Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Great Bonk Ride

Today Golden Bike Shop led a ride called the Great Bonk ride. It was at least 6,500 feet of elevation gain in 42 miles. Ride notes here. Todays forecast, mid 30s and 40% chance of precipitation. And this was at 6,000 feet. We climbed to over 9,000, and experienced, snow, fog, and sleet for a fair bit of the ride. About 12 riders showed up for the ride, with some notable pros (Kelly Magelky and Yuki Saito) so it was a strong group. We rode a fair amount of singletrack with some roads and double track mixed in. The singletrack at higher elevation was covered in up to 3 inches of snow. There were several long, wet, and snowy descents too. The last half of the ride was really cold and wet. It was probably the craziest mountain bike ride I've ever done. It was tough, the conditions were bad, but it was a lot of fun. The guys at Golden Bike shop organized a really fun ride and when we finished, we had pizza, cookies, brats, burgers, and a 1/4 barrel of beer waiting for us. It was a really fun ride as I've never ridden any of the trails we rode. I met a bunch of good riders and shared some good stories. Epic day, you bet so.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


No Cisco Service equals a bad idea!
24 hours of Moab with the La Sal's in the background
Ben Welnak, 11th overall 24 solo 193 miles
Singletrack on Porcupine rim
View from beyond the Jackhammer
Jackhammer, yup, thats the trail

Porcupine Rim, GF Rig 32x18

Friday Ben, Amy, and I took a half day to head to Moab. Ben was going to race 24 hours of Moab solo, Amy was going to crew, and I was going to ride Porcupine Rim on my singlespeed. Once we got to Moab, we went to Paradox Pizza, and Fred took care of us. We had the Margherita pizza with sausage, and it was good. Friday night was a pretty easy night of camping at the racecourse and an early bedtime. Saturday we woke early to head to the Jailhouse cafe, which has great omeletes. Ben and Amy dropped me off just past the Slickrock trail so I could ride the Porcupine rim. It was 5 miles of climbing to the trail and then 4 more miles of climbing on ledgey rocky trail. Even with perfect temps, I was toasty and pretty beat once I got to the top. But after that, I got to descend 2,800 feet, so it was worth it. Porcupine rim is one of my favorites. The trail consists of pretty amazing views (is there one in Moab that doesn't?), lots of ledges to climb and drop, and lots of good sized rocks. It is pretty harsh for a hardtail, but I was fine except for a couple spots. I had the trail all to myself. I either beat the crowds and or no one was in town thinking the 24 hour race would draw to much of a crowd. Once I was done with the trail, I had about 20 miles to bike to the racecourse where my ride was. As I biked through Moab, I stopped at subway. The Moab Subway has to be the slowest dam Subways in the country. The last two times I went there it took at least 20 minutes to get a sub. Really?
Once I got back to the race, I sat around for a while and helped crew for Ben when needed. He started off decent, but kept riding straight through the night. There were only a few hiccups during the race. And they were quite minor. A couple flats that did not completely flat was the worst. The highs and lows of the race were amazing. Ben rode a consistent first 12 hours, but at about midnight when he lapped through seemed out of it. I am sure this is pretty typical, but he kept pedaling and fought through it. Because of his consistency, he ended up 11th overall in the mens 24 hour solo category. Awesome race. It was fun getting out of Denver, especially with a miserable forecast. In the past 6 weeks, I've been able to ride three amazing trails, Monarch Crest, Kenosha Pass, and now Porcupine Rim. FUN!