Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sailing with Kat and Lauren

Kat and Lauren came up from Portland for the weekend to visit and so we gathered up a group of friends to go for a sail in Lake Union and Lake Washington on the Midnight Sun, a really nice 28-ish foot wooden boat. We brought along brunch food and cooked up a great meal as we sailed to Bellevue where some of us took a dip before heading back to Lake Union. Here are some pics from the great day on the water:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Hiking near the Snoqualmie River and Duck Dodging

I joined Chris, Jill and two San Francisco friends on a trip to resupply a trail crew working in the mountains above the Snoqualmie River. The highlight of the trip was definitely stopping at the Goldmyer Hot Springs on the way back. I've been to a bunch of hot springs but this one blew all the others away by far. A series of cascading pools emerge from a 15 foot cave (the dark area in the picture below). The pools themselves are nestled near the edge of a waterfall and a steep, moss covered slop dotted with old-growth trees. Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera, so I nabbed this picture from another website. I'm definitely planning to go back to the hot springs in the winter which has the potential to be a pretty epic trip involving a 5-10 mile by skis or snow shoes!Here are a few pictures from the hike:

After the hike, we all got back together on Tuesday for the Duck Dodge sailing race that happens weekly in Lake Union. It's called the Duck Dodge because you have to dodge the Duck Boats (and ducks) while you're sailing which only adds to the fun of the racing. There's nothing like a near collision or two to let you know that you're having a good time. The wind was blowing really hard, so it was a pretty exciting race, even if we did come in last place!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Making it to the Pacific

After leaving arid Bend I headed up and over the Pacific Coast Range toward Portland. As I neared the top of the pass by Mt. Hood, the trees got bigger and the air wetter. After days of being in super hot Colorado and Utah, it was really nice to be in a wet, green, mossy climate!

I met up with Kat in Portland where she moved just a week earlier. We spent the weekend exploring around Portland by bike (what an awesome city to bike in!), eating dinner with friends, and exploring the beaches on the western Oregon Coast. I could definitely see why people move to Portland. The biking is great, the city is a manageable size and Kat and I were even given a free cookie in a coffee shop when we said that we had both moved to the area. That would definitely never happen in DC! Here are some pics from our weekend of exploring the area:

Friday, August 1, 2008

Visiting Rico in Bend

Just after I left Moab, my stereo decided to die...which made for a really long, long drive through Utah and Idaho. Where route 128 to Moab was my favorite road on the trip, my least favorite road was the 400 or so mile stretch in eastern Oregon to get to Bend. Man was that boring. But I made it to Bend and made up with my high school friend Micah who is living there for the summer before heading to Jackson for the winter. Bend seems like a pretty cool town. Rico and I sampled some good local beers and went for a great hike up the Tumalo Mountain Trail. After hiking we went for a swim at a great swimming hole north of Bend called Steelhead Falls which is definitely a must-stop spot if you're traveling between Portland and Bend (good luck finding it's kind of hidden...and yep, that's just a random video I found on youtube of some guys swimming at Steelhead Falls). Here are some photos of my hike with Rico:

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sweatin' it out in Arches and Moab

After a great couple of days biking in Fruita, I drove down to Moab to check out the legendary slick rock. Everyone told me that late July is just about the worst time to ride in southern Utah...and everyone was right. It was a frickin' oven in Moab. I had to stop and go swimming three times in the Colorado on my drive to Moab to cool off. Once I arrived, I did a little exploring around Arches National Park, which is amazing but best seen in the fall or winter, and then scoped out a camp site. It was still 98 degrees at 9pm, so sleeping was a little tough but it cooled off by 11pm or so.

