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  Topic Name: CTR 2012 Planning Reply #40 on: January 07, 2012, 01:46:54 PM
Buttermilk


Location: Bishop, Ca.
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« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2012, 01:46:54 PM »

Bar-ends rule!!

Tried the Ergon thing and there wasn't enough bar end to be useful and too little so they got in the way. I run a wide-ish bar and love all the hand locations and riding positions i can milk out of such a simple item. However if your going to put them on the ends of some carbon bars be sure not to over-tighten them as it will crack the carbon. I carve a little plug out of some 1/2 dowell and stuff it in the tube where the clamping force of the bar-end will be. Works like a charm.

I also like the bar-ends for those obnoxious high-speed rattle-your-teeth-loose descents so i don't have to grip the bars too hard. Just hold softly on the bars...and the bar-ends help keep your hands on.
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  Topic Name: CTR 2012 Planning Reply #41 on: January 09, 2012, 03:15:27 PM
TruthRider


Location: Boulder, CO
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« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2012, 03:15:27 PM »

I was a first timer last year, and managed to finish, though pretty far off the back at 9 days 14 hours.   I had told myself I wasn't competing in 2012, but just can't seem to stay away from this forum ... can't seem to stop thinking about the race ... need a way to tell my wife that MAYBE I'm considering it for this year again ...

I think it was Bart who said earlier here that having a pretty strong expectation of your finish time is perhaps the #1 reason for dropping out, and I'd have to agree.  For some reason, I'd had it in my head that I could do it in 7 days - though I'd never entered a bike race of any kind in my life prior to 8/1/11.  After getting crushed on the climb up from the Platte, 3 hours into the race, I was pretty well off the back of the pack and never caught back up.  By the time I hit the Peaks Trail between Breck and Copper on Day 2, it was starting to sink in that 7 days wasn't going to happen for me, and by the time I hit Searle Pass around noon the next day, I knew for certain that it wasn't going to.  At that point - I'll never forget the freaking unbelievable wildflowers up there - I stopped my bike and said to myself "Chuck you're on the mountain bike ride of your life, stop sweating the podium or the clock."  I didn't stop trying, I definitely tried to finish as fast as I could, even after that revelation, but I also started being more conservative with the redlining and a little more inclined to dismount and walk sections, all with the eye on Durango.  I decided that since it was clear I wasn't going to finish in 7, finishing at all would be a lot better than not hitting the goal AND not even finishing.

So I'd say that's the best advice to the first timers - have your goal of finishing by X number of days/hours, sure.  It's human and you're going to have one in the back of your mind, no matter what you say publicly.  However, if that goal starts to look doubtful, keep the finish line in mind.  The ride down from Kennebec Pass to the finish line, even though it was days after the race had been won, was supremely satisfying and I hope you all feel it too.

Also I'd say that the biggest mistake I made was being way too heavy - not with gear, but food and water.  I had food that I carried all the way to Buena Vista and then jettisoned it, even as I was heading into the outback on the way to Silverton.  With all the stops in the first part of the race, you can definitely get away with not more than 1 day's worth of food all the way until Mt. Princeton.   In the end, I was very satisfied with the gear I brought, and after the race decided I would bring the exact same stuff the next time.  I was very fortunate.  No rain after Leadville, not a drop.  And zero mechanicals the whole route;  not even a flat tire.

Cheers to all who give it a go;  I hope you all have success!!

Also, re: routefinding.   I used a small GPS and the TrailSide databook.  In combo these were awesome.  The vast majority of the route is well marked and stress free routefinding.  Most of the time my GPS was shut off and put away in one of my feedbags on my handlebars.   The only place I had an issue was at the very beginning of the 60-70 mile road detour after crossing Hwy 114.   The trail had turned into a ranch vehicle doubletrack at that point, and I failed to recognize that I was at the beginning of the detour, and my GPS seemed like it was turned upside down for some reason at that point.  I spent 20 mins going down the road, backtracking, turning the wrong way on the trail, backtracking, etc.

I will close by saying that the Spring Creek Pass to Stoney Pass section - generally considered to be the hardest section of the route - was one of the Top 5 days of mountainbiking in my entire life.  I was lucky and had a bluebird day the whole day.  It was long, and the up and down over ridges in the last 5-10 miles was brutal at the end of a long day, but it was supremely beautiful and magical and I can't wait to go back there again, whether I'm racing or not. 
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  Topic Name: CTR 2012 Planning Reply #42 on: January 11, 2012, 08:32:13 AM
Woodland


Location: Bailey, CO
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« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2012, 08:32:13 AM »

Another first timer here beginning to obsess about CTR 2012! I have ridden from Waterton to Mt. Princeton as a bikepack trip - so for me the big unknown starts kicking in on the long backcountry section to Silverton.

