Summer is here!

I thought I’d write a little post about what has gone on this Spring/Sumer and get everyone up to date on my going ons.  The winter was long and the riding started later this year.  After being sick three times and not doing much exercise at all thing are on the up and up.  At this time the riding is great and things are dry to the point of moon dust.

My trip to Sedona back in February seems so long ago.  While my trip to Sun Valley, Idaho seems like just last week. That’s right I took a vacation to Sun Valley, ID and you guessed it, I rode bikes.  My good friend James celebrated his 40th birthday back in March.  He told me last fall that he wanted to do something special for his 40th.  He wanted to go mountain biking for a week.    Sun Valley seemed the obvious choice as it was roughly in the middle of Colorado and Vancouver, BC.  It also has amazing mountain biking.

I made the drive solo, stopping in Salt Lake City to visit another good friend Scott both on the way there and way back.  SLC made a great stopping point as it was almost exactly in the middle of my drive.  Once to Sun Valley our days went like this:  wake up, cook omelets, gear up, ride for hours, get home, shower, have a beer, relax, cook dinner, clean and prep, relax more and repeat.  We did this 6 days in a row.  Our total milage was 203 miles (60 on the road bikes), 21 hours of saddle time, and 25,000′ of climbing.  We never once got in the car to ride.

The week started with light rain showers and on the second day we had snow falling off and on for a good bit of our ride.

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Nick B and James B bundled up for Day 1 of 6.

 

James climbing at Chocolate Gulch, Day 1.

James climbing at Chocolate Gulch, Day 1.

 

Just a very small taste of the amazing single track Sun Valley has to offer.

Just a very small taste of the amazing single track Sun Valley has to offer.

As you’ll noticed the weather broke by day 3 of 6 and we enjoyed progressively better and better weather as the week went on.  Day 3 was our latest day on the bike only because we woke up to snow on the ground and decided to wait until just after lunch to start our ride.  This was one of the best decisions of the week.  Those few hours were the tipping point.

South facing slopes were bearing, while norther slopes were lush with trees.  Hard to get lost.

South facing slopes were bearing, while norther slopes were lush with trees. Hard to get lost.

 

So many amazing views, it was hard not to constantly stop.

So many amazing views, it was hard not to constantly stop.

 

James enjoying his single track heaven birthday.

James enjoying his single track heaven birthday.

 

Another view for the books.

Another view for the books.

 

James and Nick taking a break on the Oregon Gulch Trail.

James and Nick taking a break on the Oregon Gulch Trail.

 

Lunch view on Day 3.  Oregon Gulch Trail.

Lunch view on Day 3. Oregon Gulch Trail.

 

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I’m not sure there needs to be words.

 

Nick and James having a snack.

Nick and James having a snack.

 

Windows into days past when the area was volcanic.

Windows into days past when the area was volcanic.

 

Day 6, Jeff A has joined the party from Boise.

Day 6, Jeff A has joined the party from Boise.

 

Yet another high altitude single track view.

Yet another high altitude single track view.

 

Jeff climbing on Adam's Gulch Trail.

Jeff climbing on Adam’s Gulch Trail.

 

James and Nick riding switchbacks on Adam's Gulch Trail.

James and Nick riding switchbacks on Adam’s Gulch Trail.

 

The weather looked like it was changing but we only saw a few drops.

The weather looked like it was changing but we only saw a few drops.

 

James with Jeff close behind nearing the top of Adam's Gulch Trail.

James with Jeff close behind nearing the top of Adam’s Gulch Trail.

 

James the Birthday Boy taking in his well deserved 40th.

James the Birthday Boy taking in his well deserved 40th.

 

Jeff on the lower section of Oregon Gulch.

Jeff on the lower section of Oregon Gulch.

 

Nick shredding it on Chocolate Gulch.

Nick shredding it on Chocolate Gulch.

 

This is how most days ended.

This is how most days ended.

 

Somewhere James has pictures of me in his computer and I’ll add them when I get them.  For now these will have to do.

 

The week following SunValley I only rode my bike twice but the following Saturday I decided to go bikepacking on my cyclocross bike.  I pumped my tires to 60 psi, made a few tweaks to my bikepacking bags and set off after work.

I learned a few important things while on this trip.  Number one is to remember toilet paper.  Number two is you need more than a 42th front ring and a 11-28 cassette if you don’t want to have to push your bike on half the hills.  Number three, just because you see a road or trail on the Garmin map doesn’t mean you are allowed on it.  I would end up getting to a road that I wanted to take only to find it was behind a gate that stated “PRIVATE PROPERTY KEEP OUT!”  Three miles turned into about 20 to get to where I wanted to go.

On this (mis)adventure of sorts I did have a wonderful time and saw some amazing views.  I also saw hundreds of chipmunks, four deer, three elk, one bear, one grouse and one marmot.  I might have seen a moose too but it was so far away there was no confirming what I was looking at.

The numbers turned out to be 90.8 miles and 13,803 feet of climbing between Sat. 6:45 pm and Sunday morning at 9:10.  I think my actually riding time was about 17 of the 36 hours.  The rest I slept.

The rig all packed up to go.

The rig all packed up to go.

 

Mt. Sopris from Spring Valley Road.

Mt. Sopris from Spring Valley Road.

 

Beaver Creek Trail, this is probably the smoothest trail I would see for the next day and a half.

Beaver Creek Trail, this is probably the smoothest trail I would see for the next day and a half.

 

I didn't get to camp until after dark the first night.

I didn’t get to camp until after dark the first night.

 

This was camp one.  NOT flat which is my number one camp pev.  I also had elk walking around me during the night.

This was camp one. NOT flat which is my number one camp pev. I also had elk walking around me during the night.

 

Great single track through amazing Parks.

Great single track through amazing Parks.

 

A selfie that took about five tries to get.

A selfie that took about five tries to get.

 

The lillies were deep!

The lillies were deep!

 

Pusher of pedals or something else?

Pusher of pedals or something else?

 

Basically don't shoot our cows!

Basically don’t shoot our cows!

 

Eager beaver at it again.

Eager beaver at it again.

 

I did a lot of this. A LOT.

I did a lot of this. A LOT.

 

The view at 10k plus.

The view at 10k plus.

 

Looking west.

Looking west.

 

 

It only got worse from here.

It only got worse from here.

 

This doesn't look bad but it was terrible.  I walked most of it.

This doesn’t look bad but it was terrible. I walked most of it.

 

You can see how far I still had to go.

You can see how far I still had to go.

 

A bad shot of the bear I saw.

A bad shot of the bear I saw.

 

Believe it or not it got worse.

Believe it or not it got worse.

 

A cool cabin I found along the way.

A cool cabin I found along the way.

 

Dinner time on night two.

Dinner time on night two.

 

Camp two.  Much flatter and enjoyable.

Camp two. Much flatter and enjoyable.

 

Four Mile Park

Four Mile Park

 

Mt. Sopris from Dry Park Road.

Mt. Sopris from Dry Park Road.

 

Elevation profile of my route.

Elevation profile of my route.

Next up is sitting around a camp fire with my friend Jill Hueckman and talking about her attempt at the Triple Crown of Bikepacking. After that probably some 14’ers, maybe the Power of Four bike race and then fishing in Maine.  This year will be year number 15.

 

Scatman

Get out there!

 

 

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