04 Aug COLORADO TRAIL RACE 2013 PART 1
COLORADO TRAIL RACE 2013 PART 1
AUGUST 4 2013
Chad was nice enough to give me a ride down to Durango for the start of the race – and we stayed with Jesse for the night – was cool to see them both. Of course there were a few mishaps before I started – on the journey down I realised that the trail files for the CTR had only loaded on to one of my Garmins, not both. so when we arrived the first job was to find a computer to sort it out – first of all found a Mac, but that was no good because the software wasn’t compatible – needed a PC. Which we found at a friends house but unfortunately didn’t know the password. Then tried an internet cafe but again couldnt download the necessary program to retrieve the files. So we failed miserable and eventually gave up. At least I had them on one of my Garmins.
It was a 4 am start so I knew I needed an early night. Of course by the time we had eaten it wasnt as early as I had hoped. I also decided a shot with Jesse might help me sleep.
Anyway I was ready the next morning for the start and felt pretty good – felt prepared – the bike was ready and I was loaded with food. the first part i son a road and it was fun riding in a big group – there were a few people at the side of the road taking photos and waving us off. It was kind of weird being surrounded by all these bikes loaded up with panniers and equipment hanging off the sides. a bit different to whizzing along on a road bike with nothing to weigh you down!
As soon as we hit the trail the group began to spread out. generally out of Durango there is a steady climb – rideable – but long. there are a couple of passes at the top before then descending to Silverton. I had heard talk that the store in silverton closed at 6 pm – so there was kind of a rush to try to get there in time. Obviously I didnt make it in time – and of course I was out of water and food by the time i did. But I was lucky and managed to find a petrol station where i pretty much bought up their stock of sandwiches. Luckily it was only just after 6 pm so i was the first one there. Felt bad for everyone behind me – but I guess that those who dont make it in time plan to spend the night there! But I didnt want to do that! I went for a burger and then set off feeling pretty good at this time, just sore!! My legs were really tired – this had come as a bit of a shock to me. I had thought that I would feel really strong – especially as I had felt great after my trip across Europe. But no – they were sore from the outset. I had done some training on my mountain bike last week (It had been a while since I had been on one) – a couple of hours a day – not sure now if I should have done more or less – but I was aching, especially with the hiking! I knew it was going to be a long ride!
But I managed to keep going – there was a long, long steep road climb out of Silverton as it got dark and then ended up at about 12000 feet crossing from peak to peak. I kept passing people in tents or bivvy bags at the side of the road – but my plan was to keep riding as I never end up sleeping very well in a field in my bivvy bag – I hadnt even bought one with me! However at about 2 am I sat down for a rest and did doze off for half an hour or so – I think the cold woke me and so I set off again! and soon the sun came up – of course I had passed quite a few people in the night so was probably in about 3rd place at this time. I t was hard to find enough water and of course i was running low on food. I was filling up my water bottle from streams. This was one of many mistakes I made n this trip – my iodine supply had melded into one lump and was unusable so I had no way of sanitizing the water I was collecting. However i figured that fresh from Colorado streams at 12000 feet wasnt too much of a problem. I was also worried about running out of power – batteries needed recharging. Seemed to be up there in the hills forever knowing that the next place to stop for supplies would be Buena Vista. all that second day we were just travelling from peak to peak – bumping into people along the route now and then. Struggling to ride at times because the trail was too rocky or just too steep – a lot of times you just had to push your bike.Thankfully my bike was real light and so I was pushing pretty well – catching people on the hikes. And overall I was also riding a lot more than I remembered from last year so that was good. But I was tired – real tired!!