- I have dreams about bikepacking these days,
- I spend hours surfing while I should be working,
- I print up people's trip reports and read them over coffee before I sign in to work,
- I fiddle with my bike and different mounting options for gear in my frigid garage while the snow piles up outside,
- part of my strength workout includes carrying my bike up the hill behind my house and then tearing through the trees back down,
- on a training ride the other day I had ice in my beard (a first for me on the bike),
- bikepacking.net and climbingdreams.net/ctr are saved on the bookmark toolbar for quick access,
- I panic that I'm going to lose my job, because it will most likely mean no CTR for me this year (shouldn't I be worrying about losing my job for other reasons  Wink

My wife said something the other night along the lines of, 'I picture this race to just be lots of cold, wet, painful, lonely bike riding'. Well, yeah that probably sums it up better than most...but isn't that really why we want to do it!

I hope to be there on Monday, July 30th at 6am!

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  Topic Name: CTR 2012 Planning Reply #43 on: January 11, 2012, 12:37:25 PM
TobyGadd


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« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2012, 12:37:25 PM »

I've been spending way too many hours in front of my PC this holiday season due to a knee injury, but at least I've finally had the time to clean up my 2010 CTR GPS log files. For anyone else who's obsessing over maps and routes, I decided to post my GPX file to my blog:

http://tobygadd.blogspot.com/2012/01/colorado-trail-race-gpsgpx-tracks-and.html

It includes a complete track, as well as waypoints from Bear Creek Survey (which correspond the the Official Colorado Trail Databook and Guidebook). Unless major re-routes are announced, this is the file that I'm going to load into my GPS for 2012.

As has been said before, a GPS isn't necessary for riding the CTR. But it sure is nice to look down and instantly see whether you're on or off the route--especially at night over sections like Cataract.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2012, 03:36:48 PM by TobyGadd » Logged

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  Topic Name: CTR 2012 Planning Reply #44 on: January 11, 2012, 04:35:31 PM
Buttermilk


Location: Bishop, Ca.
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« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2012, 04:35:31 PM »

 looks like it is THE gps file to have...although I am also getting a .txt file when I unzip it. Look forward to seeing the .gpx

Thanks for all your work...hope you're healing up.
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  Topic Name: CTR 2012 Planning Reply #45 on: January 11, 2012, 04:46:10 PM
TobyGadd


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« Reply #45 on: January 11, 2012, 04:46:10 PM »

Oops, sorry guys. I accidentally forgot to change the extension back to .gpx after editing it with a text editor. I just reposted the file, please let me know if it works OK.
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  Topic Name: CTR 2012 Planning Reply #46 on: January 11, 2012, 04:54:32 PM
Buttermilk


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« Reply #46 on: January 11, 2012, 04:54:32 PM »

It worked. Thanks.
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  Topic Name: CTR 2012 Planning Reply #47 on: January 12, 2012, 10:44:35 AM
mtnbound


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« Reply #47 on: January 12, 2012, 10:44:35 AM »

JReeves - I looked at the GR2s and liked them but the bar end seems awkward to wrap my hand around it - it seems too small or I am grabbing it wrong Smiley  I also was thinking of the slightly bigger bar end. 

Dan - Thanks for the response.  I was also planning on climbing out of saddle from time to time (to get more power, change position saddle-wise and grip-wise).  I appreciate the idea of a longer bar since that would eliminate the problem of hand bumping into the bar end during normal riding.

slhappy - Thanks for the reponse.  Good idea about using bar ends on technical descents as well as for climbing.

Truthrider - appreciate your insights!  I am estimating 9-10 days and allowing up to 14 days. I would really like to finish and do the whole route.  I realize at my pace, it is more like touring but I am racing against myself.  I also like your advice about food and water - those are the items that will weigh the most. I also got the data book and it seems invaluable, particularly for water sources.  I will also use a small gps and the data book, but also looking into using my droid gps and loading it with waypoints/tracks as a backup in case the gps fails/breaks/I lose it (I was already planning on bringing my phone so it's not extra weight and might as well get more use out of it).

woodland - Good luck and hope to see you out there too!  I have been obsessing about it too - good stuff!

toby - thanks for the link!  I have read your blog about CTR 2010 and 2011 and found lots of useful info, so thanks!  As a newb getting in over my head, this info really helps!

barrywind - Hostess treats not available? Say it ain't so! Smiley

I can already guess the answer but thought I would ask it anyway - the Trailbook states that on highway 9, a bus stop is available next to the CT TH to take people to either Frisco or Breck. Since this is a commercially available service to everyone and it is not on the CT trail, is this against the rules?  I have a feeling it is.  I don't want to start an internet wrangling over rules, though.  Just saw it in the book and thought I would ask.
 
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  Topic Name: CTR 2012 Planning Reply #48 on: January 12, 2012, 01:55:34 PM
Woodland


Location: Bailey, CO
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« Reply #48 on: January 12, 2012, 01:55:34 PM »

I don't want to start an internet wrangling over rules, though.


