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  Topic Name: CTR 2013 Discussion Reply #360 on: July 29, 2013, 10:06:01 AM

is hard for a girl

Location: Denver, CO
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« Reply #360 on: July 29, 2013, 10:06:01 AM »

A very soggy Long Ranger pulled into Junction Creek around 7-something am Sunday morning. Driggs was super stoked to see him.

I noticed he was missing a little something while I was taking his front wheel off to load the bike into the car, glad he still has his face.

A huge congrats to all y'all! What a tremendous accomplishment!

yay bikes!

  Topic Name: CTR 2013 Discussion Reply #361 on: July 29, 2013, 01:20:07 PM

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« Reply #361 on: July 29, 2013, 01:20:07 PM »

Huge congratulations for Eric Foster and Forest Baker for their Triple Crown Finishes.  Eric is a good friend from Flagstaff.  He did the AZT 750 with little training but was fit as a fiddle for the CTR.  I watched his progress on all 3 races.  The 3rd race was torture because I don't like observing adventure from the sidelines but work is demanding.  Eric is 23 years old and just got into endurance mtn biking about 3 years ago.  His downhill skills are scary because of his BMX racing experience as a kid.  Eric is very motivated and has excellent mechanical aptitude.  I think he may get some more Colorado riding opportunities sometime in his near future.  Glad to see a couple Arizona boys (Max too) throw down. 

Good job!!!

  Topic Name: CTR 2013 Discussion Reply #362 on: July 29, 2013, 04:02:43 PM

Location: Wheat Ridge, CO
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« Reply #362 on: July 29, 2013, 04:02:43 PM »

Looks like Michelle is pushing on?  That is some serious perserverence.  Kudos to her.

  Topic Name: CTR 2013 Discussion Reply #363 on: July 29, 2013, 04:48:45 PM

Location: D go-go, CO.
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« Reply #363 on: July 29, 2013, 04:48:45 PM »

Looks like Michelle is pushing on?  That is some serious perserverence.  Kudos to her.

I was just thinking the same thing. She's going to be pretty high for a spell now. Wishing her safe travels and hoping she's acclimated for this push!

  Topic Name: CTR 2013 Discussion Reply #364 on: July 29, 2013, 06:19:34 PM

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« Reply #364 on: July 29, 2013, 06:19:34 PM »

I noticed he was missing a little something while I was taking his front wheel off to load the bike into the car, glad he still has his face.

Yikes, that's crazy! Glad that he's OK!


  Topic Name: CTR 2013 Discussion Reply #365 on: July 29, 2013, 06:56:46 PM

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« Reply #365 on: July 29, 2013, 06:56:46 PM »

Thanks to everyone for all the great pics that have been posted.  They're so much fun to see!!!  KUDOS to all the riders!!!  GREAT JOB!!!

  Topic Name: CTR 2013 Discussion Reply #366 on: July 29, 2013, 07:00:59 PM

Location: Thornton
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« Reply #366 on: July 29, 2013, 07:00:59 PM »

Great job out there to all who rode this year, sure wish I was out there too. Next year hopefully.
Really enjoyed following the dots and reading your reports, looking forward to more tales from the trail when
you all get rested.

  Topic Name: CTR 2013 Discussion Reply #367 on: July 29, 2013, 07:04:49 PM

Location: Frisco, CO
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« Reply #367 on: July 29, 2013, 07:04:49 PM »

Also, did anyone else think it was awesome that the owner of the Stagestop Saloon (on Tarryall Road) was super excited about the race? He was following it on trackleaders and it seemed like he knew the names of most of the racers and he could tell you the splits of how long it took people to reach Denver from his shop.

Pat was his name and yes, I want to second that he was awesome. He was waiting for me to arrive Sunday morning. He said he stayed open the night before for Ffej and Dax and was disappointed when they unknowingly bivied a mere 15 or so minutes from that oasis. He let me dry my soaked socks and gloves in the dryer and even offered to open the kitchen and make me a giant burger at 9am, but that was unnecessary after I had already grazed through his entire store. One of the locals came by for coffee and he excitedly told him about the crazy adventure we were on, and how much he enjoyed meeting us all as we rolled through.

It was a highlight of my race to meet that cheery dude after a crummy cold night @ Kenosha Pass. Cheers to Pat. Nor sure I could have pushed all the way through to the finish late that night without that place.

  Topic Name: CTR 2013 Discussion Reply #368 on: July 29, 2013, 07:07:40 PM

Hi-Ho, Single-Speed, AWAY!

