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Showing posts from May, 2015

Here comes the mud again.... Race Support at the Half Growler

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Getting woken up at 11:00 PM with pouring rain isn't the best way to start a race weekend. Having that pouring rain turn into a thunderstorm right overhead is even worse. The hail started at 2:00 AM and combined with the thunder and lightening kept the entire Gunnison Valley awake until sunrise. Even then, there was no respite. A heavy fog had settled over the KOA and Hartmans Rocks, cloaking everything in grey and damp. Gradually, the sun worked it's magic and burned away the layer of clouds, revealing blue skies and drenched surroundings. An interesting start to my day of race support and Nick's race. Hopefully, the sun would stay out and dry the trails into the hero dirt that Dave promised in his race morning update email.


I dropped Nick off at the start in downtown Gunnison and headed up Gold Basin Road to wait at the short blacktop section near the Bambi's entrance. With the rain and Nick's experience last year during the Growler, I wasn't driving up into…

April (and May) Showers

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The canyon is the perfect extended backyard with the kind of weather we've been having here in Colorado. The decomposed granite soaks of the moisture, turning the kitty litter trails into pure fun. The canyon is also a powerful place when it rains. Normal dry rocks have waterfalls cascading down their faces and the sound of the creek echoes no matter what trail I'm on. Last week, I got out for fun ride after two days of rain with the sole goal of enjoying the traction. Little did I know I'd also be finding some new and spectacular waterfalls. Every where I looked, there were small waterfalls pouring down the walls. When I got to the junction of Spring Creek and Columbine trails, the only option was getting wet because the usually faint spring was overflowing. A few switchbacks later down Columbine, the roar of the water drew my attention to the west. But I was in the middle of the descent and didn't want to stop to take pictures. A little bit lower down, two hikers tol…

Happy Birthday Ride

The beginning of May is a popular time for birthdays in our circle of friends, and this year we were able to join Todd on his birthday ride - which happened to fall on Nick's birthday! I was invited to join the fun this year, since I'm starting to get to the point where I can just barely, almost, kinda hang on to the group. I know in prior years, me attempting to participate in the ride would have been a lost cause - first rock garden and it would have been all over. I was debating the wisdom of joining as we pedaled into Palmer Park - I was already hanging on by coattails, and this wasn't even the full group of guys. The numbers swelled to 13 riders at the meeting point in Palmer Park, all of them fast and skilled riders. I would have my work cut out for me.

My only real goal was to stay smooth on the technical - and with this group, there was nothing but technical riding. It wouldn't do me a lot of good to try to race to keep up if I was constantly missing obstacles…

Oil Well Flats

Canyon City really has something neat just north of town - Oil Well Flats. We first rode there last year, after the Growler and the trail system has been expanding thanks to the tireless work of the BLM and the local cycling community. On the last Saturday in April, Nick and I went down there with Shad, Stephanie and Sharley to ride (or run) as much as we could get away with. Nick and I were also hoping to be able to camp down there and ride some more on Sunday, or even dart over to Lake Pueblo on Sunday. But that would be weather dependent...

Steph and Sharley took the maniac otherwise known as Ned the dog and headed off for a run. I was left with Nick and Shad and the prospect of a few hours of very hard riding. And they did not disappoint. I was working hard from the start of the ride, as we headed up the Fire Canyon climb. There were plenty of other riders out and we were constantly keeping an eye up canyon for descending riders. It took me a bit to warm up and get settled at the …