For Part 1 The race preview go here.
For Part 3 Day 3 go here.
For Part 4 the final countdown go here.
- Cow; runny diarrhea-ish, cow pie-hard and soft.
- Horse; large piles and small apples
- Sheep; small and large. More slippery than the runny cow. Also stinkiest.
- Moose (not verified but I saw one next to the trail)
- Bear (red piles by red berries, black piles other places)
|At the start|
|Elevation profile up to camp 1.|
|Day 1 route. Note Detour in yellow.|
|Getting water at Kenosha pass|
The trail began to climb up Georgia pass and got really rocky and rooty. My first taste of extended hike-a-bike. I passed quite a few people on the climb. First Kerkove who had a really funny look/grimace on his face. Then Ethan Passant and a couple others. Ethan said he and others were also suffering from cramps. He had just finished the Tour Divide a few weeks earlier so I was surprised that he could still walk, to tell the truth. A storm was threatening so I pushed hard over the top.
Stats for the day. 95+ miles 14,659' of climbing. 6+ hrs of horizontal time.
Day 2 of CTR
The trail here climbs steeply and becomes a hike after a few miles. I passed many sleeping racers and around 3am saw a girl getting up. I asked her name as there were only a few girls racing. It was Cat.
After a few miles, you push up the very steep trail to where you think you will drop down the other side. NOT. You keep climbing up and up and up. Foggy clouds began to form as the wind came up over the high ridge at 12,500' and the air began to cool considerably around 4am. The trail on top of the ridge was difficult to see in the fog. I hit a rock and fell off my bike. I heard as pssss....... Oh crap. This is the worst time and place for a flat. I quickly looked at my front tire but the sound was just the grass rubbing against the tire. Phew! The descent wasn't great either. I gracefully stepped across a creek and put my right foot in it. A little later I put my left foot in. I hate riding with wet feet! I finally got to Copper Mt. As I hit the trail at the base of the ski area, I again ran into Zach and his buddy. I also saw others sleeping here and there. The trail climbs along the ski area and eventually up a valley to Searle pass and then over to Kokomo pass.
|Looking down from Searle pass the way I had come|
|Looking up to top of Searle pass. Note Ptamigan in foreground if you can.|
As seen in the above picture, I saw so many ptarmigan on the top of the pass that you could throw your bike in any direction and hit one for dinner.
|Route for Day 2.|
There was some great single track and it is a deceptively long way to Tennessee pass. Finally you hit the highway to
Leadville... And what do I do? I printed a map for this detour and I'm like, "I don't need to look, Oh yeah take a left" after climbing the highway I see the Tennesse pass Nordic center that I had seen a while ago. Errrrggg!!! Take a right!! So on down the highway to Leadville. I stop and get a bunch of food at Subway and wash up in the bathroom. Sorry about the mess.... I also stop a the bike store to see where everyone else is at. I'm in 7th or 8th place and Eszter had just blown by while I was relaxing at lunch watching a storm blow by! That girl is hard core. So I grab some Honeystinger products and out the door I go. I find the trail head past Halfmoon creek campground after some looking--this is one of those spots where it's not marked well. The trail climbs steeply and then you get some great single track before dropping down to Twin Lakes. You climb up again after going around the lake and get some more fun riding before dropping down to the detour to Buena Vista at Clear Creek Reservoir. As I dropped down, it began to rain and by the time I got to BV around 8pm, I was pretty wet. I felt OK but didn't want to get too tired and have to sleep in the woods in the rain so I grabbed a bunch of food at City Market. The next food supply would be at Silverton A LONG WAY AWAY. I thought I had a ton of food anyway. I ran into John and Jerry, two other racers, at City Market and grabbed a cheap motel next door. I got my clothes cleaned up and sort of dry by the time I woke up at 3:30am and got going around 4:00am the next day.
Day 2 Stats. 100mi, 11,700' climbing. Horizontal time 5.5+ hrs. My legs hadn't cramped at the high cool elevations but were sore here and there but feeling better all the time. The hikers after Leadville and to Buena Vista seemed to be more families hiking......Even a guy that was a huge WSC bike team fan.
Day 3. Prelude
It was dark. The coyotes howled--not yipping like the normal unpossessed variety. His huge front tire darted back and forth through large white rocks trying to find passage like lovers' tongues. The darkness was pervasive. The large eyes of bovine in the middle of the trail shone unmoving until the light from my headlamp created shadows that spooked them off. The partial moon dropped behind the ridge. And the rocks and roots continued....... unrelenting.