I did a quick ride on the slick rock trail before I ran out of water and it got too hot. I didn't make it around the whole Slick Rock loop, still had a fun time riding with a dude from England who I chatted with about the riding scene over there while zooming up and down the perfectly smooth rock faces. If you're ever driving to Moab or Arches, you should definitely take route 128 off of I-70. This was my favorite stretch of road of the whole trip by far (see picture below). Here are some pics:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Biking in Fruita, CO

I spent two days riding in Fruita, CO which I've decided is one of my favorite places to ride in the country. My first day I rode the 18 Road Trails which had smooth, flowing lines and grippy surface that allowed you to really fly through turns. I also found a free campsite right by the 18 Road trailhead, so that was a bonus. The next day I rode the more technical Kokopelli's Trails which offered some incredible views and challenged my ability to stay upright. Someday I would really like to ride the Kokopelli Trail from Fruita, CO to Moab, UT...but riding 142 miles in the July heat would be sure suicide so I'll have to save that for another trip. I rode until about 1pm each day before retreating from the heat to cool off in Fruita's public pool and the sandy Colorado River. Here are a few pictures from the 18 Road Trails and the Kokopelli Trails:

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Long's Peak

A week after doing the race up Mt. Evans, I joined three of my cousins, Jim, Marc and Justin to hike up the 14,259 foot Long's Peak. Every afternoon at around 2pm thunderstorms roll through the mountains of Colorado. To get off the mountain early enough, we started hiking at 1am. We chatted the hours away as we trudged up the mountain, headlamps lighting the way. Once we got above the treeline we were able to look behind us and see 15 or so sets of headlights from groups that were behind us. We watched a beautiful sunrise from the boulder field as we climbed up before getting into the really tricky steep, exposed sections. The final part of the climb was super steep, exposed and down right scary. My cousin Jim who is a rock climber said that it was about as steep a slope as he would want to climb without ropes. Aside from a Nalgene that slipped out of Marc's backpack and shattered on the rocks below us, we made it to the top safely at around 9AM and were rewarded with some great views. We took our time hiking down and just as we got below treeline, the rain started so our timing was good. We got back down to to our car around 2pm for a total of 13 hours of hiking. All around it was a really fun mountain to hike and a great end to my trip with my cousins. Check out a slideshow of the trip here (if you want to see larger versions, click on the slideshow twice):

Thursday, July 24, 2008

If African Americans were a nation....

From the

"If black America were a country, it would rank 16th in the world in the number of people living with the AIDS virus, the Black AIDS Institute, an advocacy group, reported Tuesday...

Nearly 600,000 African-Americans are living with H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, and up to 30,000 are becoming infected each year. When adjusted for age, their death rate is two and a half times that of infected whites, the report said. Partly as a result, the hypothetical nation of black America would rank below 104 other countries in life expectancy.

...the United Nations said that for every two people who received treatment (in the world), five people became newly infected."

Wow. That is scary. How come we don't hear more about this I want to know?

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Even 12 year olds in Boulder are FAST!

After hiking up to Loch Lake on Wednesday, I got in the car and headed into Boulder for another shot at the weekly short track race. A couple of weeks ago when I did the first short track race, I did the B category and though it felt like I finished last, I ended up 34th out of 51 starters. Since I was still recovering from Mt. Evans and had gone on a 4 hour hike earlier in the day, I decided to do the C category instead and see how fast they were.

I lined up with the 32 other starters with a light sprinkle coming down, which was nice as it kept both the heat and the dust under control. I started a bit slow in around 10th position but worked my way up the field until I was in third position behind a TIAA-CREF/5280 rider who looked like a junior. I rode behind him until the last lap when we caught two lapped riders and I was able to jump in front of the group, forcing the TIAAF-CREF to wait behind lapped riders on a downhill section as I rode away. I was pretty certain the TIAAF-CREF guy was going to beat me in the sprint, so my sneaky last lap move allowed me to get second. After the race I stopped to talk to the TIAA-CREF guy and congratulate him on a good race. The guy who I beat it turns out is only 12!! Watch out for Michael Dessau's name in 10 years or so! The guy who won the race, Zane Godby, is also only 12! Man, those kids in Boulder are fast. Both Michael and Zane ride for TIAA-CREF/5280, which is one of the best road development teams in the country. The program seems to be working as Michael is the national time trial champion for the 10-12 age category (the video below is of Michael winning TT nationals).