I have a feeling you may already have!!

I think if you get in a motorized vehicle at all for any reason you are done as far as competing in the race.
CTR Rule FAQ section http://www.climbingdreams.net/ctr/ctr_rules.html
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  Topic Name: CTR 2012 Planning Reply #49 on: January 12, 2012, 02:46:30 PM
Joliver


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« Reply #49 on: January 12, 2012, 02:46:30 PM »

Joliver - you bring up an interesting point for a newbie like me.  Grips like Ergon that have a bigger palm area to relieve pressure are made to be somewhat horizontal/parallel to the ground to work while in the riding position.  However, when hiking/pushing your bike (which happens quite a bit on the CTR as I can easily tell), that palm area would seem to be in the wrong position since your palm will now be more vertical to the ground.  Is this the problem you are describing?  Are the grips easy to move (i.e. can be done in a matter of seconds)?  Do others with grips with larger palm areas (like Ergon) have the same problem?  Anyone else experience this problem on the CTR?


Hey mtnbound, 

Yep, this is pretty much what I am describing, except that since the grips don't rotate, the oblong section of the ergon grip directly pressured the middle of my palm for long periods of time.  Like I said, Ergon makes a really good product and the grips are great for most riding situations, but for me they didn't work well on the CTR. 

As for your other question, they are easily adjustable in terms of sitting at home and adjusting them, but I sure wouldn't want to have to pull out my multitool every time i started pushing my bike.

I hope this helps.  Let me know if you have any other questions.

-Jerry
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  Topic Name: CTR 2012 Planning Reply #50 on: January 16, 2012, 10:34:49 AM
mtnbound


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« Reply #50 on: January 16, 2012, 10:34:49 AM »

Woodland - Thanks.  I figured that was the answer.  At least no battles broke out over it icon_biggrin

Jerry - Thanks for the response. 

After reading a few of the comments in the forum about the wide availability of water for most of the course, I am considering taking a 3L camelback and one water bottle.  I was thinking of using a frame bag, which forces the bottle to go in a cage under the frame.  So, my thinking is to keep the camelback filled but not the water bottle to save weight when extra water is not needed.  I would use the bottle more as a storage container to hold small heavy items that would go low on the bike.  Then, when I get to those few spots where water is not available (like Sargent Mesa), I would move the items to my backpack and fill the bottle with water to make sure I had extra water.  However, is the CT terrain rough enough so that the water bottle, in a cage underneath the frame, would be in the way/get knocked off/smashed? 
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  Topic Name: CTR 2012 Planning Reply #51 on: January 16, 2012, 11:03:47 AM
TobyGadd


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« Reply #51 on: January 16, 2012, 11:03:47 AM »

I think that a water bottle on the bottom of the frame would probably be fine for most bikes and riders. It would certainly work for me on my Cannondale RZ 120. Most people ride the CTR somewhat conservatively, which generally precludes much chainring/BB/downtube abuse from log climbing, boulder hopping, etc. But I'm a slow & safe guy, so faster and more skilled riders might feel differently.
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  Topic Name: CTR 2012 Planning Reply #52 on: January 16, 2012, 06:28:16 PM
bartspedden


Location: Crested Butte, CO
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« Reply #52 on: January 16, 2012, 06:28:16 PM »

I used a 100z bladder and a water bottle last year and loved it.  Will do the same this coming year.  I keep the empty water bottle in my pack and use it for electrolyte drinks at water stops. I also like a full water bottle for night too, so I try to fill it on what I think is going to be my last fill up of the day/night. I filter my water.  I had the water bottle cage on the down tube touring 2009 and lost a couple of bottles along the way.  Since then I've learned to use a little velcro strap to help keep the bottle from slipping out. I love the downhill!
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  Topic Name: CTR 2012 Planning Reply #53 on: January 18, 2012, 08:32:14 AM
Yogi the Barry


Location: Land of Detachment
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« Reply #53 on: January 18, 2012, 08:32:14 AM »

Re: Bottom Mounted Water Bottles
My Ibis only has only one water bottle mount and it's under the frame. I love my Mojita Blanca, but I hate the water bottle location. In addition to being an exposed and vulnerable location for a water bottle, it's right about where I like to grab the frame when lifting the bike. I like to grab the bottom tube when lifting the bike because it raises the bike high enough off the ground so that you can leave your arm straight and save energy [especially if you can get the nose of the saddle to rest on your shoulder]. I've only ridden about a half-dozen sections of the CT, but I have done most of the CT from Spring Creek Pass to Cataract Ridge, which had quite a bit of fun bike lifting...
-B