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« Reply #368 on: July 29, 2013, 07:07:40 PM »

Cheers to Pat and to Apple, too. Apple says this is the highlight of his Angel time on the CT as well. I snuck a look at Apple, when SoBo'er Chris came in. When Chris showed a look of happiness and relief at the snacks available, Apple had a secret little smile on the side of his mouth. The dude loves doing his angel work.

  Topic Name: CTR 2013 Discussion Reply #369 on: July 29, 2013, 07:44:51 PM

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« Reply #369 on: July 29, 2013, 07:44:51 PM »

Pat was amazing. When we pulled up at 11:00 Friday night he was out on the porch with several folks waiting for us. As we arrived he called us by name, told us to get inside and get to work on the hot food he had prepared. He also sold us a bunch of stuff from his store, and then let us bivvy in the yard. He was super excited about the race. He had his laptop out and was following Trackleaders constantly. He is a part of CTR lore now!

Also, I just uploaded a bunch of photos from the race to Flickr. If you see one you like, or are in, feel free to download it!

  Topic Name: CTR 2013 Discussion Reply #370 on: July 29, 2013, 08:05:38 PM

Location: Oklahoma
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« Reply #370 on: July 29, 2013, 08:05:38 PM »

Pat was amazing. When we pulled up at 11:00 Friday night he was out on the porch with several folks waiting for us. As we arrived he called us by name, told us to get inside and get to work on the hot food he had prepared. He also sold us a bunch of stuff from his store, and then let us bivvy in the yard. He was super excited about the race. He had his laptop out and was following Trackleaders constantly. He is a part of CTR lore now!

Also, I just uploaded a bunch of photos from the race to Flickr. If you see one you like, or are in, feel free to download it!

Great pics,enjoyed. Thanks for posting.

Lone Wolf

  Topic Name: CTR 2013 Discussion Reply #371 on: July 29, 2013, 08:11:47 PM

Location: Boulder, CO
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« Reply #371 on: July 29, 2013, 08:11:47 PM »

Awesome photos! Thanks!

  Topic Name: CTR 2013 Discussion Reply #372 on: July 29, 2013, 09:24:39 PM

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« Reply #372 on: July 29, 2013, 09:24:39 PM »

Current results posted.  Please look for your time and post any corrections!,5969.0.html


“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
  -- frequently (mis)attributed to Thomas Jefferson

  Topic Name: CTR 2013 Discussion Reply #373 on: July 29, 2013, 10:46:45 PM

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« Reply #373 on: July 29, 2013, 10:46:45 PM »

firstly...huge props to all of you.  I can't wait to do my first CTR.  totally bad-ass.

only chiming-in here because I know people are wondering about Michelle.  I rode Molas-Durango on Saturday and met her while she was climbing up Rolling Pass after spending a few days in Rico adjusting to the altitude. 

I chatted with her for a little while.  She was all smiles and completely blown away by the beauty of the place and the whole CTR experience.  She said she was going to finish, even if it took weeks upon weeks.  I told her the forecast was for rain on Sunday and she said she was looking forward to getting to Silverton to hang out during the storm.

She was in great spirits.  I thought some of you may want to know.

strong work!  looks amazing.

  Topic Name: CTR 2013 Discussion Reply #374 on: July 29, 2013, 10:48:00 PM

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« Reply #374 on: July 29, 2013, 10:48:00 PM »

Here's a little recap of my experience:

I bought my bike, a Specialized Epic Comp, this January for the Colorado Trail Race. At that point I had been mountain biking about 5 times since I moved to Colorado in 2007. I’m friends with Stefan, the race founder and organizer, though rock climbing. For those of you who don’t know, he is just as talented at climbing as biking, and still holds the coveted round trip record for the First Flatiron here in Boulder. After talking to him about the CTR, I decided it was the perfect adventure to give me training motivation and something big to be excited about. I was a serious expedition climber/alpinist for many years. Now 40 with a real job and a family, a week or so away seemed pretty reasonable compared to 4-8 weeks for a mountain trip. The challenge was huge and I got to be a beginner again - there was so much to learn about bike packing and racing!

