Friday, August 28, 2009

TR #2 - Colorado (Part 1)

I am now a firm believer that everything is bigger in Colorado. The mountains are tall and the rides are long. Larissa and I got a chance to tag a long with Ben and Laura for a four day trip to Crested Butte. Ben had spent some quality time patrolling at the Crested Butte ski resort in the winter and wandering the bike trails in the summer, so we designated Ben as our tour guide. Needless to say, Ben did not let us down.

We got into town on Thursday afternoon, and headed for a stroll on the Snodgrass trail to get warmed up for the weekend. I did seem to be breathing a bit harder than usual as we were staying at an elevation of 9,300' and the riding only went up from there.

After a night of eating dank pizza with fresh figs, we headed out the next morning to the 401 trail. The 401 trail received the runner-up for trail of the year in Bike Magazine, so I was it wouldn't disappoint. Prior to leaving for the day, Ben recommended we link the 403 trail to the 401 trail. Being new to the area, I gladyly agreed. Little did I know it would be 7 hours, 40 miles, and 4,800' vertical of climbing before we were back at the condo. We were all a bit worked, but extremely stoked for such a sick day in the mountains. The climbing was tough, the descents fast and flowy, and the scenery was off the charts. If someone asked me to link the 403 trail to the 401 again, there would be no hesitation in my decision. "Yes!"

Larissa and I with Mt. Crested Butte in the background. Doing a bit of acclimatizing on the Snodgrass trail.

It was still all smiles at this point prior to the real suffer fest. At the top of Washington Gulch headed for the 403 trail.

Contemplating in the mountains. We have to ride how far?

Larissa ghost riding towards Gothic Road.

The summit of the 2nd mountain pass for the day. But wait, it isn't over yet.

Finally arriving at our destination. Just a bit more of climbing before a ripping downhill.

Right at this moment I was discovering what the Rocky Mountain High was all about. This photo was taken around mile 30 and well over 11,000 ft. and somehow I was feeling good, actually a bit buzzed. It is amazing how the mind can play tricks on the body, I was somehow convinced that I could ride forever.

Larissa hammering out 40 miles and 4800 ft. of Vertical of climbing all in style.

Ben scouting the descent on the 401 trail. Are we there yet?

Sick Views at the end of another sick day.
(Stay Tuned, For Crested Butte Part 2)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

TR #2 Colorado (Part 2)

After a day of hammering out 40 miles, we had hopes of getting up the next morning and repeating, but our bodies told us differently. Instead we opted for a shorter shot on the Upper Upper loop which runs from the ski hill into town. Although this trail was about a 1/4 of what we had ridden the day before it provided a joyous romp through techy rocks and flowy tight singletrack immersed in plush wild flowers.

Having finished up the ride by early afternoon it gave us a chance to cruise downtown Crested Butte. Even though there is a great deal of wealth in Crested Butte, the town still has a wild west feel to it. The locals are also bike crazy. Everyone either pedals the epic singletrack surronding downtown, or hops on their townie and heads for the local watering hole. Crested Butte is also home to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. The true roots of Mountain Biking started here and gave the Californians the ideas that have ultimatley led to one of the sickest sports today.

In an attempt to work on my Multi-Tasking skills, I attempted the Karate Kick/Biking maneuver.

Larissa too busy shredding the Upper Upper Trail to pick wild flowers.

You have to love a town that has incorporated the Community College's track into the bike trails. I figured it would be a good time to work on my sprinting. Didn't help much, still slow.

No need to worry about Dragons. Crested Butte has a full-time Dragon Slayer. Here is Larissa being saved.

Although the Californian's claim to be the founders of Mountain Biking, it truly began in Crested Butte and thus is home to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.

Definitely a place I feel comfortable hanging out.

When coming from a state with repressed liquor laws you are always stoked to score out of state high point beer. Ben and Laura can't hide the excitement.

The mountain thunderstorms rolled through Saturday evening making the trails perfectly tacky for Sunday Morning.

Larissa finishing up the trip with some shred on Stand Hill

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

TR #1 - Idaho

Things are starting to settle down a bit after a whirlwind of mountain bike travel. I am going to try and catch up with a few blog entries of the recent travels starting out with a trip to Ketchum, ID. After first visting the area 3 years ago I have become addicted to the flowy backcountry single track. I made my fourth visit this July and introduced Larissa to the goods. The Fisher Creek Loop is always a fun way to kick off the weekend. The following day we did a bit of exploring and discovered the Oregon Gulch Trail. The upper section was a blast of flow mixed in with steep and techy and then finished out with some awesome meadow skipping through the lower section back to the highway. We closed out the trip on Curley's, another winding steep downhill that always leaves you wooping. I highly recommend you check out the trails of Sun Valley.

Always good to start the trip out with a Classic.

The famous burnt forest of Fisher Creek.

Vino from Oregon and Brew from Canada. Does that have "I'm from Utah" written all over it?

After ride "recovery drink" on the banks of the creek.

At the top of the Oregon Gulch trail. You are always a bit leary after a 2 hour climb and it doesn't appear that many people ride the trail. It is either going to be a gem or heinous.

Sometimes you have to earn it. Larissa hammering out the 10 mile stretch of highway to get back to our campsite. This is after 16 miles of riding trail.

I couldn't wipe the grin off my face after an epic downhill session on the Oregon Gulch Trail.

Scoob figured he would go for the Exon Valdez Oil Spill Look before we hopped in the truck and headed home.