Breckenridge day 1. Jeff and I are staying at a place we booked through Great Western Lodging and it rocks! I love coming up to Breck. The surrounding mountains always offer a great view, and the riding never disappoints.
My plan was to ride as much of the Marathon Nationals/Firecracker 50 loop as I could. The word on the street was that some of it was still completely covered in waist to chest deep snow.
I bring everything with me and prepare for the worst when riding at high altitude like that. Gotta respect it.
My friend, Mark, was so kind to lend me his Garmin 705 GPS. I was relieved because I was going to have to ride alone and didn’t really know where I was going. That puts me way outside my comfort zone. I was super excited to have a GPS to use(never tried it!). I almost won one at the Dakota 5-0 last year, but ended up losing the race on a hairy descent with a catastrophic crash. I think I was more disappointed about the Garmin than not winning. 🙂 I sent Mark some GPS tracks I found online. Once I got outside, I found out that the track I had given him was one that failed on the Garmin. I think the file was probably bad. I was super bummed, but I went back up to the hotel and hand wrote out all directions and tried to trace the route out on the map I had (but it was missing part of the course).
I headed out and immediately got lost and missed Boreas Pass Road, and went out of town and up a road called Wagon Rd for awhile. How I missed it(it is an obvious stop light), I have no clue… but regardless I got in some extra miles of climbing! I went up Boreas Pass Rd, huffing and puffing….
…and the directions said something about a Baker’s Tank Tr, and I saw it at the trailhead. (I was supposed to keep going and go up that trail at another point). The trail was pretty steep, and seemed extra hard with all the extra weight I had in my pack. I got up to a T, and I saw a guy coming by. His name was Russ and he has won the master’s category as this race the last 2 years. Sweet! So he informed me I was off with my navigation (haha, figures) and I got to follow him for several miles. He headed back to town once we got to Sally Barber Rd (he had been riding for a long time)….
…and I tried to go up Little French – the part rumored to be covered in snow.
I kept stopping to check my map to see where the heck I was, only to find I was off the map, so I reverted back to the hand written directions.
Ummm… I think this is the trail?
I somehow found my way to the right trail (nothing is marked out there), and rode up to a stream crossing at around 10,600′. After that was snow.
Not too burly at the start, but it would only get deeper from there.
Not feeling like hiking for several miles through waist high snow (yeah, I got my fill of that 2 weeks ago!), I turned around. After coming down about 100 yds, I ended up running into 2 cyclists… and what do ya know, Juli and Chuck!! It was awesome.
So I started chatting with Juli and Chuck for awhile when 3 more cyclists came up. One guy I had actually met in Boulder in the fall awhile back. Small world in the backcountry! We all decided to skip the rest, and ride back on the route (there is 2 way traffic on part of it, so you can head back). It was super fun to ride with the group and we descended back into town on the race course.
I think we rode about 20/25 miles of it (plus all my little detours). There was lots of stopping on the ride today too, so I need to redo some of it to get a better idea for pacing and timeframe. I’ll probably also try to go up in reverse the spots of the trail I missed and come back down it on Sunday. They will shovel out the trail for the race. Cool huh?
Building berms on the descent to Carter Park. SWWWEEEET
I put some fresh Crank Brothers Egg Beaters on yesterday. I was using the 4 ti (they were beat to death and 2.5 years old). They had tons of play and parts of the metal were worn WAY down. Rebuilding them wasn’t doing the trick – I did some experimenting with new pedal bodies and discovered the spindle is what is WAY worn out, and the body is too..but the worn out spindle was causing the 1/4″ of play. RIP little buddies. I had to do a bit of work (it was easy), and put the short spindles on the 2 ti pedals I got this year.
. I love how light the 4ti are(.11 lbs or 50g lighter than the 2ti), but I simply couldn’t afford it. I have a pair of the SL to put on my other bike (it’s finally coming!)
Tomorrow, Juli, Chuck, Jeff, and I will be heading out to ride a loop of the Breck 100. Looking forward to riding above treeline and spending some time with the fragile, patient, high alpine tundra.
I believe this is Bakers Tank: http://foxyurl.com/6L1. It’s the only tank on the Boreas Pass Rd as far as I remember. You can’t miss it (if you are on the road).
Regarding eggbeaters: wait until you break a spring at 10,000+ and have to ride back downhill 10 miles unclipped and balanced on a tiny 1 inch wide “platform”. They are nice and light, and I swore by them for years—now not so much. I gave Crank Bros. the benefit of the doubt on the first couple of broken parts but I have now broken springs on two separate occasions–and of course I was as at the farthest point from the car when it happened both times. Impossible to clip in. And on the terrain in Colorado that (broken) pedal and the rocks are not a happy match. And what’s with the cages wearing down so easy, and all that play developing with wear? I’ve been dealing with the same thing you are seeing for a while now. And those brass cleats are so soft, in my experience they engage really well for about a month of riding then go to crap. I can honestly say that I have worn out, broken, or replaced every part of an eggbeater pedal with the exception of the spindle. Not that my opinion has any bearing on anything whatsoever–but XTR pedals, for my money, kick the s@$% out of eggbeaters any day. After 8 months they engage just like new, have zero play, and have required zero maintenance or replacement. Way more reliable and with a much more tried and true platform at your foot–when I switched I was stunned at how much better I rode. Who knew a pedal could make such a difference!? (Okay, now I feel better—sorry for all that). Carry on, just a case of the Mundays here…C