Monday, July 27, 2009

Tuesday Ride 7/28

We're going up the road to do the N Sheep/Coulson Loop. Great climbing, great descending. Sweet! 5:30 at the bike shop.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Another long one in the books. 7.5 hours today

The crew and I headed up to Peaceful Valley today for a ride I've been calling the "Peaceful Tour of the Dick." I've been looking at this particular route for quite some time. The riding between Brainard Lake Rd and Camp Dick/Peaceful Valley is some of my favorite riding anywhere and I've been trying to figure out a route that enabled us to ride it all. We about got it, too. With the exception of Waldrop Trail and Middle St Vrain Rd, we rode everything there.

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

Turner Demo Bikes for Sale!

I just got word from Turner that they are selling the '09 DW Link demo fleet. XT/X9 equipped 5 Spots, Fluxes, and Sultans are are ripe for the picking at $3k or under.

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

Peaceful Tour of the Dick this Sunday

Don't forget, we've got a biggun coming up this Sunday. Peaceful Tour of the Dick. You know you want some Dick :). Camp Dick, that is.

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!

Tuesday Nighter recap

Another fantastic Tuesday nighter in the books. We rode up the road to Left Hand Res, then Little Raven to Brainard Lake, then all the way down to the highway on SSV. Shuttle stylee. Yep. Not a ton of climbing on this one and it was all good.

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.

Sol Vista National Championships

Just a few pictures.

Drop in the 4x.
Coming out of the trees in my downhill race run.
Hitting up the double.

oh yeah.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tuesday Ride 7/21

5:30 at the bike shop. Light required. Yep, absolutely. We'll be getting back plenty late, too, so we'll probably miss the Oskar's run. Sorry. Coolers anyone?

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!

backcountry monday

I got together today with a couple of friends to ride a backcountry route that I've been eyeballing for several years. The plan was to ride/hike/crawl from 7000' up to a 10,200' pass, 2000' down the other side, loop back around, then back down our original route. I've been up to the top of the pass several times, but never down the back side. There's a 4 way junction at the top, but I always ran out of time. Today did not dissapoint. 9+ hours in the back country was all good. Hard to say if it was xc or all mountain or what. The climbing was heinous and the descending was ass behind the saddle steep and technical. Good stuff. I had a Tracer VP, ssperl had a Spider 29er and bstiff was on his Voodoo hardtail. The ride did not dissapoint.

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.

more descending

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

Intense Tracer VP pics

I've had a lot of folks inquiring about detailed Tracer pics. Here goes. After spending the last 9 months on this beautiful machine, I can say without a doubt that it is one of my favorite bikes ever. Easily on the top 3 list. I'm off to a Turner 5 Spot next, I think. We'll see if that bike can break the top 5. :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday at Buchanan Pass

Thanks all for a great Tuesday nighter this week. We rolled up the always rocky and always wet Middle St Vrain road and down Buchanan pass. As always, the ride took more time than it should and we squeaked 'er out right before dusk. Also, as always, BP did not dissapoint.

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

road ride today

I haven't been spending much, no any, time on my road bike lately. I rode the crosser a few times this winter, but the last time I dilligently hit the roads was last August. Guess I haven't felt the pull of those skinny tires yet. Alas, it is Tour time, though. The Tour always gets me jonesing for a road ride.

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

sore dough 50

It was big ride Sunday today. Haven't been on the bike since the Coulson Gulch Tuesday night ride. Since then I've been on vacation sort of... considering I had my kids and my parents over at my house for 7+ days. Would escape temporarily from the madness by seeing how the Breck Epic was going for Jen G and Chad. They both kicked ass and it got me thinking about a big ride out of the backyard cause needless to say I was chompin at the bit to get out. Lee's been talking about a Lyons to WP ride so I thought I would scope it out to get a feel. See my track from topofusion -Camp Dick on the right and Nederland at the left.
Elevation profile
Stats for the day. Was stopped in Nederland for quite a bit to recover from leg cramps before heading home.

Love sections like this if I take a breather before attempting

My Turner Sultan is still treating me good. It was good therapy to be out there today- weather was great... nice cloud cover for the nasty ascent out of camp dick. Appreciating a lot of things, but bike related - loving the sultan, this thing is staying together good. It is nice to not have dealing with fiddling with something before, during and after every ride. It was eating up the baby heads. Two Nine or die.

A river runs through it

Got to the Sourdough trailhead at Rainbow Lakes Rd. and then took Rainbow Lakes rd to 505 Caribou rd. You can see it's a nice wide 4wd road. I don't mind riding roads especially this one- scenery was great and the flowers were abundant. Smelled like pine sol out there.

Highest point on Caribou was 10500. Most of my riding today was around 9000 - 9600. Breck epic got up to 12000 big difference - that high it zaps you.
There's eldora

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.

Barker res furthest back as I stop the 505 descent to take in the views

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.
I had been going at an all day pace but things definitely slowed up from here. At about the 8 hour mark was definitely feeling it and starting to make mistakes and I've ridden this trail dozens of times- 1) I took the upper saint vrain about a mile up before realizing that it was not the sourdough or wapiti trail. My gps was showing the beaver creek trail as a possibility but it's wilderness. No dice.

Upper st. vrain is noticeably different from sourdough. It is a tough descent and ascent.

Mistake #2 came in the form of riding with my head down- not only affecting line choice but this tree got me good. Good thing I did have my head down because the helmet took all the impact.

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.