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Showing posts from October, 2015

Gymnastics - or rocks don't make for soft landings.

It is a strange feeling to be fully committed to something and know that you will get hurt. The only question remaining is how badly. Such was my experience on Saturday. At the very end of a fun ride - with snow on the upper reaches of Gold Camp Road and traction for miles on every other trail, we dropped into Strawberry Fields for the final chunk of single track before heading home. Before that came the final obstacle - a five foot rock drop. The rock alone is challenging, but made harder by a very narrow landing zone - bordered on the left by a large tree and on the right a rock filled ravine. After you make it though that, one more challenge remains. A step, rocky kicker of a climb. I've made the rock drop maybe 10 times total - and the entire section only a couple of times. The last time we rode there, I made cleanly all the way through. So I figured that this time would be no different. 
Except it was. I slowed, let Nick clear it and then made the approach. I thought I was whe…

Into the wind

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It's no secret that I've decided that I'm going to do a 50 mile race next year and that I selected the Human Potential Running Series Sheep Mountain 50 in Fairplay as the race of choice. I have 8 months to get ready for the race - and part of the preparation is scouting the course so I know what I need to work on in the training. Just running is good, but it doesn't quite cut it when it comes to training for an ultra! I had a copy of the course map and wanted to focus on what I thought would be the hardest part of the race - the climb up Sheep Mountain. I had a little loop in mind that was about 16 miles, starting out of the Four Mile Campground.

Wind woke me up early. Howling down the gulch, bending the trees and sending dust eddies swirling. It was a chilly wind too - making me nervous about my plan to climb above treeline. If the wind was this strong down along the creek, what would it be like at 12,500? I would find out soon enough.

Things you don't think abou…

Making the most of Fall

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We've taken the shuttle to the top of Monarch Pass twice this year. Once for a ride of the last 50 miles of Vapor - the entire Crest trail with the addition of Starvation and Poncha Creek Rd. A worthy use of the ride to the summit. This time, the goal was the two creeks we hadn't ridden yet - Fooses and Greens. After last year's end of season exploring, we knew that we could make a good loop of it and get both descents on one shuttle ride.

 Surprisingly, the only shuttle time Nick was told when he was making plans was 8:00am. Mid 40s down in Salida meant low 30s on top of the pass - burr! I was not overdressed in my wool puffy and wind jacket. At the top, I even had overgloves and headband on - it was that chilly. We were ready for the cold, so when our bikes were unloaded, we were ready to ride. The three of us - Nick, Shad and myself, were the first riders heading down the Crest. I was hoping it would last - while I wasn't moving as slowly as my last trip down the C…

If memory serves - Cottonwood

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Ever since my solo ride that turned into a guided trip down Cottonwood, I've been trying to get backup there with Nick. It was such a fun ride - from swooping through the ravine at the start to the nearly-unridable (or so I thought) water fall feature near the end. Finally, we had good weather and a the chance to ride up Ute Trail to the jeep road. And then, it would be time to see if memory served me well and I could find the trail again. I wasn't confident - I knew I could get to the first part - the swoopy ravine section. But then there had been a grunter jeep road climb and an unmarked turn to the left to drop into Cottonwood proper. That was the section I wasn't sure about. We rode pretty easy up to the intersection with the jeep road. To my surprise, there was a brand new, very nice parking lot there now - not just an open field. And a sign.

Nick started pedaling up the jeep road, but I headed over to check out the sign. A map of the S-Mountain trails, including the…

Fear of Missing Out

It's a real thing - the fear of missing out. With so many great races and events in Colorado alone, there's not enough time and money to do them all. Something has to give and despite how much fun or how much prestige an event has, some times, enough is enough. Back in March, I had someone ask me if I was going to Weaverville for worlds this year. I admit to not having a clue as to what she was talking about at that point - the WEMBO 24 Hour World Championship. I did some research and filed the event away in my mind. If things worked out and I would be able to race, I would. It would be a honor to wear my Stars and Stripes for a World Championships and be racing for the chance to trade those in for a Rainbow. So very tempting. I could redo my plan for the rest of the year, moving my focus race back three weeks and then taking the previous A-race and turning it into start of the last hard block before Worlds. I actually sat down and planned it out to see how that would look.

Bu…