On my first ride with Stefan this winter, I was timid on the descents and cramped up after 3 hours of riding. I had to walk my bike up every hill towards the end. Stefan later admitted to being surprised by what a gumby I was. It was my first time on a 29er, and I felt dangerously high and disconnected from the ground. But I was serious about my training, got better and entered a few longer distance races to tune up my skills and get some intensity. After pestering Stefan and reading Toby Gadd’s blog and others religiously, I was able to gain the experience and equipment needed to credibly enter the CTR. Two weeks before the race Stefan and I went out for a two-day tune up with 132 miles and 19,000ft of climbing. I’m lucky to have him as a friend and mentor.

Day 1
After an incredibly cool and surreal breakfast at Carver’s (Is it really 3:30 in the morning? Is this really happening?) and an urban roll-out with everyone dutifully waiting at a red light for no one because it was 4am, I settled into my pace and tried not to continue second guessing my decision to bring 18,000 calories as opposed to my initial plan for 4,500. In climbing there is a saying, “if you bring bivy gear you will bivy”. By bringing 4 days of food I was almost certainly guaranteeing that I wouldn’t make it to Silverton before the grocery store closed at 8pm. But as a newbie, I decided that pushing more weight would be worth the peace of mind and quick transition in Silverton. I’m still not sure if it was the best decision, but it worked out.

All my conversations that morning were disembodied - I was talking to shadows in front and behind me, never putting a face to anyone. It was four days later that Pete Schuster and I would realize who we’d had a conversation about our families that morning. Much of the day was a blur, just trying to keep going. I know how my body performs at altitude when I’m acclimatized, and I was most definitely not acclimatized! After finally gaining Rolling Pass, I descended in the moonlight, avoiding turning on my lights until it was absolutely necessary. That descent is probably one of the highlights of the trip. I was surprised, however, at the amount of climbing required to get “downhill” to Silverton. This was my first lesson in patience on the CT. Sometimes you’re just going to be going slow, no sense in getting worked up about it! Keep chipping away...

I got to Silverton at 11pm. Though I heard that some people were camped out in a city park, I decided to keep rolling towards Stony Pass to find a nice quiet bivy site. Just outside of town I found a tree and slept a luxurious 6 hours. Any temptation I felt to try to climb Stony that evening was tempered by the knowledge that I was still dealing with the altitude and sleeping as low as possible would be a good move.

Day 2
After taking an embarrassing 1 ½ hours to get rolling from the moment I awoke, I made good progress up Stony Pass and was pleasantly surprised to find that I had it all to myself! My legs felt good and the lack of people made me feel like I was doing well, or at least doing something others weren’t. I spent most of the day alone, though Tim Graczyk passed me as though I was standing still somewhere on section 23. A hiker found a water bottle and gave it to me, seeming to insist that as a racer it was my duty to reunite it with its owner. I emptied it out and put it in my jersey pocket. Later in the day, when I finally met up with some other riders at the high point of the Colorado Trail, I found the the bottle belonged to Eric Foster, one of the “Triple Crown” riders doing the CTR, Arizona Trail Race and Tour Divide all in one year. He was very happy to have it back. I guess neither of us considered this to be support. I think there’s a fourth rule implicit in the vibe of the CTR: Be Nice/Don’t Be a Dick. Eric and I found that we had a lot in common through the climbing world and rode together on and off for the remainder of the day. He’s accomplished a lot in his 24 years. The flowing descent from the highpoint of the trail was some of the best riding of the whole CT! Later that night, when a crowd descended upon the campground off Hwy 149 on the Garita detour, Eric and I slipped away and rode up to Los Pinos Pass to bivy.

Day 3
Eric and I heard a number of riders go by our bivy that night and the next morning. Once we were rolling, we continued to chat and later met up with Paul Bosworth and another ride whose name escapes me. We rolled into Apple’s new location. This was my first experience with a trail angel - it was so much fun! The group atmosphere was super positive. Apple was very pleased to have a full tent, though he seemed a little more intrigued by three young women hikers than us CTR riders. We stuffed ourselves with chips and sodas while Apple told the story of Jefe refusing anything as he whizzed by.

Apple the Trail Angel

As I got going from Apple’s tent I sensed that group camaraderie, while fun, isn’t always consistent with racing. I felt myself wanting to wait on people I had gotten to know, while other riders who were clearly in race mode were getting in and out as fast as they could. I was feeling good so I decided that I would start racing harder that morning. I wanted to be the guy that people saw at Apple’s tent and never saw again. I was able to pull away for part of the day, riding mostly alone until finally reaching Tank Seven Creek. A number of guys pulled in as I was getting ready to leave, including Todd Johnson and Pete Schuster. They were super friendly and supportive. I got rolling and ended up pushing into Fooses Creek with the company of Nate Stewart and Matt Fusco. I found a soft, level piece of ground before the trailhead and got a few hours of sleep.

