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Showing posts from June, 2018

Bear Bait 8

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This is not how we usually roll - signing up for a race on a whim. But since we were there, we were going to make it count. The plan based on our pre-ride indicated that 10 laps should be reasonable with a potential for 11 depending on how we felt and the weather. Looking only at the 4:00 cut off for going out again, we decided that I should start and run the odd laps - that way if needed Nick would have a better chance of getting me out for 11. Nick went to the pre-race meeting while I got organized to ride. Minutes before I was going to pedal to the portapotty for the last time, one of the zip ties holding my number in place snapped. Yikes! Not how I wanted to start my day. A last minute dig through the tool bag got me another zip tie and I was on my way to the start. My watch read 7:50, so I had a just enough time to take care of business. Guess my watch was reading from different satellites then the starters' watch! I had 7:56 when I rolled up - much later then I wanted, but s…

On a whim and a prayer

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There we were, driving west on 90 through South Dakota Thursday evening. The goal was Spearfish to explore the riding since we'd heard a lot about the trails. But the weather was looking questionable and I hadn't been able to find any resources about trail conditions. I also knew that there was an Ultra Trail run based in Rapid City, so the trails in that area were likely to be congested. Hummm.... What to do. And then one of the posts about the Bear Bait 8 in Casper caught my eye. Huh. I mentioned it to Nick "There's an 8 hour race in Casper on Saturday. Pictures look like it might fun." I didn't think it would go anywhere from there. After all, we were both tired from some solid days of riding and running, as well as being stiff from driving. And we were totally unprepared for racing of any kind, let alone an 8 hour event. To my surprise, Nick's response was "Let's do it! When does registration close?" In about 4 hours... Done deal - all w…

Detroit "Mountain"

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Detroit Mountain Recreation Area - where Nick went skiing occasional as a kid. Now, they call it a mountain, but as a Coloradan I had to laugh when we drove up and saw the lifts. I'm sure they have some decent skiing in the winter, it's hardly a mountain. It might qualify as a bunny slope where I started skiing! But that's beside the point. This is not a story about how little the hill was, but how big the hill is hoping to become.

There is more then meets the eye at DMRA. Yes, the first thing you see when you drive up is the lodge and the most adorable little ski hill with the classic singletrack ascent winding through the tall grass under the lifts. But when you get the map of the area, there's easily as much riding per acre of mountain as any of the big resorts in Colorado. Might not all be black diamond gnarly descending, but there are plenty of miles of trail for the size of the resort. They call it the XC system and it's really well built. There's two dif…

Minnesota Red Dirt

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After the fun of the weekend, it was time to find some riding. The original plan had been to head to Duluth and check out the riding there. There's been a lot of buzz about the riding in the Duluth so we had been looking forward to spending a few days exploring. But the rain storms that had inundated Park Rapids had also hit Duluth and everything was indicating that the trails were too wet to ride. All of the trail systems were showing that they were closed with no reports of when they would reopen. We needed a plan B! I did some scouring while we ate breakfast in Walker and found the perfect option.

Cuyuna County State Recreation Area just outside of Crosby. It was even closer then Duluth and looked a lot more convinent then anything up in Duluth as well. There was a campground right on one of the trails and multiple areas to explore. Perfect! We changed trajectory and headed south towards the red dirt of the Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trails.

Stop one - the Yawkey Section. It was righ…

KC Masterpiece

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And I'm not talking about the BBQ - we never even got a chance to taste real KC barbeque! No, I'm talking about the trails that we got to ride in the KC area, Lee's Summit to be accurate. As part of our Midwest circle tour, we stopped in KC to visit Cam and Amber. It's been a few years since they moved out of COS and we miss having them around! So it was really nice see them both and hang out for a while.

Wednesday, we skirted traffic in KC to meet Cam and his Dad for the Lee's Summit Trek Store shop ride. The planned ride was changing a little due to rain the day before, so we all met at Cam's house and headed south. I think it was the Blue River park system - not entirely sure. I do know that if we hadn't had Cam and his dad leading the way, I would have gotten completely lost. If you're like me and currently thinking "Riding in KC? No way!" Trust me. Not only was there riding there, but it was fantastic. The kind of riding both Nick and I …

Wilson!!!

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Lake that is... Having heard great things about the trails in Wilson Lake, Nick and I made it a point to stop on the long haul out the KC. As we were driving in, I wasn't sure what to expect for my run. There didn't seem like there was much around. But as we turned a corner on the road, all of a sudden the lake appeared. And then the trail was evident in the tall grass. Yes, there was a trail!

I changed quickly, knowing we were short on time. We had about an hour to actually play, which meant I could run about 6 miles. Nick and I looked at the map of the park - the trail on the east of the road made a nice loop. Nick figured it was about 3 miles, I guessed about 6. It was impossible to know how many twists and turns there were that didn't reflect on the map. I would soon find out. With the wind gusting and rain threatening, I opted for long sleeved shirt and no visor. Didn't want the visor blowing away! I set out, but quickly realized the long sleeve shirt was too muc…

Giving into the FOMO

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Sometimes I let the FOMO get to me - the fear of missing out, seeing all my friends and athletes talking about races and wanting to be a part of it. The Garden of the Gods was one of those races. It seemed like everyone was going to the training runs and preparing to tackle the monstrous hills of the Garden. Except for me. And for some reason, I wanted to race this year. I knew I wasn't ready for the ten miler - still not fully recovered from Growler! But the 10k? That that was just enough. It hit all the big hills, had a great course and generally looked like fun. It was also the weekend before we left for the reunion, so getting a hard run in would be good. Sure, playing in the mountains might have been smarter, but hard and fast is good pain. So I talked myself into it and signed up.

Race morning dawned smoky and hot. The smoke from fires burning all over Colorado was blowing into the city and settling. Not the best day for running! Add in the soreness from my run (hike?) on …

Sunshine on my shoulders - Growler 2018

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I have never seen the sun shining so brightly at 6:59 on the Sunday before Memorial Day as I did this year. Yet there we were, 300 strong, ready to take on the rocks of the Original Growler and there was nary a knee warmer to be seen. For Gunnison, it was down right warm! I still had my wind jacket on to keep a bit of the chill away while I waited, but I knew it would be coming off quickly. It was going to be a hot day, with the race turning into a test of hydration and heat management. But that would come later. First I had to survive the neutral start and Kill Hill.

One of my biggest worries going into Growler this year was the 28 front chain ring. I knew it was the right choice for the trails and technical riding, but the start terrified me more then normal. If I wasn't in a good position at the top of Kill Hill, it would be hard to move up before Josho-Os and the first technical riding. I was worried that I would be spun out and not able to keep up as we sped up Gold Basin Roa…