Green Mountain!

My most awesome and patient LBS was helping me with an out-of-true wheel the other week. We sort of went overboard on the thing and the mechanic decided to overhaul the whole damn thing. Once we tuned up the White Industries Dos ENO freewheel, replaced the bearings and replaced the track nuts, talked about adventures had and to be had, we both remembered that the wheel also needed that truing. So, on the truing stand it goes. Phillipe makes short work of the wheel, until, he stops –

“Ah, well that’s the problem. Your wheel is cracked. Don’t ride this thing too far from home, OK? And get it replaced.”

Another Salsa Delgado hoop cracked. The first one was built for touring and suspiciously was showing cracks after being only a few months old. We questioned on whether there was some manufacturing problems. This one though? This one was clearly used well and abused. Toured from Paris to Amsterdam on the Paris Roubaix track, used for cyclocross training – hell, the last thing I did was take it up and down and up and down South Table Mountain, until the third pinch flat forced me to stop and very nimbly get home with one tube patched up with a wish and a prayer and a few patches on top of themselves to hole air in the tube where the snake bites were. I certainly miss tubeless tires.

But I destroy bike parts. The touring delgado hoop was replaced but a Velocity Dyad hoop – expensive – and heavy, bit of kit. Yeah – it’s bent. And I bent it.

Getting this news of a cracked rim (and waiting for its replacement), I’ve been a little conservative on my rides. Winter also is not so much fun to ride bikes and it’s nice to get a break on things – I can certainly say I’ve ridden enough this year. I’ve been doing a fair bit of hiking in the mountains and that’s been a great change of pace. Walking up mountains is another romantic endeavour I seem to preoccupy myself with. Having no car, my hikes usually begin with a bike ride to a small, front range mountain, or if I’m lucky, someone will pick me up and we’ll carpool to a proper mountain. It’s been fun.

Monday or so, I rode out to Golden to the Mt. Galbraith “neighborhood” trailhead with runnin’ shoes and “ran” to the top and back. Of course, I got lost on the ascent and the descent, so adventure was had by all. I’m really not the strongest “runner”, but when I think of going up one more time on the Lookout Mt. Road or HW 40, I sort of cringe. Going down on a cracked rim also doesn’t sound too good of an idea – even for me. I like training of riding to a trailhead, running up and down something and cycling home. I believe the tri-people call that, ‘Bricking”.

Wednesday, I upped it a little but and took the bus to Boulder, to “run” up Green Mountain. I surprised myself at my time getting up – as I scrambled the small summit block, synchronicity shined upon me, by playing, “Voodoo Child” in my portable music player – the lyrics that go,


Standing next to a mountain! Chop it down with the edge of my haaaaaaand,



Which means I made it up before finishing a record. Got down in a time around 1hr 50 minutes. Which means my bus ride to from Denver to Boulder and back was longer than gaining the peak and running down.


Well, hello there

Certainly no Anton Krupicka, who runs this route semi-daily, but certainly getting close to an offseason,, injured and conservative hike kinda Anton time! Something to work on. …Maybe not.

Luck was with me, as I swung by the Boulder Sports Recyclery before going home – picked up a 34t chainring in the correct BCD for the cranks on my Surly Crosscheck. May pop that on to give me a way casual low gear ratio of 1.6:1 and see what sort of mountains I can ride up –

and with what type of gear I can bring. Bet I could bring a bit more hiking – maybe climbing gear with me than just a pair of beat-up trainers. Maybe even some camping gear. Maybe even some winter camping gear…

Sure is a good view of Longs Peak from the top of Green Mountain…

Longs Peak from Green Mountain

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Another Side of Pikes Peak

At around 1:00 am the previous night, I settled on the idea to try the, “Ring the Peak” route around Pike’s Peak. You can learn about the route here and here. I just thought, “Yeah, whatever” and took a few hours snooze and headed out the door from Denver, towards Pikes Peak, via the Rampart Range Road, a nice 50 mile track of fairly well maintained dirt road, with a nice elevation gain (up to 9,400 feet or so) and relatively little traffic. Time to try out some gear and get another over-nighter in.

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Abandoned Attempt at Quandary Peak, Elevation 14,265′

“I’m getting concerned about the visibility issue.”, my much more careful, much more level-headed hiking partner stated clearly and with enough gusto to make it through the wind and snow.

“Yes. I think we’re pretty close. The peak is at that rock.”, I point, “ten more minutes and we’ll re-evaluate the situation. How does that sound?”

“I don’t see a rock.”

And she had a point. The rock was now, gone. Ten minutes became ten steps. We reached a slow-going snowy slope and called it quits.

White out conditions
A last look up (unedited photo)

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Mini Slam in Boulder

Woke up today with little sleep, perhaps two hours. Unplanned sleep deprivation training. 5:00 am. Snooze for fifteen minutes then up and about. Planning on biking/hiking trip. Let’s go to Boulder, I thought and then hike around. Wonder if you can get from the small, Southern Peak, to the Small, Northern Peak?

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Continual Failure on Longs Peak

Upon waking up at 5:30 am, I turned back over to, perhaps, wake up at a more agreeable time. Waking up was becoming an increasingly larger problem in my life. My mornings slipped to afternoon and then, later afternoon, until I was by last Tuesday, getting up nearly at 5:00 pm. A vampire.

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Mt. Elbert by Bicycle from Denver and Back!

Summer totally flew by for me, but I was able to take a few little trips out and about to check out the, “backyard”. I’m moving soon, so it seemed like a good idea to see what’s out there. Here’s a small 4-day trip to Leadville and back, with a little side-step hiking.

Kenosha Pass

First, here’s where we’re going:

Route

Starting in Denver, we’re going South East on 285 to Leadville, CO, where we’re gonna climb Mt. Elbert, the highest point in Colorado. I’ve been scheming to do this for a while and finally found time to do it.

Let’s go:

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Mt Evans Fixed

I hope you gals/guys like silly ride stories accompanied with GIGANTIC pictures about going in a really big circle, because this is one of those really silly ride stories, about how I managed to get up Mt. Evans on a Fixed Geared Bicycle.

5:30am - a little sleepy

 

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