Day 4
As I was getting ready to roll Todd and Pete came blazing by. I managed to catch up with them briefly on Segment 14 but not for long. This was when I began to realize that I really suck at walking my bike uphill. Every time things turned to hike-a-bike, I went backwards. There was another brief rendezvous at the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs shop, with everyone stuffing their face with soda, chips and ice cream. I rode alone for much of the ride into Buena Vista. I reunited with Todd, Pete and Nate there and it seemed that we reached an unspoken understanding that we’d all ride together for a while. After resupplying, calling family and stuffing our faces again we were off. It was really fun to ride with these guys. I knew they were all better riders than me, so I felt lucky on several levels. As we left the road and began the hike up to Twin Lakes, I was again reminded of how much I suck at hike-a-bike. Why didn’t I train for it, at all??? My only saving grace was that I was able to spin up most sections in my granny gear as the other three walked. I hung on by my teeth all evening, announcing several times that I was off the back only to somehow climb back on again 10-20 minutes later. We all camped together before the descent into the Leadville Detour.

Day 5
We awoke to rain and stuffed wet gear into our bags and were off. We elected to avoid Leadville and froze our butts off on the bypass. Somehow riding the highway made all the fatigue come to a head - we were barely able to stay awake until we finally got on the single track and the amazing ride into Camp Hale. I had a hard time on the climb up to Kokomo Pass. At some point Pete and Todd turned on the gas and I had nothing. They literally just walked away from me and I couldn’t spin my granny gear fast and long enough to stay with them. That was the last I saw of them. Nate stayed with me, however, and I took the lead coming down off Elk Ridge, determined to crawl back on once again. This was a mistake. I’m not a great bike handler on a good day, and when I’m exhausted I’m much worse. I had a spectacular wreck coming off the high point of the ridge and went down hard on my shoulder and head. I tweaked something in my shoulder (it still hurts) but was otherwise OK. Nate stayed with me as I got my bearings. After several minutes, with no warning, my front sidewall burst open spraying white sealant in a stream. I ran over and applied direct pressure (thank you, first aid training) which stopped the bleeding momentarily. Nate insisted I take the wheel off. He banged the tire on a rock, this way and that, until the rip finally sealed. The sidewall held the rest of the race! Once he knew I was OK, Nate took off and I went very, very slowly, feeling timid due to my wreck, my shoulder and the increasing amount of rain. My bike was shifting really poorly too. I made it to Copper, got a table at a restaurant, and replaced my bent derailleur hanger as my waitress told me about getting third in a mountain bike race just the day before. Cool! I rolled out before Nate and began the Tenmile ridge climb. Nate soon caught up with me and we began questioning the wisdom of climbing this thing with so much thunderstorm activity. Even in good weather I think it is a silly place to bring a bike. As we neared the top, a middled aged woman wearing a garbage bag for rain protection and a young boy passed us going down. They were riding cheapo mountain bikes and said they felt sorry for us. Very surreal. We crested the ridge and got down the other side in one piece, though one strike in particular sounded very close. We climbed a few miles up from highway 9 and crashed for the night.

Day 6
After 6 hours of sleep, Nate and I awoke to several sets of fresh tire tracks. We eventually came upon David Pickett-Heaps spinning up the trail. His head was bobbing to some rocking tunes, so it was really hard to get his attention to pass. He soon passed us on the descent, however, and that was the last we saw of him. I lost Nate somewhere before Kenosha pass. The race was taking its toll on me at that point. I made my way, solo, to the Tarryall detour. I really hated the first 10 miles and started grumbling under my breath. Things got a little better at the little store (Stagestop Saloon) when I got an unexpected Coke, chips and enthusiastic commentary from the proprietor. With no prompting from me he told me my standing and also said I could probably chase down the two in front of me - he pointed out two figures along the lake. I took off and was able to catch Matt and Brad from Asheville, NC. They hadn’t slept at all the night before and were starting to feel it. Soon we were all reunited with Nate in the Tarryall penalty box for a 20 minute wait on the pilot car. As soon as Brad’s head hit the grass he was asleep, and talking in his sleep too. We had a good laugh at his expense. We dealt with the flag lady who was nuts (for real) and ended up getting a ride in two trucks, which was weird but what are you going to do? After being dropped off, Nate and I took off, though he soon pulled away from me again. Perhaps this would be a good time to note that Nate rode a RIGID SINGLE SPEED for the CTR. No gears, no suspension. Cruising through the burn area and marvelling at all the boulders and crags made me really appreciate the detour - I think it is a keeper. Nate and I rejoined once again at the campground and I decided I’d do what I could to stay with him this time. We eventually stopped for dinner and within minutes Matt and Brad came walking up the hill. These guys don’t stop! Matt refused to sit down, and soon they were off again. As we completed the detour that night, Nate and I went back and forth with Matt and Brad several times before pulling away.

