In the cold, wet, and dark night, with loaded bikes, fatigue gnawing at our brains, it was miserable. Ty and I climbed up and over Los Pinos Pass and descended into Colorado's high mountain valleys. Massive Wilderness. I had to force myself to stop and eat. Many were silent. On the day I crossed its rocky top, there was a procession of palid, hopeless things that vaguely resembled men. I wanted to quit bike riding forever. “No, it’s here. Singlespeeders will hike about 540 of the 550 miles. We are in the middle of nowhere,” I said. “Does this mean you're open?” Ty asked hopefully. “If I do, I'm afraid this will all disappear, and I'll be back in the cold, pushing my bike.”, He laughed. Don’t skimp on your rain gear. The pale moonlight made sharp silhouettes of the trees. I read about it,” he insisted. “You'll thank me later,” I told Ty, when he urged me onward. A little acclimatization will go a long way. At the top of Ten Mile we gazed down, down, down into Breckenridge, where'd we be passing through, (but not close enough for easy resupply) after a long descent, and a little more climbing. §count races … The sun beat down on us with merciless endurance. A crack of thunder sent us diving into the trees. At most, 1,000. I crossed the Gudy Gaskill bridge and the South Platte River in the late afternoon. STAGES CYCLING LEADVILLE TRAIL 100 MTB 2021 Lottery opens February 1st! Six days, 15 hours, and 15 minutes, after leaving Durango, I arrived in Denver. We waited silently on the curb. It travels through some of the most spectacular country in Colorado, through 6 wilderness areas and eight mountain ranges. It will make you stronger and smarter. The race begins and ends in Silverton and includes a nasty 33,992-foot climb. The Colorado Trail Race was one of the best weeks I’ve had on a bike. But that didn't make them enjoyable. CT racers claim that Sargents Mesa is haunted. The Colorado Trail Race was one of the best weeks I’ve had on a bike. By Adam Lisonbee – The streets of Durango, Colorado were empty. Finishing the CTR had never felt so far away. I stayed still. Pale, blue light filled the mountains. Morning dew glistened on the tree branches and tall grass. We were both grumpy. The good news is that there are now shelter options that are light and comfortable. What changed? The endless rolling plateau was waterless. Tough to say. Talansky Wins “Queen Stage” for Overall Lead at 2016 Tour of Utah;... 2016 Tour of Utah Stage 5 Photo Gallery by Steven Sheffield, Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort: Mile 280, Revelate Sweet Roll handlebar bag w/ Pocket add-on, SteriPEN Adventurer Opti UV water purifier. Keep moving.” I rode farther and longer between breaks than I had all week. event : event, “See you in Denver!”. Stars blinked. Lake San Cristobal mirrored the watercolored sky. During the 2017 Colorado Trail Race the average amount of H.A.B (Hike-A-Bike) was about 70 miles. Oh, and if possible, get high. In 2021, the Colorado Trail Race (CTR) will head northbound, beginning with a grand depart in Durango, CO on July 25 at 4:00 AM. Make sure your knees, hamstrings, achilles, arms, and every other part of your body can handle pushing a heavy bike up a mountain. A few minutes after daybreak, Ty and I were pedaling through the morning light and across the open meadows above Molas Pass. What to do? I reached the Monarch Crest Trail, and spent the next several miles riding some of the best singletrack in Colorado. The stoplight, the traffic, the neon signs at the bars, motels, and restaurants, reflected an attitude of hurried, civilized luxury. The Colorado Trail has an average elevation of over 10,000 feet. The Borah Gear Snowyside bivy is light, comfortable, and affordable. “I told you there was a bar.”, We set out from the saloon as the first light of dawn crept over the surrounding mountains. When those were installed, I flicked the light on again. The Colorado Trail Challenge (486 Virtual Miles in the Summer of 2020!) I have multiple custom bags from local sewer Josh Van Jura/Broadfork Bags. “I'm real. To get to those places though, there’s hike-a-bike. window.mc4wp = { Up, always up. Mouths were too dry, parched, and burnt for words. The 2013 Colorado Trail Race. The sun was boring holes into the ground. We pedaled across Silver Creek and Marshall Pass. “Nope. 2019 Colorado Trail Gear; Tomorrow is Crusher 9; Headwinds in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument; The Best Way Out Is Through – A Bikepacker Credo; How To: Ride the Colorado Trail Race; 3 Unnecessary but Useful Bikepacking Add-ons; I Used to Be a Bike … I pedaled away from the group while they ate lunch. WHO KNEW? What is the CTR? “Don't say quit.”, “We could buy tickets for the train,” I said, “and ride back to Durango.”