Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
We got some Dick, fo sho. It rained like crazy all day long on Sat and the forecast for Sunday looked about the same. Sun was starting to poke thru the clouds whilst were loaded up vehicles at the bike shop, though, so spirits were in good shape. We got pedalling right around 10:15 this am. Leaving from the Peaceful Valley CG heading south on Sourdough always guarantees a stiff climb out of the gate. No warm up at all. Today did not dissapoint. We made it up the climb and continued south on Sourdough all the way to Brainard Lake Rd. The climb out of the South St Vrain Drainage up to Brainard Rd is long and tough.
From Brainard Rd, we rode up the non technical but ever disheartening Left Hand Road up to Left Hand Reservoir. Beauty, Clark. Not only is LH Res a beautiful sight, but it also allowed us to pop out of the trees for a view. Always good to get a fix on what the weather is doing. It had been raining on and off for a few hours at this point, but no torrential downpours. Thunder was in the distance and the rain was light. No rainjacket yet and we could still see the divide. That's a good sign.
We retraced our steps down the road just a bit and hooked into the Little Raven freeride trail. Little Raven was constructed many, many moons ago by the Colorado Mountain Club (CMC) as a ski trail. Great in the winter, but it was barely traversible in the summers until BMA stepped in. They rerouted the bad sections, and added some wooden skinnies over a handful of bogs. While not what we think of when we think "freeride" this was the first project of its kind in the Boulder Ranger District of the USFS. The project accomplished 2 things. 1) we got a sweet trail out of the deal and 2)it introduced the term "freeride" to the USFS and created the association with man made, wooden structures. Things move slow in the USFS and we are gaining some ground!
Next up was the infamous South St Vrain Trail. The westernmost section of this trail goes thru the Indian Peaks Wilderness for about 1/2 mile. In another act of stewardship, BMA is in the process of rerouting the trail about 200 yards to the south so that we can legally ride it. Until then, though, we are good to go. SSV is a beast, especially when ridden in it's entirety from top to bottom. It's definitlely got some techy bits.
Fortunately, we rode with a crew that made it all look easy.
SSV dumped us out on the Peak to Peak highway. What to do now? More climbing, of course. We rode back up/west on Beaver Res Rd up to and past Beaver Res for the days last off road climb. Coney Creek Rd. The map shows that it's only a 6 or 800 foot elevation gain, over 4 miles. What it does not show, however, is all of the freaking little pebble rocks, baby heads and things that otherwise make your ass hurt after 5 hours in the saddle! It isn't easy, especially this late in the day. It does have it's saving graces, though.
At the top, near the wilderness boundary, there is some deep water. We all took the bridge ride/hike around but not Doug. Dirty Doug wanted some cleansing in the 29er tire deep water.
From there, it's a short but sweet descent to Middle St Vrain Rd and the Buchanan Pass junction.
Finally! Buchanan Pass. We were already pretty tired at this point. We had passed the 6.5 hour mark.
BP has a really cool scree field that you get to cross.
And finally at the bottom! We made it. Never did have to don my rainjacket either. I put the arm warmers on (it was chilly) but that's it. The weather gods smiled upon us once again.
Lucky for us, the beer gods smiled, too :)
All in all, we were about 7.5 hours car door to car door. 30.6 miles and 3800' of climbing. Not bad. We'll have to find another route to top that. Probably won't be able to top the rocks, though.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Here's what's up for sale:
Flux, small, med, lg (1 each)
Spot 1 xs, 1sm, 4md, 2lg, 1xl, 1xxl
Sultan sm, md, lg (1 each)
Bikes range in price from around $2700-$3300. Get in touch asap, they will be gone soon!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Proposed route is Sourdough->Left Hand Rd->Little Raven->SSV->Beaver Res Rd->Coney Creek Rd->Buchanann Pass->cooler full of beer. I did a similar ride last year, but didn't go all the way down SSV and up the Boy Scout road. I cut back thru on Baptiste/Wapiti. It took me 6.5 hours solo. Check it - here
I suspect this will be a 7+ hour ride, but there'll be lots of bailouts. Mucho technical, mucho rocky, and mucho funno. Redstone Cyclery at 9am on Sunday. Can't wait for this one!