Nate and I decided we’d like to hold our position in the race, and the only way to do that was no sleeping. We took three 15 minutes naps that night as we pulled closer to Denver. Some of the riding was great, but my ass was hurting so much that I could no longer sit normally. Pain was the predominant feeling that night and morning. On the last descent I wrecked once again (I must be one of the worse bike handlers to do the CTR) and this time my rear brake felt really squishy afterwards. So I went super slow on the way down. I told Nate that he should go ahead and I’d meet him at the end. He seemed to consider this for a moment, but then looked me in the eye and said, “no, we’ll finish together.” What a gentleman. And that’s what we did, though through a cruel twist of SPOT fate, I was awarded 14th and he got 15th. So it goes.

We did it! I did it. My shoulder still hurts, my right hand is numb but luckily the swelling is mostly gone from my legs. I have spent much of the last 3 days in bed. I don’t know if I’ve ever been this worked. I gave it everything I had, which feels great. And I met a lot of wonderful people and saw some amazing sights. Too early to say if I’d ever do such a thing again. For me, the CTR runs the fine line between type 2 fun (fun in retrospect) and something beyond. It was an awesome experience and I feel very lucky to have gotten to know some of you through it all. Thank you!
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 01:32:00 PM by BradyRobinson » Logged

  Topic Name: CTR 2013 Discussion Reply #375 on: July 30, 2013, 12:05:06 AM

Location: Frisco, CO
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« Reply #375 on: July 30, 2013, 12:05:06 AM »

I’ve slept most of the day, besides the few minutes when I was awake and eating, so I thought I’d post up my race report while it’s still painfully fresh.  Sadly, there will be no pictures to accompany as I lost my camera somewhere on day 2. This was after losing my sunglasses on day 1. It wasn’t until losing my knife on day 3 that I would institute a strict, 2-part, sit-you-ass-in-one-place & double-zipper-check break policy that would stem the tide of strewing my gear all over southern Colorado.

Day 1:
As a rookie, I had no idea what to expect, so I took a very conservative start. So conservative that I think I was the very last person to enter the singletrack at Junction. I’m in decent shape, but looking at my fellow competitors at Carver’s, it seemed like I was the fattest dude in the race. I wanted to ride my own tortoise-like pace at the start.

For awhile nothing significant happened until I was hiking up the talus slope on Kennebec Pass. Three day riders were descending quickly towards me when #2 went flying OTB and his bike started tumbling 40-50 feet down the side of the pass. I motioned for the 1st rider to stop so I could tell him what happened to his buddy. He looked back and seemed annoyed, then said, “we’re on a tour, he looks ok (from a 200 yard diagnosis,) the guide is getting his bike, I’m gonna keep going.”

I’m very happy that the CTR racers I met have higher ethics when it comes to the well being of our fellow competitors.

OK, carried on to Indian Ridge amid some cloud-rumbling but no big epic blasts yet. The tension was building as the rumbling grew louder so I was moving across with urgency. Finally from the saddle between my final ridge and relative safety I witnessed the simultaneous flash-bang of a cloud-to-ground strike right on my last ridge before me. I threw my bike to the ground and grabbed my warm clothes and started running off the side of the trail. I was cliffed-out before I could reach thick forest so I hovered in some bushes rather than the isolated patches of trees. The hail came down in buckets. By the time it was done there was about three inches covering the ground! With the sky still scary, but the rumblings less intense, I made a break for it (thus losing my sunglasses,) and got back to my bike just as Mark Caminiti, Bec & Mike, and a few others were crawling out of their hiding spots too.

So I managed to put myself right into the one huge experience I intended to avoid during the CTR, an intense lightning experience, just a few hours into Day 1.

It took some time to get warm and recover from that, but I had to get some miles in so I pushed pretty late until crashing about midnight at Celebration Lake.