. Colorado Trail Race has 2,146 members. High above the lake and the pass, Indian Trail Ridge awaited. Headlamps bobbed in the morning dark. The temperature dropped, the high plateau turned chilly. A few riders whooped or hollered. The 2013 Colorado Trail Race was just moments away. He worked for the Chamber of Commerce, a small taste of history and flavor. In less than 24-hours, a bad system will be exposed, and a good system can be refined. The Colorado Trail features 500 miles and 70,000′ of elevation gain winding through the Colorado Rocky Mountains between Denver and Durango. Skip to main ... Colorado Motorcycle Trail Riders Association. The San Juan Mountains were far behind. “Let's just find some trees, and get in our bags.”, “Anywhere. I wanted to keep moving. In the meantime, get your gear, and start doing mini-trips. I growled in anger. There are many options for sleep systems, bags, lights, and navigation. He looked as tired as I felt, but he preached patience. I tried to count how many calories I had stashed away in my bags. I don’t know. A system with more protection will weigh more. Many were making last-minute adjustments to backpacks, bikes, and other gear. Don’t bring your ultra-stiff racing shoes. It’s a rugged, beautiful route. Ride your bike. } Stopping delayed that. A stove hissed. “In which direction?” Ty wasn't lost. “No time, go!” I pedaled by unceremoniously, and burst from the trees onto Waterton Canyon road. Mile after mile revealed no bar. Even the name sounded exotic. And of course, you can read my story from the 2013 race. Hike up rocky trails with your loaded bike. listeners: [], He wanted to know if we were about to ride into more stormy weather. A GPS track is provided for all CTR racers. We laid out our bags under the tarped canopy, larders and bellies full. The sun dipped behind the high peaks. From there, it’s all downhill to Copper.” The rain faded, the sun pushed its beams of caramel-colored light through the clouds, now pulling apart like cotton candy. Ride the CTR, of course! Unlike the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail, you can ride the Colorado Trail on a bicycle. It will be the ninth running of the self-supported event, which debuted in 2007 with 10 riders, six of whom finished the arduous journey from Denver to Durango. Ty disappeared into the gloom. I needed my wired nerves to calm down, and time to remind myself that this was no ordinary race. Expect to hike for a few hours every day on the Colorado Trail. During the night, a few more riders hiked by our camp. That doesn’t mean you need to become something you are not. A few street lamps glistened in the pre-dawn night. Rain arrived in town at the same time we did. Starting on the outskirts of metro Denver, the trail quickly climbs into the Rockies and stays high – at an average elevation above 9000 feet. Conceived in 1974 and connected in 1987, the Colorado Trail is an improbable, 486-mile through-hiking trail that traverses the state from Durango to Denver, crossing eight mountain ranges, and staying above 10,000ft most of the time. The highpoint of the Colorado Trail is the Coney Summit, 13,270 feet above sea level. The cold reality of what lay ahead, accompanied by a swiftly moving rainstorm, dampened the optimism and joy. The world melted into golden brilliance. Pizzas will be out in a few minutes.” His name was Pat, and he was the owner of the Stagestop Saloon. He responded without hesitation. I dove deeper into the abyss than ever before. A basic bikepacking system uses a bivy, bag, and pad. On the high horizon, the first light revealed the treeless summits of the mountains–mountains that the trail would climb up and over in short order. The rest of us plodded along, settling into our 550-mile pace. Ty and Jeff were waiting in the trailhead parking lot, grinning stupidly. You will be hiking anywhere between 80 and 100 miles on the CT. Yeah, really. Having a system that is dialed in before race day will save you time and frustration on the trail. But the first few days were terrible. Pedaling through town, marveling at all the options for food and comfort, was wonderful. 