Paradox demystified

‘Twas an awesome weekend in no-mans land.  Perfect weather, hard trails, what more can you ask for.

Day 1 was a ride West of Bedrock on the Paradox.  The route winds around the valley floor a short while before heading up Carpenter ride.  Riding up Carpenter ridge with Chris is where I learned that 30+ lbs of gear is waaay more bad than 14 pounds of gear.  Maybe it was the VO2 and superoxic threshold training of the previous two days, but crikey….  Creature comforts are getting tossed, weight-weeniness is in.

Once on top of the ridge it got muddy.  A little snowfall late last week made everything soft above about 7300′, that seemed to be our turnaround elevation both days.  Riverside camping, can’t beat that!

Day 2 took us to the beginnings of Glencoe Bench north of Pinto mesa.  Interesting section of trail…after a climb out of the San Miguel drainage, the riding is incredibly pleasant through sage covered plains (seemingly) leading to the Uncompaghre plateau.  But in the sick demented manner of the Paradox course designer’s mind, the trail bombs back downhill to Tabeuache creek so that you can do that climbing again.

This is where it got fun.  Thank god for GPS, that’s all I have to say.  There’s no way I’d get through that section without it.  Sketchy tracks in every direction that see very little use.  In some places there are trail markers…one such place I didn’t believe at first cause there was only a jumble of boulders…sure enough, more sketchy track around the next corner.  The route is steep, rocky, uber soft and slow going from Third Park to Glencoe.  Hike-a-bikes abound, both up and down…just like Jefe said.  Fortunately though, my mapping proved effective and was always within 100 feet or so of the actual route.  Kinda feels like cheating.  MC’s record GLR ride without GPS just got a whole lot more impressive in my mind.

The pre-ride was invaluable.  The route is frightening.  All the while I was trying to put into perspective how the section to Pinto Mesa would feel after doing the Koko and West side of the Paradox already.  It put new perspective on that term “shambilizing.”  GLR is a very complicated, difficult undertaking.  It has my full respect and attention.

I wonder what surprises the Tabeauche trail has in store?

One of my time limiters for a GLR type race.  The bibs gotta go.  Note the beached whale on the right.  That’s gotta go too.


Dave Nice rode this silly stuff on a fixie – and rode it well.  He’s looking really strong this year and he’s a diesel.  I predict a GDR fixie finish for him this summer :)