I rolled to the start line at Velorution Cycles in downtown Durango. I was on my 34 pound Salsa Mukluk 2. For the ride it weighed in at 46 pounds loaded with water, etc. My Salsa Selma ti 29er ss was out of commission with the White Brothers fork in Grand Junction getting rebuilt. It's been giving me grief lately leaking for whatever reason. May be time for a change if Eric cant figure it out. It's the second time in the shop.

The DDC went off without a glitch taking me and my Mukluk 14 hours and 10 minutes to finish the 100 miler. 13k plus of climbing with just a touch of hail near Orphan Butte. The cloud cover was nice as the sun earlier in the day was torching me while I rode up to Bolam Pass. I was shooting for a 13 hour or so finish but the last 40 miles takes some time and effort to say the least.

I was still faster than my original DDC on my single speed.

It seems I have been the only person to finish the DDC on a fat bike. Garrett Alexander from Durango was on his fat bike but took a DNF opting for a "fun" loop for the day.

The Mukluk did its job. 

A little dirty at the dirty century.

Duane from Texas getting his hurt on at high elevation on Indian Ridge.