3 Unnecessary but Useful Bikepacking Add-ons, The Best Way Out Is Through – A Bikepacker Credo. There were lights. But such a light set-up won’t provide much protection in torrential rain or against unexpected cold weather. I reorganized my pack while Ty cleaned his bike. I'm exhausted, too.” We descended off the pass and into the trees where we set up camp for the night. Music blared from the glowing oasis. Past experience would benefit the vets, while ignorant enthusiasm would press the rookies onward. Like, 12,000 feet high. During the second half of the race, I was a bike rider again. Leadville was bustling with tourists. The Hei Hei is nice and slack with a 68 degree HT angle and has a Fox 34 120mm fork for a more Trail Bike feel, complete with a 6″ droper post (of which I … It will make you stronger and smarter. I had to keep moving, or they'd leave me too far behind. Read blogs, books, and forum posts from CTR vets. Grand Junction –> Fruita –> Moab. That equals 13% of the total distance. Bikepacking gear is in the middle of a revolution. And it's covered in loose boulders and rocks. The others were stirring. I hadn't seen an aspen tree since Los Pinos Pass. Green walls sloped downward, split by blue ribbons of flowing water. But we were both happy. Advocacy Alert and Editorial: Salt Lake’s State Street Design Plan Fails... Boise, Littleton, Salt Lake City Among Nine U.S. But the lingering desire to ride across Colorado won’t leave you alone. We could quickly resupply, and move on. I was tired. In addition to the primary bags, there are many accessory bags, such as the Revelate Jerry Can and Gas Tank that are superb. The tall wooden pole, CT triangle nailed near the top, divides the continent. This is Co2uT – A Desert Gravel Race on 10/10/2020. [Editor's Note: The 2020 edition of the Colorado Trail Race is anticipated to start on July 26. Riding the CT will help you appreciate the scale of the mountains, and our small, but significant place in them. “Hopkins!” After an hour of hiking and fiddling with my lights, I finally got them to turn on. The world unfolded into layers of cirques, massive calderas, canyons, and purple peaks with names like Redcloud and Sunshine. “A bar? “I need to spend some time here and get myself rehydrated.” He pedaled away up the trail. July 21, 2013 Race info: www.climbingdreams.net/ctr/ Filmed… I huddled in between the trunks of closely growing pines and ate the cold, salty, fried chicken I had carried with me from Leadville. They went silently through the trees and up the hill. callback: callback 2020 - 2021 Trail Races held in Colorado The calendar regroups all kinds of activities (Running, Walking, Nordic Walking, Vertical Races, Obstacle races, Dog runs, Multiday events ...). Fatigue was eating at my head. If you have a full suspension bike, you may need to order a custom frame bag. It will rain every day. It will beat you and your bike up. I smiled through the pain and blackness. “It's that way,” he said, gesturing toward the wall of purple clouds. Homesickness rippled through my spine. Ty, by now, must have been sipping hot cocoa at Copper Mountain, wondering where I had gone. But after day 3, I was human again. An old man with a long white beard, wearing a coat and top hat, wandered the streets. It was my turn to talk Ty off the ledge. The storm loitered overhead, following our route. The Gravel Pursuit is a 60 or 120 mile bike race that takes place on a network of Forest Service roads in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. With this book, a GPS is not needed to ride the route. The trail is well marked, but a GPS and paper map are very helpful. The valley far below was blurred by distance. The CTR: 470 miles and 65,000' of elevation gain winding through the Colorado Rocky Mountains from Denver to Durango. Some of the riders looked more relaxed than others. Neither of us had slept well; we were still wet and cold. I could rest at night. I struggled to walk in a straight line while hiking a steep segment of a smooth dirt road. A 1-night trip can be super valuable. The needed stop allowed us to clean and reorganize our bikes and gear, restock our food supplies, and enjoy unhurried frosty and fried indulgences. I had left Silverton three days earlier and other than the small store at the hot springs, hadn't encountered any permanent human presence at all. 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