Well. The United States of America is the greatest country on Earth and the Colorado Trail is the greatest part of the USA. Why would I say that? Simple. Where else can you ride 40 miles into the middle of nowhere and run into a party with three kegs – one keg filled with Back of Pack’s favorite beverage…. Ska Brewing’s Modus Hoperandi.
That’s right dudes and dudettes. We were in the middle of nowhere and drinking Modus Hoperandi right out of a keg. Perfect! Do you call this ‘Trail Magic‘. I do, because it is.
The Brothers Rohwer headed back out to the Colorado Trail for another shakedown ride. The goal was easy – ride from Silverton to Durango. And ride we did… with a fair amount of hike-a-bike, as expected.
So, 200 miles of the Colorado Trail are in the books. We learned mucho lessons and now have a decent game plan for the ultimate adventure – the 500 mile end-to-end adventure from Denver to Durango. Start date = August 6th. I think. Why August 6th and not August 1st with all the other CTR competitors? Just because.
The Lessons Learned:
- The hiking boots and flat pedals worked. That’s how we’ll roll in a few weeks.
- If you have a schedule while on the Colorado Trail – prepare for high anxiety. You just can’t predict how fast you will go and how long it will take.
- If you have water and aren’t thirsty – there is water everywhere. If you are out of water and thirsty – you have 10 miles to the next water source. I’m serious.
- When the book says ‘no water for 20 miles’, there is no water for 20 miles. Seriously.
- Mile 8.4 of Segment 26 to mile 19 Point Something of Segment 27.
- If you are dehydrated to the point that your jaw is locked open and your swollen tongue is hanging out – it’s pretty easy to catch flies… in your mouth. But it’s pretty had to chew & swallow the fly. Just because.
- There is always a better camping spot 200 yards down (or up) the trail. Always.
- Just because you are going downhill doesn’t mean you are going fast. It’s hard to hit 8mph on descents – at least on a fully rigid single speed.
- If you smell something like melting brake pads – you’re brake pads are probably melting.
- If your in the lead at the Front of the Back of the Pack. Make sure the dude at the Back of the Back of the Pack is not a victim of Tourrets Syndrome. Every time I heard a S*^T! or or F*^K! I became distracted. I hit a few trees, ran off the trail, hit a bush. All because my fellow rider’s Tourrets induced rages caused me to look back at the Back of the Pack – a very big distraction while on the Colorado Trail.
- Lesson Learned: Stay focused and keep the eyes forward. DON’T GO OFF the trail!
- The Hiking Legs ARE NOT EQUAL to the Biking Legs. That’s bizarre. But that’s reality.
- Did you know that there is a rain forest right outside of Durango – near Junction Creek. I didn’t. And I lived in DGO for many years.
- Did you know that there is Verizon 3G service in the middle of the nowhere – just like kegs of Modus Hoperandi. Not that I need 3G service. But it’s always good for The Morale Chairman to keep in contact with the family. (A happy family = A happy Morale Chairman = A happy Judd.)
- Hiking in trees (below timberline) is easy but hard. It’s hard to stay motivated / focused when you can’t see the end and don’t know where the end is. Hiking at high altitude, above the trees, is hard but easy. It’s hard to hike at or above 12,000 feet. But it’s easy because you see the climb and see the destination.
The Summary Stuff:
- The Colorado Trail is unreal. The adventure, the beauty, the chaos. Riding the Colorado Trail is the greatest adventure I have undertaken and will continue to undertake. BUT there are some very very dark times out on the trail. And I’m not taking about the night vs day. The mind does crazy things during extreme dehydration, exhaustion and isolation. But that IS one of the challenges and that IS a big part of the adventure.
- Food is and will be a big issue for our next Colorado Trail adventure. Space is limited but calories must be consumed. Bean Burritos? Gross. Don Miguel Burritos? Disgusting. So what’s the answer? Honey Buns. I think.
- Bike Packing is ‘FREE’ & riding the Colorado Trail is ‘FREE’. But it’s one monumental expense to prepare for the adventure. Yikes. I need a second job. Ok. No I don’t.
- The CTR Schedule? No schedule planned. A schedule creates pressure that tears the psyche apart. So we will ride as far as we can with the two weeks that we have. We’ll finish or we won’t. It’s as easy as that.
- The ‘Trail Magic‘ was courtesy of the CT Jamboree: A Multiple Sclerosis Fundraiser. Awesome group. I may participate next year. Thanks dudes & dudettes for accepting us strangers into your group. Thanks for the Modus Hoperandi!
No Commentary this time. Why? Because talk is cheap and I’m tired of talking. So enjoy the views and the tunes. My iPod isn’t filled with Amy Winehouse tunes – but the babe moved on to the next life so I figured it is appropriate to chill out to her music instead of rockin’ out to Rage Against the Machine.
The Complete Profile: Molas to Durango on the Colorado Trail