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. 

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