Day 2:
I woke up at 6:30am and my junk was everywhere. I have no idea why I had to unpack everything the night before, but I remember it was 8:06am before I was back to riding on the trail. (I learned a lot to go faster IFFFFFF I ever do this again, so…) BIG-IF LESSON #1: Have your kit organized and ready to leave right when you wake up before sleeping.

I felt pretty crummy as I got going. This would become the pattern as I typically had rough mornings and would come around and ride stronger in the early evening into night.

Not far out of Bolam Pass I met Bob Butrico for the first time. He explained that he had slept the night in a rodent-infested miner’s cabin that had looked enticing in his bleery state. I made a mental note to avoid miner’s cabins no matter how enticing. I stopped to take some pictures and he was gone until we would meet again late the next day.
Day 2 was teaching me how friggin’ hard this thing is. I pushed hard over Rolling Mountain Pass to try and avoid any more lighting and was pretty much toast until I finally reached the once mythical town called Silverton.
I didn’t know it at the time, but something good happened to me in Silverton. I ate tons of solid calories and started pushing towards Stony Pass at 4pm. I put on the IPOD and motored up that thing in just over three hours with daylight and energy to spare. I was serenaded by hundreds of baaaahing sheep high on the mountains above me and I stopped and cooked a hot pasta/tuna dinner and had some coffee just as dusk fell.

I put on the lights and the magic happened. I had one of the greatest nights of my life pushing and riding across Cataract. I saw some lights far in front of me, and after awhile I eventually caught up to Cullen Barker who seemed stoked to talk with someone while he was cramming some kind of food down his face. We would ride together all the way to the base of Coney at 2am where we would finally lay down and shiver until daylight.

Day 3:
Since I had “slept” wedged on a slope against a tree I was more than eager to get going on day 3. Cullen looked like he had found an equally crappy place to rest so he was up and moving pretty soon too. As I got higher up Coney, I noticed a decent little string of folks heading up. And as I reached the singletrack segment, two of them started riding their bikes! I thought of how fun that must be as I slogged my 50-pound sidecar to the top. So Ffej & Dax reached the top just as I did. We would spend the next 4 days hop-skotching each other all the way to the finish.

Alas, some amazing riding after Coney summit! Some hideous HAB, but I was numb to that by now. I do think they should declare that little knob called Jarosa Mesa a Wilderness Area – I mean, where else can you find all those gigantic stupid rocks. Big beautiful gigantic stupid rocks – Hidden Gems for sure!

At Spring Creek Pass the construction flagman told me he wouldn’t get water out of the creek there after what the cows had been doing to it all day. So instead, I went down the road a mile or two and got water out of the next cow-crap creek I could find rather than be judged by him.

I flew down the La Garita Detour hill for a few miles, but I was in bad shape after the late night and no sleep so I found a cool spot next to the river and took a 2-hour food and rest break. It was here that I learned BIG-IF LESSON #2: About every 5 hours I needed to stop for an extended food and rest break or my riding/pushing just was not productive. I was starting to learn how to nurse my body through the race and this would pay big dividends.

I finished out the detour as dusk fell, but with little rest from the night before I became very sleepy. Not far past Apple’s I turned down for my longest sleep of the race: 9 hours from 9:30pm to 6:30am.

Day 4:
I wish that my big sleep had turned me into a raging bull, but I was hurting and dragging as I started the relatively easy Cochetopa Hills.

I passed a lady camping who had lost her sandal and she offered to pay me if I saw it and would bring it back. I felt a tiny touch of compassion, but I had already lost my sunglasses, camera, and knife, so the damn sandal better be close. I did see it later just before the section ended, but without having negotiated rates beforehand I trusted she could make due.

Oh the march to Sargeant’s Mesa. The Anti-flow as Stefan terms it… or my Vaccination Point as Toby Gadd described…. Mark Caminiti said that if I was going to finish that I would become “hardened” at some point. Well marching towards Sargeant’s Mesa is where that happened.

While the mileage/topographical information looked easy, the trail was so sucky as to need its own adjective. HABing downhill on easily rideable slopes was tough. So I just kept pushing and finally it was over.

And after miles of trudging through deep forest, when I reaching Sargeants proper and the tremendous views of the Crest opened up before me, I remembered to embrace the beauty. And flying down the trail with my Yeti SB-66C doing what it was born for, I had so much fun again.

