I can't help but admit that watching this Colorado Trail Race online is inspiring. Kind of makes me want to load up the Moots, toss on a 32×19, and give it a go in the next few years. I think a pre-course inspection backpacking trip next summer with Elaine is in order.
My last bike race was in September 2007. The Soggy Bottom 100 in Hope, Alaska. I remember that it was hard, but also quite rewarding. And the tundra in September was simply spectacular. I think there would be something fun about a multi-day race, where you get up in the morning, ride as far as you can, set-up camp, and repeat. I'd actually feel quite good about the camping/overnight part of it with the NOLS experience thing. The key will of course be to build the endurance to sit in the saddle that long.
I think a good goal would be to do it in seven days. That'd be something – to ride unsupported from Denver to Durango. The bike riding part isn't what excites me. The self-sufficiency and almost Lewis and Clark-style movement through the wild does. A bike just happens to be the medium in this case.
I've been riding some. Not a ton. Up 505 once a week and up Tennessee Mountain the same amount. Some spins on the local singletrack. Funny thing is, I'm about as fast on those routes as when I trained a ton. Or overtrained. But they are of course, short. I can't clean Roots or 505 on the single, but then I never really could. Have no idea how I'd do on a five hour ride – I'd probably suffer. Skiing and hiking up does a lot of good, as does running. I feel pretty good out there, but this would require a bit more saddle time. Although, maybe not as much as I might gravitate towards. Honestly, I'd rather go into it a little undertrained than over. I think I finally have the mentality to do that too. The biggest hurdle, in all honesty, would be that I'd miss Elaine. That'd be a long time to be apart.
I rode the CT back in 2004 with a bunch of friends. Good friends actually. Unfortunately most of them – with a few exceptions – don't like how my relationship ended with my ex-girlfriend, so we don't talk anymore. Strange how unrelated personal life events can superscede years of friendship based on adventure. That's something I'll never quite understand. It's honestly part of the reason I don't ride as much anymore. It's brings back a lot of memories that are now all soured, cause for me those days of riding was about adventure with that crew of friends. Some things you like to forget. But that's not really a good reason not to ride a bike, cause it just let's them win. Going back might help pedal away some old memories and make some fresh ones.
A couple friends of mine are in the race. Eszter and Chris. Married couple living down in Crested Butte. Eszter is in second and Chris is hovering around 10th. Pretty cool. Definitely the fastest combined couple so far as I can tell. Nice work you two. I think the biggest compliment you can pay somebody is when they inspire you to do something too. In this case, they are doing that.