Monday, August 19, 2013

My San Juan Backyard

My San Juan's an amazing place to live.

It's been just over three weeks since I finished the CTR and I haven't really given the legs or body much recovery. It's just darn hard to stop going. With the Imogene Run coming up in a bit I decided to get out and run on Saturday. I ran 10 miles with 3k of climbing. The legs felt good.  It is great living in Rico....step outside and run or ride right from the house without much traffic, etc.. I decided to skip driving over to Telluride to run Imogene and decided to run up an old mining road on the West side of Rico up to the Engels cabin. It's a pretty crappy rocked-out road with grades of 20% and more at times. Some dirty hippy artist chica was at the cabin painting. Her dawg decided to run with Shady and I up to the ridge line. I came back down making sure her dawg stayed with her. Shady and I continued back home. 2.5 hour run time.

Dan Holmes and I planned a big ride for Sunday. He is training for the Vapor Trail 125 which is on September 7th. I have finished the Vapor Trail the previous three years and decided to skip it this year opting for a 17 mile running race on Imogene. Hmmmmm...rethinking my thought process now. Dan is training and ramping up while I'm trying to recover from the CTR. Oh well. Lets do it. I knew my legs wouldn't feel great but I was riding the geared Kokopelli Bike so I figured our route couldn't be that hard. Right. Wrong.

We discussed riding from Rico up the highway over Lizard Pass to the town of Ophir, up Ophir Pass down to Silverton and head up the highway to Molas Pass continuing on the Colorado Trail back to Rico either down Circle Trail or Barlow depending on our time.

We left our hood at 7am pedaling up the highway. We made our way to Ophir and up and over the pass getting over to Silverton in just over three hours. My legs were feeling heavy. We ate some food and headed up the highway to Molas Pass. Traffic was heavy with summer tourist on HWY 550 and there were some close calls with vehicles not wanting to give an inch of road space.  Not to mention there isn't any shoulder to speak of to ride to the right side of the fog line. Survival on the roads. LOL.

We made it to Molas Pass unscathed from any vehicle and headed up the Colorado Trail which would lead us to Rolling Pass. I hadnt ridden the CT in this direction oly riding it twice from the other direction. I was hoping it was easier pedaling than the other side of Rolling Pass. It was, but my legs were tired. I knew it was about ten miles to the pass and the terrain definitely rolls better on this side. We made it to the pass with dark clouds all around. We had lucked out with the weather with no rain so far. We descended down the pass knowing there was more climbing to come after descending to Cascade Creek. The lower section is scree rock but once back in the alpine buff single track we were rolling smooth. We passed some hut-to-hut riders who were hurting and walking most of the trail.

Dan and I made it to the last pass, Sliderock Ridge, before descending down to Celebration Lake near Bolam Pass. Our intent was to keep on the CT and descend to Rico on the Circle Trail but it was 4pm and I had to be at a dinner at 6pm so we decided to climb up Bolam Pass and go down Barlow Creek Road. What a fun descent. Fast. We rolled back into Rico at 5pm. A ten hour day. My legs were shelled.
Riding stats: 74 miles and 9700 feet of climbing.

What a wonderful place to live with so much in our backyard at our disposal.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Imogene Run Training

The legs are still tired from the Colorado Trail Race but next on tap is the Imogene Pass Run Race that is on September 7th. I figured with as much hike-a-biking I did across Colorado on the CTR my legs will be ready for this 17 mile run. 10 miles up and 7 miles down from Imogene Pass that sits at an elevation of 13,114. Last Sunday I went up to Imogene Pass from Telluride and back down with my co-worker Nancy who is running the race as well. The 14 miles felt ok but the legs were sore from the downhill run. My wife Laura was going to race as well but pulled a calf muscle that will not heal fast enough for her to run the race. Bummer!

Another run from Telluride up to Imogene Pass is on tap with Shawn Gregory this Saturday who is running the race as well. He hates to run. LOL!!!!

Also, look for another CTR post coming soon.

Last Sunday atop Imogene with 2" of snow. Come on it's only August but it is Colorado.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

2013 CTR Bike and Gear

After a week of decompressing from the CTR I am realizing the impact this ride has had on my life. It has been all consuming even after the fact of finishing. It consumed my life before and now even after. I will do it again. Course knowledge is so key. The body is hard to turn off after 6 plus days of riding/hiking your bike. It was such an amazing time to be out there in the wild pushing your body and mind to the limits.

I want to thank my wife for all of the support she has given me to accomplish this ride. I love her to death!! Thanks Laura!!!! Can I do it again next year????? LOL!!!!

Some thoughts on my bike and gear.....
  • The Kokopelli Bike Co 29er ti frame performed so awesome. What a great bike the dudes at Koko designed.  If youre looking for a sweet ti hard tail call the guys at Kokopelli Bike and Board.
  • I decided to go with a 1x10 (32 Race Face ring up front and a 11/36 SRAM cassette in the rear) Overall it performed perfect with a X9 rear derailleur. No adjustments needed for the durationof the ride
  • Reba 100 mm fork up front
  • XT brakes. They rock. I brought two sets of pads in case of torrential rain but didn't need to change them out until after the ride.
  • Schwalbe Knobby Nics front and back. Great air volume tires for the added weight of the gear.
  • Ti Cycles 30 degree ti handlebar with Ergon grips
  • Ti stem
  • Kokopelli Bike Co ti seatpost
  • Sette  saddle (190 grams)
  • Crank brothers candy pedals

My bike packing gear........
  • Garmin 705 Edge GPS. Didn't use it at all. The CT data book was very useful. Thank you CTF.
  • LG phone to take pictures and make phone calls.
  • Solar panel to charge phone and GPS. It stopped charging halfway into the ride but now works. Too much rattling around maybe
  • SPOT gps unit
  • Fenix PD32 UE lights on the bar and helmet. Great lights. No problems at all and they provide just enough light for knarly trail conditions at night.. I brought extra CR123 batteries and only needed to change them out once.
  • All bike packing bags by Revelate Designs
  • Stoic 30 degree bag
  • SOL Escape bivy
  • Lightweight tarp
  • Klymit skeleton air pad. Just big enough for some comfort.
  • Esbit fuel tablets and ti stove stand
  • Aluminum cup for heating water
  • Pearl Izumi Trans Alp III shoes. No blisters at all.
  • Patagonia Nano puff jacket
  • Loki rain jacket
  • Super cheap rain pants. Needed them only twice.
  • I brought extra socks, glove shells, beanie, recovery socks I would wear at night. Running shorts to sleep in.
  • Smith eyeglasses that transition to clear at night.
  • On my back was an Osprey 4 liter pack and Source water bladder. Katadyn MP1 water tabs. No bad after taste at all.
That pretty much sums up my gear. Everything worked well with no flaws mechanical, physical or mental. I wouldn't change much to my system for the next run at the CTR.

Following pictures courtesy of Cameron. Thanks.

Cameron and Brian in Segment 22/23 before Brian's bike cracked. Bummer dude.

Ian motoring.

Keep smiling and push!

Bull Moose near Slumgullen Pass.

Twin Lakes with Ian.

Brian's Lynsky frame took a hit on segment 22/23 end of his race...catastrophic.