Hit Tank 7 at dusk, made another warm meal of rice and tuna, coffee, and pushed happily up some torn up moto-trail for a bivy at Marshall Pass.

Day 5:
I was riding towards the Crest and Fooses by 5:30am, my earliest departure of any day during the race. I could smell a good meal in Buena Vista from 65 miles away. I got a quick shock when I rolled around a blind corner and almost had a head-on collision with SOBO MikeD. He seemed as surprised as I was. I mentioned my goal of reaching BV, and he said something about damn, that is far it took me forever, and I was like yeah, but you had to HIKE UP FOOSES.

So I’m sure I had way more fun on Fooses than Mike did.

I still wasn’t sure I could make BV though. I knew I still had two 20-mile trail sections before getting there. From my experience so far, 20 miles = 7 hours. But lo and behold, the trail got easier at highway 50 and I could ride my bike a lot more. My equations and expectations began to change and 20 miles became more like 4-5 hours instead of half a day

I was talking to the trail like it was a living entity, thanking it and encouraging it to continue giving up some miles.

By 8pm I had a shower and a warm bed right next door to the City Market and I began to think about the finish for the first time. All self-doubt was gone. As long as nothing catastrophic happened to my bike, I knew I was going to finish.

Day 6:
Slept like a baby and woke up at 5am to get the bike ready. Hit the City Market for enough goods to skip Leadville and get to Copper and was back on the trail by 6:45am. The trail section from BV to Tennessee Pass was the last part I had not ridden until the Platte River, but the CT was still giving up some easy miles, and for me anyways, I smoked it.

I was worried about the weather for an evening crossing of Kokomo/Searle, so I pushed myself very hard to reach Camp Hale. I figured I could rest in an ammunition bunker through any bad weather and do a night crossing if necessary. It wasn’t necessary though as the weather cleared out beautifully in the afternoon as I hiked up Kokomo.

My effort level would punish me though. I hoped to get over with some daylight to spare, but I had to use the lights for the whole way across to Searle and down to Copper. I had a soul-crushing descent down Searle and traverse of Copper. I’ve ridden that descent probably about 8 other times on day rides, but I crashed a couple times on wet roots before forcing myself into a survival mode to get down.

And let’s not even talk about the most pointless set of switchbacks through the south end of Copper Mountain. Whoever thought that turning a half-mile crow fly into 3 miles of climbing over a golf course and lift tower needs to have their head examined.

Cursed my way down to Conoco and slept right outside, dreaming of crushing donuts when they opened in the morning.

Day 7:
Yay, I’m awake, how bout I hike over the Tenmile Range!

I’ve done it several ill-advised times before and it sucks every time, but it still sucked the most this time. The only positive was that I was happy to be doing it in the morning. And I knew it was the only insanely hideous thing left on the course, so just getting it over with gave me a positive attitude.

By now racers were spaced out so far that every random hiker I encountered had to quiz me on just what the hell I was doing carrying my bike with all that gear. I improved my punchline delivery, “well, we started this thing called the CTR in Durango on Sunday” and it was funny to watch their jaw drop when their brain began to process it. Then I would tell them that I was a mid-pack schmuck and there were people chilling on their couch that finished a couple days ago already. They didn’t appreciate the amazement of that as much as I did, and it kindof depressed me, so later I just let them think I was winning or whatever they wanted.

Clouds were building and the rain began falling as I was climbing Westridge. I kept fighting because I wanted over Georgia Pass with daylight to spare for the descent. I crossed over about 7:00pm and it was pouring buckets. I couldn’t have cared less. I was seizing the remaining daylight to get as far as I could to Kenosha. At the bottom of the big descent I had to put on the lights, but I kept going as my only strategy to stay warm.

Finally I reached Kenosha Pass about 9pm and I knew I would be staying there that night. I had hoped I’d find a huge CDOT backhoe or something to sleep under, but instead I settled for the dry awning aside the Men’s Room.

Day 8:
It continued to pour rain all night.

I awoke when an older fellow needed to take a crap.

I apologized for my current state, but he kindly told me not to worry and he understood that I needed to be dry. Once he came back out he asked how far I had to go and when I said “Denver,” he replied that the weather forecast was rough, but that it wasn’t too far so I should be ok.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him or myself about the Tarryall detour.

I knew the math: 118 miles from Kenosha to the FINISH. It seemed oddly close and far at the same time. There was this road thing, with a lot of downhill, but also a ton of disturbing seismic eruptions to the elevation profile towards the end. So like every other day, I just started pedaling and would let the details sort themselves out later.

