when an enormous box from Surly was delivered to my door, with instructions to do something cool with the contents: A medium Surly ECR, and a 24-Pack Rack! I was planning a trip to Breckenridge to say hello to my Brother who was becoming a year older, and I wanted to climb some mountains to train for the Tour of the Highest Hundred, so naturally, The Surly ECR entered into the thick of my plans.
In this post, I’ll go over the unboxing process, some of initial thoughts, and how I’ve set things up for a 5 day bike tour + mountaineering (bike-a-neering?) trip to Summit County. In a follow up post, we’ll talk about that trip itself.
Whoo boy, do I like me some optimizations of my routes! Being not the fastest, strongest, or most, uh, endurance-est person in the world, I’ve gotta rely on my brain fat a lot of the times to figure out the most efficient way top get from point A to point B.
One of the main attributes that differentiates The Highest Hundred from other ultra-endurance FKTs is the technical nature of some parts of the route.
For example, the Appalachian Trail is indeed longer, and has more elevation gain than The Highest Hundred (many of the stats of the AT may surprise you), but I think it’s comparable to this challenge in a, “how much blood/sweat/tears will you go through” if done as a self-supported FKT.
No rest for the weary! My buddy David perhaps jokingly asked me if I wanted to go for Longs, via the Trough on Sunday (“Those Centennials ain’t gonna climb themselves!”) and I naturally went for the bait, on the condition that I’d probably be lagging behind given the climbing on my legs already for week, after Everesting Green Mountain.
One of the things that makes this project so amazing to work on (and eventually complete!) is the dual (at least!) nature of the adventure: you have to ride some challenging terrain, and once you’re in that rhythm you’ll have to stop as it’s time to change things up and go for a backpack.
The San Juans hold almost a third of the entire Centennials to be visited on the Tour of the Highest Hundred. The mountain range itself is spread out in a massive area, where roads are few, and approach is time-consuming.
Going into the San Juans with a plan will help ensure success in this range.
Route development is a huge part of this project, and optimizing the route to work well with getting to the trailheads of the peaks, for resupply, to be an interesting route to ride, while also being safe to ride are all important considerations.