Since I hadn't broken 80 miles on a bike this year, I approached the ride with a bit of trepidation. But it's something I've always wanted to do, I had a willing partner who is OK on a MTB, and we were in the area, . . . . wait, my bike had just been broken to bits by a Ford F250. Bart wouldn't let me back out, so he adjusted Rosie's (his wife) bike so that I could ride it. It turns out that a Scalpel 29er makes a Scalpel 26er feel like a crash machine. I'm pretty sure that had I been on my Scalpel 26er, I would have crashed 10x more than I actually did (I went over the bars once at about 11:30 pm).
Because we had to break camp and get our families on their way to Durango, we didn't get an early start. 6:30 would have been ideal. Instead it was more like 11ish. But we weren't too concerned. We conservatively projected an 8 to 10 hr finish. At about 8 to 10 hrs into the ride we still had at least 40 miles to go. We came to a point where we could bail, but we just rode past it. The trail was a lot more technical and challenging than I expected. And the darkness made it even tougher. Fortunately, the last 25 miles of the ride dropped 6000 feet. We finished in just under 14 hrs total. It was after midnight.
|Looking toward the Needles and Chicago Basin
|Bart would stop, I would catch up. Then he would get ahead. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
|After 2500 feet of climbing . . .
|We topped out at some pass (forgot the name). It rained and hailed for a while, but not too bad.
|Bart was chomping at the bit to "shred" something. And he did. This was a long descent, which meant that we'd be climbing again soon.
|Climbing out of Cascade Canyon.
|The Lizard Head and Uncompahgre in the distance.
|Topping out on another long climb. Forgot the name of this pass too.
|See those mountains clear back there . . . yes, waaay back there. That's where we had ridden from.
|The La Plata range in sight.
|Rosie's bike on the Indian Ridge Trail.
|Hike a bike section at 12,500 feet. approaching Kennebec Pass.
|And then it got dark.