Hiking with the cousins

On Tuesday I met up with my cousins Jim and Mark to do some hiking for a week. This is the first mini-reunion of sorts that we've organized with just the cousins of our generation (Justin and Steve planned to join us later in the week). We're all into outdoor pursuits, so doing a hiking trip seemed like a good way to catch up and spend time together. The plan was to do small hikes during the week in preparation for doing Long's Peak on Saturday. To get our hiking legs under us, we did a short hike up to Loch Lake in the Rocky Mountain National Park. We took the 6 mile hike easy and enjoyed the views along the way.
We got up to Loch Lake just as the usual afternoon storm rolled in, which happens at around 1 or 2pm most days in the mountains. We shot a few pictures, had a snack and quickly hiked down as the thunder started rolling in.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Riding with Brandy and Chris at Centennial Cone

On Monday I met up with Chris and Brandy to go for an after-work ride at Centennial Cone in Idaho Springs. When I visited Brandy and Chris a week before we weren't able to go for a ride together, so it was really fun to get out riding with good friends and also see one of the local spots that they like. The Centennial Cone trails are really fun with lots of fast, smooth single track and some really tricky switchbacks and rocky uphills. Thanks Chris and Brandy for a great ride!

The trail included a lot of exposed sections with a steep slope on one side, something you definitely don't see riding in New England of the mid-Atlantic.

Chris is really good on the technical sections and almost cleared this tricky uphill.
Brandy enjoying the ride on her new bike.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A great day climbing Mt. Evans!

On Saturday Scott and I got up good and early to head to Idaho Springs for the Mt. Evans Hill Climb. I heard from friends who had done this race before that the climb up Mt. Evans was tough and from biking part way up and driving the other half I was expecting a long day of grinding up the long climb. Mt. Evans has the highest paved road in the country, with the race starting at 7,540 feet in the town of Idaho Springs and rising steadily over the course of 28 miles to top out at 14,135 feet. Since I like climbing, I figured this was a good race to target as the goal of the summer, and it would be a fun end to my mountain bike adventure with Scott.

We lined up at 8:30AM with the 72-person cat. 4 field. My goal was to stay with the pack for the initial 7-mile section that was a little flatter before the real climbing began with the first switchback. After a short neutral start people started getting shelled out the back as the pack started to pick up the pace. Near the first switchback I let the pack drift away as I settled into my own pace, but I was soon passing people who had also been dropped by the quickly disintegrating pack. Between mile 7 and mile 13, I passed a handful of people before settling onto the wheel of a guy who I learned later was named Bryce. Bryce set a really good pace for the next couple of miles as we passed the ranger station and rode above treeline, continuing to pass lots of citizen racers along the way. Since we lucked out with the weather and had perfect blue-bird skies and very little wind, sitting on Bryce's wheel probably helped psychologically more than anything else.
On a climb as long as Mt. Evans, it is interesting to see how you have moments where you are stronger and weaker. Right after Bryce caught me by the ranger station, I almost wasn't able to stay with him. After taking a few pulls above treeline, I decided I was going to blow up if I did more work and settled in to sit on his wheel (thanks Bryce for the pull!). A few miles later, I felt Bryce slowing and I picked up the pace and starting pulling away from him. A mile or two later, Bryce came flying by me sitting on the back of a three-person group that I joined and struggled to stay with over the next couple of miles. The last four miles of Mt. Evans from Summit Lake to the summit parking lot are definitely the hardest, both in terms of exposure, elevation and grade. As the road got steeper, I caught back up to the group of four and passed all but one of them as the summit neared. I was starting to feel a slight cramp coming on, but was able to ride through it with the help of a borrowed bottle of energy drink from one of the guys in the four person group.

As I neared the top I looked back and saw the lead car of the Pro womens field coming up behind me. A few moments later Jeannie Longo came FLYING past me, standing out of the saddle, absolutely crushing the hill. For those that don't know, Jeannie Longo is 49 years old and just qualified for the French olympic cycling team. This will be her EIGHTH (!) appearance at the Olympics. Jeannie Longo finished with a time of 2:10:10, 11 minutes shy of her course record set in 1998, but still nearly 7 minutes ahead of the next female pro finisher! The eternally fast Ned Overand also raced in the pro men's field and finished 5th, beating a bunch of riders who weren't even born when Ned started racing!