I've seriously wandered why there are no freeridey lines in this. It is ripe for the picking and you can drive to it. Serioulsy. Ed P?
Jen, Chris, and Dave picking thru the rocks on Little Raven.
Damn good views.
It was a lights required ride. Fortunately, there wasn't too much carnage so we made it out at dusk.
Monday, July 20, 2009
SSV descent. In its absolute beautiful entirety. It will be good.
OH! just got some word. Bring meat and beer. Grilling at Clay's afterwards!
The climb started off nice and sweet. It sucked us in with beautiful trail and great views before the hiking started.
The view back down the drainage from which we climbed.
3 hours to the top! Finally, and we made our self imposed noon cutoff time. That meant it was time for lunch.
Lunch was up and it was time to descend. None of us knew what we were in for. I miss exploring. Kids and bike shop leave little time these days for all day getting lost affairs. The initial descent was great. Super loose, tech, and steep. Of course, pics don't do it justice.
Finally at the bottom (40 minute descent, nice) and no idea where exactly we were. Thank god, we found some elaborate trail signage to show exactly where we were. About 5 hours in at this point.
It was time again for more climbing. This was a grunt from 8000' or so up to 10,500'. It was a nice road.
Lots of hiking was involved. We were on hour 6? I was tired and starting to lose track of time. At least it hadn't rained on us yet.
My legs were cramping up something fierce by this time. More descending then. That seemed to do the trick for legs that were tired from turning over the granny gear slowly.
and finally more descending
9 hours and 10 minutes later we were back at the car. That's what I call a ride. It ended up being 5,600' of climbing in 28 miles. Most of it (up and down) was rocky, loose, technical and tough. Glad I got that one crossed off the list. It's going to take me another year or so to forget about the pain. Then, I will return.
Thanks for coming Jesper and Brian, the ride was fantastic!
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The singletrack is as good as the views.
Chad on the waterfall drop.
World famous Breck Epic solo woman gold medalist Jen G came out to sample the technical front range backwoods.
You know it's a good one when Chad has to take an on trail bag inventory. Jen says "yardsale."
See you next week as we line up a shuttle and attempt to recreate the most carnage filled Tuesday Ride ever. Lights mandatory!
Monday, July 13, 2009
So I went for a road ride today. When I got there, I saw that the road was closed.
The road was a long one.
The trees were dense. No bushwacking would be done here.
Despite the wind and grumbling weather, my gamble paid off and I successfully avoided all of the micro cells and squalls.
See the road here? Nope, me neither. Guess I was going the wrong way on this one. Fortunately, not a long hike out.
It's Tour time after all. Get some road riding in.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
A river runs through it
Another splendid view
The descent on 505 to Eldora was steep and rocky- a lot of fist sized loose rock. I was thinking how much it was going to suck riding back on this.
Originally thinking I was going to go to Jenny Creek via Ned High School trails but as going up near singletrack near high school my leg started to cramp up and it started to rain. Exit plan was developed -not the best plan but would ride the peak to peak to rainbow lakes rd. then I could get back on the sourdough and avoid some tough climbs. The 6 mile road ride would let my legs recover but it was hot. I was fatigued - it may have been less tiresome and cooler to ride 505 back in hindsight.
Upper st. vrain is noticeably different from sourdough. It is a tough descent and ascent.
Shots as the sun dropped
This bike is tired but did well no mechanicals or flats.
So what I learned today is riding these type of distances is tough. When fatifgue sets in it is easy to make poor choices. My legs are tired and I only did one day. Hats off to the breck epic riders for doing this day after day.