... However, is the CT terrain rough enough so that the water bottle, in a cage underneath the frame, would be in the way/get knocked off/smashed?  ...
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  Topic Name: CTR 2012 Planning Reply #54 on: January 22, 2012, 12:42:09 PM
sanjuanrider


Location: Littleton Colorado
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« Reply #54 on: January 22, 2012, 12:42:09 PM »

I'm guessing that the start this year will be moved back to the Waterton Canyon parking lot since it is supposed to reopen on March 1st?  I won't be an official starter this year  sad2 but will probably ride sweep for 2 days to about Frisco or Copper Mountain.  If people need a place to crash the night before the race I live about 5 miles away from the Waterton Canyon start.  I will probably ride my bike to the start (easy 15 minute, mostly flat ride). Just send me a personnal message and we can work out the details.  It's a good safe place to leave a car as well if you need to. 
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  Topic Name: CTR 2012 Planning Reply #55 on: January 23, 2012, 09:09:03 AM
mtnbound


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« Reply #55 on: January 23, 2012, 09:09:03 AM »

Toby - I also plan to ride conservatively.  My goal is just to focus on making it to Durango and avoid crashes, etc. so it sounds like the bottle on the bottom of the downtube will work. Great! 

bartspedden - thanks for the tip about making an attachment to the bottle to make sure it doesn't fly out.  That would be a real bummer, particularly if it happened between BV and Silverton.

I read Mountain Flyer Magazine over the weekend (BTW, an excellent mag for rocky mountain cyclists with unbelievable photography!), and there is an article about bikepacking, including advice by Ethan Pessant and others that rode the CTR (sorry, I don't at this moment on a Monday morning remember the others) and there was a picture of his bike fully loaded (??don't recall if it was Pessant's bike or someone elses) and I noticed that the bottle on the downtube was filthy/muddy.  I know water near cows is problematic so this pic made me think about how a bottle so positioned may get dirty from cow pies.  Does anyone know if there is there some type of top that can cover the bottle top to keep it somewhat clean/sanitary?

Sanjuanrider - yes, the start this year is Watercanyon canyon.

Barrywind - hmm, didn't think about how the bottle placement affects carrying the bike.  Thanks for the heads up - I will try it tonight.

Hope everyone is enjoying this great winter weather!  I'm certainly getting more rides in than I thought possible just 3-4 weeks ago.  Also been going to the gym twice a week to lift (upper body to help with pushing/carrying the bike) and swim.

Walter   

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  Topic Name: CTR 2012 Planning Reply #56 on: January 23, 2012, 09:23:36 AM
TobyGadd


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« Reply #56 on: January 23, 2012, 09:23:36 AM »

Hi Walter,

Yep, whenever I carry a bottle on my downtube, it gets pretty muddy. But I generally only use it as a backup source of water, instead drinking mostly from my hydration pack. When I need the water from my bottle, I try to clean it up a bit first. If it's really filthy, I treat/filter it into my hydration pack. But on the CTR, there's lots of water, so I didn't need to use my bottle for anything more than scooping water from shallow spots to pour into my pack.

I may do things a little differently this year though. When I get my awesome new frame bag from Phantom, I'm going to see if I should use it to carry water. Less weight on my back, at least after a fill-up. But I'll still carry a bottle, probably on my downtube, for scooping shallow water--and as a backup container in the event that my hydration bladder pops.
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  Topic Name: CTR 2012 Planning Reply #57 on: January 30, 2012, 03:51:29 AM
dgjessee


Location: Atlanta
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« Reply #57 on: January 30, 2012, 03:51:29 AM »

Just bought my plane tickets to CO for the 2012 race! Really excited. I've been reading this thread for some time now and really appreciate everyone's input. If any one is in the SE and wants to train/bikepack, let me know!
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  Topic Name: CTR 2012 Planning Reply #58 on: January 30, 2012, 06:53:08 AM
bartspedden


Location: Crested Butte, CO
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« Reply #58 on: January 30, 2012, 06:53:08 AM »

Yep, whenever I carry a bottle on my downtube, it gets pretty muddy.
This just reminded me of something... I have vivid memories of riding through cow patties and it covering my water bottle with dung when heading up to sargets mesa. I'm not really a squeamish kinda guy, but that was a bit unpleasant... I wonder if that's why I started carrying the extra bottle in my pack???
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  Topic Name: CTR 2012 Planning Reply #59 on: January 30, 2012, 08:19:12 AM
joeydurango


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« Reply #59 on: January 30, 2012, 08:19:12 AM »

Oh yeah, if there are cows, you will get dung-covered bottles.  I'm not squeamish either... but I don't want to come down with some sort of major GI distress, and that is a very real possibility.  Typically I would use the bladder as my drinking source and the bottles as re-fillers - brush the mud/dung off the lid/bottle area, unthread the lid, and dump the (hopefully) clean water into the bladder.  Just don't go drinking off a dung-encrusted lid spout...
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