As the summit neared, I was able to catch and pass a few more people from the cat. 4 category and was actually feeling pretty good. Despite the altitude, it was the lack of power in my legs that held me back, not the lack of oxygen in my lungs. Nearing the top, I passed the 1 kilometer sign and thought for sure I had only a switchback or two left. That was the longest kilometer I have ever ridden; turn after turn, the finish line just never came into view. Finally, I caught sight of the finish line and kept a good pace across the line to finish with a time of 2:28:20, just under my goal of 2:30:00. With that time I finished 27th out of the 72 starters in cat. 4. Considering I had never been over 8,000 before this month and never done a climb this long, I really didn't know what to expect, but I was really happy with how the race went. It felt incredibly good to push hard for hours and finish on top of such an incredible mountain. I really felt like I was racing the whole way, which ma Here are a few pictures from the top. This one is of Bryce (left) and the dude from the group of four who lent me a bottle near the top:
The summit parking lot was covered by bikes, bodies and equipment as people recovered from their effort:
While I waited for Scott to finish, I took some pictures from the summit.
Sitting above the parking lot, just casually taking in the scene , was a furry mountain goat chomping away!!!
A bit later Scott came across the finish line and we took some photos on the top. Scott had a good ride on his rented bike, finishing in 3:32:14. This was only Scott's second race of the year, so he did a really solid effort considering the toughness of the climb. He's got a great base for kicking ass at the mountain bike races around DC this summer.
While hanging out at the top, I ran into a woman wearing a Putney Westhill jersey, which is a shop team I used to ride for in high school. I started talking to the woman, who is friends with the owners of the Westhill shop and realized that we had a really random connection. Two weeks earlier I was was in a shop in Boulder and started talking to a girl who mentioned that her parents had met while doing the Mt. Evans Hill Climb. Her mother threw up after the race and her dad stopped to help her and they apparently hit it off and eventually got married. This girl also mentioned that she was racing at mountain bike nationals at Mt. Snow near where I grew up instead of doing Mt. Evans.
Back to the woman in the Westhill jersey, when I started talking to her she mentioned that her daughter was racing at Mt. Snow that weekend. The details of her story started to line up, so I said to her: "this may seem like a strange question, but did you happen to meet your husband on Mt. Evans while you were throwing up. Also, does your daughter work at the North Face store in Boulder?" She looked surprised and said that yep, she was in fact the mother of the girl I had met earlier in Boulder and that she met her husband on Evans. It's a crazy small world!
The view from the top was pretty incredible:
Scott and I bundled up for the ride down. Scott seems to be a natural descender and flew down the road, with me taking it slow behind. We stopped to take a few photos along the way.
Scott with Sumit Lake in the background:Overall this was one of the most fun races I have ever done. Everyone was really friendly, the climb was epic, the views were breathtaking and to top it off, there was a mountain goat on top. Any race where there is a mountain goat in attendance is a cool race in my book. I definitely would like to do this race again in the future and try to break 2:20!

A special message for some good friends

For Amelia the birthday girl:For Kat and her move to Portland:
Because one day we'll perfect the jumping for the self-timer:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Biking in Durango and Crested Butte

After two days in Gunnison, Scott and I headed south to Durango where we heard the biking was epic. Compared to some other places we've been, the people in Durango were really laid back and friendly...and the biking on the Horse Gulch trail and in the mountains above Durango was great. It seems like there is an endless number of trails and great road rides around Durango to explore, but after a few days we had to start heading north to get back for the Mt. Evans race on Saturday. On the way to Idaho Springs, we stopped in Crested Butte to do the famous 401 Trail.
We stopped to take some photos as we went over the many passes between Durango and Crested Butte.
Here is a video from our week of biking in Durango and Crested Butte:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cars of Durango

