Spring has sprung on the Colorado Plateau

The first Indian Paintbrush spotting of ’06.  Certainly one of my faves, it gets top billing.

What a nutter.  Anna signed up for a 25 mile foot race (trail) in Fruita for Saturday.  It was held on the trails at the end of the Kokopelli trail – Mary’s, Troy Built and a few others.  A week before the event I get an email from Walker saying he’s heading to Fruita for an Edge loop epic ride.  I knew nothing about it, but it sounded intriguing – hell yea, its a go!

Here’s the start of the trail run.  A good part of this crowd even signed up for 50 miles.  That’s a lot on a bike…MTBers don’t have the nutter market cornered, not by a long shot…

Walker is a fine writer – you can read his account here.  However, his pictures suck so check this post out too :-)  This vantage point overlooks the Colorado river, Book Cliffs, Grand Mesa and all points between and some beyond. 

Included in Walker’s write up of the ride is a video of his rappel down this 50′ pourover.  There was a walkaround option for the faint of heart (yea, that’d be me).

The Book Cliffs.

The Edge loop has some great singletrack, scenery, and a rappel sure makes it interesting…but it’s really more of a sprint than an epic.  I suppose it all depends on ones perspective, but it took us roughly 3 hours – so that clearly is short to me.  Everyone has their own definition of epic, and this ride had elements, but missed the mark on the length.  So, to make it an epic weekend…

The next day Anna dropped me off at the Starbucks in Montrose (yea, that’s right – drive through and all, right in Montrose), next best place to Bread to begin a ride.  The plan was to ride to Durango, roughly 110 miles and also taking in Red Mountain, Molas, and Coal Bank passes.  So here’s a math question for you:  at what headwind speed does it require 300 watts to maintain 11 mph on the level for a 145 lb rider in the drops?  This question was burning a hole in my brain for the better part of 5 hours.  Near the snowshed on Red Mountain, the headwinds were so hard that it took well over 300W to go 6-7mph…granted the grade is probably 7-8% at that spot, but still…standing hoping to find a bit more oomph just slammed me backwards as I set sail for the edge…

Now that was epic.  I’m ready for TIV2.