|Just the second crossing....|
Jul 1, 2014
The Next Adventure
Time to start looking forward to September and the next big adventure. I've been told this race is as hard or harder then racing for 24 Hours solo - only it's one big loop instead of the many little ones. While there are aid stations along the route, I'll need to be mostly self supported - no stopping every hour for a fresh bike and bottle! There is alpine singletrack, classic Colorado descents, and long hard climbs. You cross the Continental Divide twice and spend miles traversing the edge of the sky. There is night riding - seven hours of darkness - and I'll be be greeting the sun on one of the most demanding technical descent I've ridden. The Breckenridge 100 is an appetizer compared to this - and it kicked me in the tail back in 2012 (the three part novel - part 1, part 2, and part 3)! This is a riders race - where being smart and being prepared trumps pure speed every time.
And this year, on the tenth anniversary of this epic event, I am in. I've dreamed of that 10:00 pm start for years, before I even knew what alpine riding was like. Naive? Back then, yes. And when I finally rode Monarch Crest for the first time, my desire to complete the Vapor Trail was solidified. A challenge to the strongest of riders, physically and mentally. A test of skill, fitness, and desire. A question of equipment selection as much as training. I'm scared, I'm nervous and I'm looking forward to stepping up. Only a handful of women attempt it every year and I want to joint the very elite club of finishers.
The Vapor Trail 125. Starting at 10:00pm, heading into the mountains for one hundred and twenty five miles of road, double track and singletrack. The Canyon Creek descent is a favorite of many riders for the miles of uninterrupted singletrack downhill. Now imagine doing that under the gradual lightening skies of dawn - after riding for hours in the darkness. People come from all over the world to ride Monarch Crest. By the time I hit that section on Sunday, the shuttle riders will already be in Salida, drinking celebratory beverages. The Vapor Trail 125 is considered one of the hardest - and most unique - one day races in the country - 20,000 feet of climbing, only dropping below 8000' at the start and finish. Rookies have to submit a race resume proving they have the experience from other big days and races before being accepted to the starting line.
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