I ran into the Pat, Ffej, and Dax at the Stagestop Saloon, and thanked my lucky stars for coffee, warm food, companionship, hospitality, and the ability to dry my socks and gloves in the dryer. Pat deserves some kind of official trail angel status. I walked in the store expecting him to follow me in and track my devouring, but instead he just told me to go in and get whatever I needed and we would settle up at the end. Dude wanted to chill on the porch. That’s the first time I’ve ever bought tons of stuff at a store and then had to point at the trashcan and fifteen empty wrappers to show the clerk all the other stuff I had to pay for.

I didn’t hate the Tarryall Detour. I did go through it on Sunday so I didn’t have to deal with any penalty-box issues like others did tough. I voted for it and I probably would again. It rained on me through the burn area, and that wasn’t great, but I suspect a searing sun would be worse.

The finish was pulling me in like a magnet.

Ffej and Dax through down the mojo and once I saw them crossing a ridgeline high above me I knew I’d seen them for the last time.

Finally I was down to 40 miles of singletrack. It was 7:15pm when I was crossing though Buffalo Creek. After an initial blissful descent, I found myself walking much more than I would have liked. The finish kept me positive though.

I reached section 2 and my spirits took another positive leap forward. 28 miles left with a huge net descent and a clean flowing trail. 11:00 pm and I hit the Platte.

For this final section, I was ready to embrace the hike. It just seemed a fitting end to such a trek. My drivetrain sounded suspicious anyways so I didn’t want to break something so close to the end, so I started out just hiking.

As every mile passed my energy and spirits increased. Even after 100+ miles on the day I was starting to charge up slopes that I would have never considered a few days before.

One final HAB over Lenny’s rest stop and then it happened… BAM!

I was on a road. It was gonna be over.

2:15am and there was not a soul at the finish, but that seemed appropriate for some reason. I gave myself a big fist-pump, got out my sleeping bag and went to bed.

7 days, 22 hours, and 15 minutes.

  Topic Name: CTR 2013 Discussion Reply #376 on: July 30, 2013, 04:03:02 AM

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« Reply #376 on: July 30, 2013, 04:03:02 AM »

Wonderful, wonderful trip reports, each as different as the racer who wrote them.  Thank you so much for posting the Apple video.  I've never met him, nor am I likely to, but it's great to have an image of him to go along with all the great things I've heard about him.  Anyone snap a pic of Pat at the Stagecoach Saloon?

  Topic Name: CTR 2013 Discussion Reply #377 on: July 30, 2013, 07:39:41 AM
Matt Schiff

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« Reply #377 on: July 30, 2013, 07:39:41 AM »

After hearing the stories, I regret not stopping at the Stagestop. I didn't even slow down. I assumed there was alcohol and I didn't need any. Ordering food, a possibility, but a bar out in the middle of rural Colorado generally stands a good chance of not being too friendly to filthy cyclists in tights, nor their clientèle. Next year (or maybe the year after).

  Topic Name: CTR 2013 Discussion Reply #378 on: July 30, 2013, 08:09:22 AM

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« Reply #378 on: July 30, 2013, 08:09:22 AM »

Love the great race reports!!  It is fascinating to hear about the different experiences everyone has, no matter whether it is from the front runners, mid pack or back of the pack (being back of the pack type myself, I have a closer connection to their stories).  I also enjoy hearing about the camaraderie of the racers.  Keep 'em coming!

It is great that Pat from the Stagecoach Saloon is interested in the race and supportive!  I look forward to stopping by during training runs and (hopefully) for CTR 2014 (if Tarryall is still included).   

Good luck to those still out there on the trail!!

  Topic Name: CTR 2013 Discussion Reply #379 on: July 30, 2013, 08:39:30 AM
Homegrown Rider

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« Reply #379 on: July 30, 2013, 08:39:30 AM »

Just wanted to say I saw a CTR rider coming out of Waterton last night, pedaling down Wadsworth on my way out of Roxborough. I pulled over and congratulated him on his finish, his name was Dominic. Obviously he had been through the wash cycle a few times and had been in the wood for days, but he was very grateful somebody was congratulating him, since when you finish these things there generally is not much if any fanfare. He was in good spirits, and was going to Chipotle for some food to wait for his ride. As I tried (and failed) this crazy race last year, I understand how hard it is so to all you finishers, you all rock!
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