Seemed like a good idea at the time...

We are good at the "seemed like a good idea at the time" kinda rides. This one? Well, it all started on the drive out of town. We've not ridden in Leadville out side of the Fat Bike races and Nick asked if we should start our weekend there. Sure, why not? Then we both got the idea - Silver Rush, one of the Leadville 100 series races was supposed to be a very challenging race and several of our friends said we would love the race. The idea turned into a spark - let's ride the Silver Rush course! Even better, we wouldn't really need a map since the race was the next day. It would be marked and everything! And so north towards Leadville we headed...

As anticipated, the course was well marked from the start. Since it was later in the afternoon and all the serious racers were hiding in their hotels with compression socks on and feet up, we also had the course to ourselves. Perfect. I wasn't sure what to expect since I hadn't looked at the profile and had only glanced at the map. It seemed like the first hour of riding was straight uphill as we climbed higher and higher, finally ending up above treeline. I was super happy that the views were so amazing because I was tired - slow and tired. The steady grinding of the double track was getting to me even in the first hour. Still, when Nick suggested that we just ride the entire course, I didn't disagree. At that point, I already knew it wasn't a race I wanted to do, so why not see what the entire thing looked like? We were being silly, having fun with what was a challenging dirt road and double track ride. It wasn't easy by any stretch of the imagination - but it also wasn't the kind of riding that we love doing.


Nick riding on the Silver Rush course - dwarfed by the mountains around us

Seemed like a good idea at the time... Until one of the bars I'd brought with me to eat turned out to be as stale as cardboard and inedible. And I'd only packed food for a three hour ride. Out of food before the turn around and getting crankier by the minute. Even the columbines and alpine meadows filled with flowers weren't making me happy anymore. We climbed up to the highpoint on the course and plunged down the backside towards the turn around. Nick wanted to ride the entire 50 and retrace our steps. Me? Not so much. Tired from a busy week and generally cranky about being out of food, I mutinied. I'd seen enough of the course and really didn't see the point of riding-pushing back up above treeline. There was plenty of more fun riding to be had the rest of the weekend and I wanted to be able to enjoy the Colorado Trail and other adventures. Nick grumbled a little, rightly pointing out that there really were only two super ugly hills on the way back and it would be superfast and mostly downhill. I was not to be deterred. I was tired of road riding. So we took the quicker route down the Mineral Belt Trail back to the van.

Do I regret not finishing the course just to say we did it? Kinda. Sorta. We probably should have just done it since we aren't ever going to do the race proper. Oh well. But that wasn't my goal for the weekend.

Sunset over the campsite - Raspberry Gulch off the CT

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