Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Colorado Trail Race Part :1 Preview

This is Part 1 of several long posts of my Colorado Trail Race Adventure. 
For Part 2 Days 1 and 2 go here.
For Part 3 Day 3 go here.
For Part 4 go here.

OK so here's the deal..... I took along a cheap camera from the store and this silly thing had this stuff called film in it. This film apparently can't be attached to a computer with a USB or anything. So I won't have any of my glorious pictures until I get it "developed" and "digitized". So until then I will give you some "hooks" and a lead up to the "race." Here are some pictures at Mt Flyer and here is Eszter H's page in the meantime.

Just in case you're still not familiar with the Colorado Trail Race it is pretty easy--walk in the woods, as stroll in the park, a day at the zoo, a cakewalk...... You basically see how fast you can ride the 480 miles or so of trail from Denver to Durango with some short sections of road thrown in to get you around wilderness areas with around 60,000' of climbing. You carry what you need and can buy supplies in towns or send a package to a post office. You can't have a friend meet you with supplies or have a supply drop. The trail/route passes through a few towns. Bailey, Near Frisco, Copper Mountain resort, Leadville, Buena Vista, and Silverton. Leadville and Buena Vista are the only larger towns with bike shops. The trail has a ridiculous amount of climbing and hike-a-bike (pushing your loaded bike up steep hills at high altitude) involved. More here.

Getting ready:
OK so thought about the gear list on my previous post and whittled it down. I still opted to take the LOTR hardback trilogy.... Other than that I took a light down sleeping bag, thermarest Neoair pad, emergency bivy/groundcloth, light tarp tent, wool shirt, socks 2pr, head lamp, handle bar light, food, rain jacket and pants, vest, arm and leg warmers, rain gloves, light down jacket, 2 tubes, 1st aid kit, bike fix it kit, steripen for water, 1 pr bike shorts and jersey (I mailed a spare set to Silverton), insulin (Humalog and Lantus), test kit and my secret weapon below--a shower cap from the Sheraton in St George UT. Here are some pics of the staging area. 

Measuring my girth for a possible bivy sack.

Part 1. To the race!

On the forum site a guy named Andy said he did the race last year but couldn't do it this year and had space available at his house AND he would feed us that night AND feed us in the morning AND he would take us to the race start at 5 am. Taking my chances that he wasn't just a crazy guy that was going to kill me and steal my bike I sent him a message and got his address up for Sunday night before the race. Our pal Becky was also doing the race and was going to a wedding Saturday night in Estes. So I got a ride to Boulder with her and her boy friend and spent he afternoon cruising the Boulder Creek path and Pearl Street. That night I hung with a friend from graduate school and the next day Becky picked me up and took me back to Andy's house close to where she was staying. Here is a picture of Andy (right) and two other racers. There were 5 racers total.

Andy's wife Sandy and her dog.
I have to say that these were the nicest people and it was better than many bed and breakfasts that I have stayed at. They had all the stuff needed to work on the bikes, great food, great beds, stories and pictures from last year. Super pre-race set up. So Thanks Again Andy and Sandy!!
We got up early at 4:15 for the 6:30 start that was 30-40 drive away. Sandy made us a great breakfast, we loaded the bikes and got headed out. At the start there were people milling about. I saw many people that I knew: Becky, Max Nuttleman, Kerkove, Jordan Carr, Ethan, Jeffe... We all got our bikes ready, got SPOT trackers etc. The atmosphere was fun and tense almost at the same time. Stefan who thought this up, gave a speech to be respectful and all. Then we broke into groups, those who thought 5 days was possible when first and so forth. Many people started right away.....

Here is team Rock and Roll.

Becky and I.
And off we went! Oops watch out for the guy in front of me with the large camera! OK all's good.......

Book 2 teaser:
"The sun had been beating down too long as I stopped to get water from the stream. Somehow I was out in front after the huge climb and descent. However the cramps in my legs had taken their toll. Groin in right at first, hamstring in left, quads in both legs, other groin and hamstring, repeat. I had taken all my salt tablets and stopped to get various drinks at Bailey but I still felt like I was out of balance. Ouch my groin cramps and then Ethan goes by with just a glance and up the hill never looking back." 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great story! GREAT RIDE!
Congratulations and I'm glad you lived through it!