Saturday, June 18, 2011

Trail work and Colorado Trail Race Preparation

Last Sunday, June 12, we (All four of us) headed up to Segment 18 of the Colorado Trail in the Cochetope Dome area to walk some of the trail with friends and make sure it was clear of downfall and marked well. This section had been maintained by Ted and Martha Violet but when Ted got sick and subsequently passed people in our science department at Western State have been going up with Martha to continue the tradition. We drove up and were to hike a few miles and meet others and come back to the car and have lunch. I had also been putting together gear for the Colorado Trail Race August 1st. I wanted to take a shortish overnight to test out what I had put together so far. I thought I could have Anne drive the car back home and I could ride some of the route and then back home. About 80 miles the afternoon after our trail work and the next morning.

So first what had I gotten together. I had some new packs for my bike from Revelate Designs, some lightweight camping stuff and my new tent I had made. I had an old nylon tarp I had gotten from our killer outdoor program Wilderness Pursuits at WSC. Many that do this race get light weight tarp to use as a tent. I decided to make my bike the support and then use stakes to hold out the sides. Here is the original tarp over the bike.

Then I measured and cut some old sheets as a prototype and then cut up and sewed the tarp.
Gotta turn your head! Cutting the sheets!
Prototype on the floor.
And the "tent" before the tie-downs were attached.
So there is that. Maybe it will work in the rain.... So we headed out and went on a hike! Lila and Julian did great. We just hiked a little ways and the trail was in great shape.

Taking a break.
Then we went back and had lunch with the group. Here is some of them.
Then I quickly and randomly threw all my stuff in my packs. This was the first time I had all this together.
And I put on the bike clothes and took off.
The ride was nice but I had a serious headwind...... I learned a lot about how to pack things and what to change for the next trial. The tent worked well but it didn't rain and the wind wasn't blowing that night. Here is a picture along the way coming down Los Pinos Pass.
I turned down the road back to Powderhorn and camped at a free NFS campground along Cebolla creek. I tested out my steripen water purifier. It seemed to work well... No issues after a week. The next morning I got up and had a bagel in the sun. While I was eating it an older fellow on an old mt bike with a huge backpack on and a large bag full of gear on his handlebars. He had been riding from Flagstaff and had just came down from Slumgullion pass. I felt kind of funny as I had bike shorts, fancy packs etc. He was wearing sweats, coat and gloves from somewhere like wallmart and cheap shoes. His gear must have been soooo heavy. But then again he wasn't racing. We talked for a while and I gave him some pointers on where to camp as he got closer to Gunni and let him know of road conditions. The ride back was pretty easy and I was getting used to the extra weight on the bike.
Overall assessment. Everything worked well. I would have to get a better pad, smaller/lighter? I would need to work on packing. I couldn't find stuff easily and small clothes got all mixed up. I also need to work out a headlamp.... And ..... More later..

No comments: