Monday, June 27, 2011

Colorado Trail reconnaissance

This past weekend I needed to get high.  It was the first time all season I was able to camp and ride over 9,000 ft.  Lots of snow and a crazy schedule have prevented me from playing in the mountains as much as I would like.  Brad and I camped Friday and Saturday night at a secret spot near Twin Lakes, our altitude training base camp.  The forecast was perfect for the whole weekend.  This worked out great since I forgot my tent. Even though I like camping under the stars, I did mean to pack it.  Oh well, I am not going to have a tent for my trip in August.  Besides, what beats staring up at the stars?

Base camp, 9,300 ft

Saturdays ride took us around Twin Lakes and into the mid point of Segment 11 of the Colorado Trail.  It wraps around the lake and climbs after that.  The ride consists of Pine forest and really dense aspen forest.  It ends with a pretty good decent and crosses a road (the start of Segment 12, which we did not realize-closed to bikes) and kicks up really good.  1,400 ft in 2.7 miles good.  On our way back we avoided the out and back and did some exploring.  Turns out we crossed Columbine, which is the largest climb on the Leadville Trail 100.  Ride info here.

Brad surrounded by Aspens
final decent on Segment 11

Sunday morning we packed up camp to ride Segment 14.  It started off with a 1,200 ft climb which was mostly hike a bike due to steep grades and loose terrain.  A gradual climb lead to some pretty rocky technical trails.  Segment 14 north to south (way of the CTR) is pretty difficult.  It was a ton of fun heading north though.  The trail flowed much better.   No pictures from Sunday.  Ride info here.

It was great to get into the mountains and actually ride and  camp up high.  I could tell that I have not been above 9,000 ft much.  The thin air proved to be difficult.  I will be spending the next 5 weekends camping and riding at or above 9,000 ft. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

The latest

No racing this June.  Its been a really good thing for me.  I started the month very tired from an aggressive early season schedule.  The idea for June was to recover and rebuild.  The focus is to prep for this, this, and, this.  I've increased speed work, climbing, and gear testing.

 Friday nights campsite at about 7,800 ft

Friday I went up to Buffalo Creek to ride the single speed for three hours and to camp a bit higher than where I live. Friday nights ride.  It worked out well as Ben and Tim were racing the Bailey Hundo.  I rode about three hours Friday night and ended about 30 minutes after dark.  I explored some more of the Colorado Trail and about 15 miles of singletrack from the race.
Tim approaching aid station 5

Handing off water bottles to Ben

Sunday Jeremy and I headed out for a 100 mile road ride.  I wanted to get as much climbing in as possible.  Rain and weather made us kind of improvise and limited climbing, but it was a good ride.  This 100 on the road bike marked 42 months in a row with at least 1 100 mile ride.  The next two months could be tricky with my schedule though.  Ride info here.  I think next time I will add in shadow mountain so I don't have to mess around in the city as much.

Climbing High grade.  It was nice and hot while we climbed.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Colorado Trail Lesson 1: What not to do

1. Don't go over the handlebars 1.53 miles into the trail and bounce your face off a rock and cut the whole right side of your  body up.  This ruins confidence and hurts (me).
2. Don't break your chain 5.7 miles into ride.  It is difficult to ride bikes consistently without a chain.  Note: carry a quick link with you in case this happens because it can solve the problem (Eric).
3. Make sure your brakes actually work.  This improves confidence on downhills, especially if you are newer to mountain biking (Eric).
4. When your friend breaks his chain and has to walk back while you can ride, make sure to stop at every intersection, even if the turn seems completely obvious.  When people miss a turn and go the wrong way, this causes unneeded confusion (me).
5. Make sure before departing you don't have dead legs and are well rested, which I thought I was (me).

Thursday, June 2, 2011

OG: Orignial Growler WIP

 Tim during our pre-ride

 Prize for finishing.  Filled with New Belgium Ranger IPA