Like many of the outdoor destinations that we visited in Colorado, Durango is definitely a place where people have a lot of money...but how they choose to spend it isn't always what I would expect. We were talking out of a coffee shop one afternoon in Durango and spotted this 4-wheel drive Porsche with bike racks. Now that is something you wouldn't see in DC.Durango also has a lot of trucks and SUVs, so my little car looked a little out of place sometimes.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hartman Rocks Part 2

After Scott got his bike fixed up we decided to hit Hartman Rocks for a real ride before heading down to Durango. Here is small video from our 2.5 hour ride. This is definitely some of the best riding I have ever done. Rob, thanks for suggesting that we check out Gunnison! Josie's Trail was especially fun with lots of twists and swooping drop sections and just enough rocks to keep things interesting.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hartman Rocks (and Gunnison too)!

Scott flew in from DC to Denver yesterday morning to join me for a week of biking in Durango before doing the race up Mt. Evans. We got on the road early enough to get to Gunnison with day light to spare for a short evening ride at Hartman Rocks, the sage filled network of trails just outside of Gunnison. The "rocks" part of the name is both appropriate for the many rocks that scatter the trails and also how fun the riding is on the twisty, loose terrain.
We ended up trying to ride up several sections of trail that were probably best ridden downhill. The ground is either loose sand or small ball-bearing like rocks that make walking over rocks a little treacherous. Here's a shot of Scott on a hike-a-bike section.
Ten minutes into our ride, Scott took a bad step off a rock and ended up tumbling down onto a boulder, bike first. Scott got away with just a scrapes (thankfully!), but his bike emerged with one less brake as the bolt on his rear brake was sheered off by the impact of the fall.
Scott got up, scrapped himself off and continued riding with just his front brake which meant we had to stick to some of the smoother trails which were still a complete blast. We rode up and down Becks Trail a few times as it's banked, sandy corners were not too bad for a bike with only a front brake. The Hartman Rocks trail system is huge though and we only barely scratched the surface of the available trails. We'll probably do another ride or two here before heading to Mt. Evans.
We packed up our bikes and drove off to find a campsite just as the sun was setting over Hartman Rocks.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Perfection? Hint: It’s Warm and Has a Secret

Oooh, I can't wait to find a kitchen to try out this recipe. If you like chocolate chip cookies, read this article. I'm not a big cookie guy, but for the right cookie I'll make an exception...a cookie like the one described in this NYTimes article.

Getting smoked in Boulder

Last night I stopped by the CU Short Track race that happens every Wednesday night throughout the summer in Boulder (which is known by locals as the Wednesday Night World Cup races). The race is a fundraiser for the CU Boulder Cycling Team and breaks down into three categories for men: A, B & C. Seeing as folks like Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Heather Irmiger race in the A's on occasion, I figured the B's were probably a better spot for me since I should be moving up to Expert in the next race or two that I do. Oh how I was wrong...

I lined up a little over 6pm with the 40 or so other guys in the B category. The race takes place every week on the same small strip of land located right inside of Boulder. The area of the course can't be any bigger than 2 football fields or so, but there are a lot of different trails packed into that small space, with lots of banked corners, short, steep uphills and small jumps (here's a news video about the race series). Every week the course is changed up to keep things interesting. The race started off with a mass sprint for the single track, creating a huge dust cloud that didn't really settle until the last race crossed the line. Speaking of the last racer, I think it might have been me (results aren't online yet). The race was only 25 minutes long and with laps taking 3 minutes or so, I held onto 10th or 15th position for 3 laps or so, before I started imploding and moving backward in the field quickly. I was so happy that I got lapped by the winner because it meant that I had one fewer lap to do. I'm not sure if it was the huge amounts of dust, the extreme heat, the elevation or the wicked pace that kicked my ass, probably some combination of the four. That and the fact that I've favored long slow workouts over intensity stuff in preparation for Mt. Evans. Regardless, It was a really fun race with fast turns that required good steering (which I was able to appreciate only after pulling myself together and finding a sprinkler to stick my head under)! Maybe I'll do another short track race next week after Mt. Evans...only this time I'm racing the C's! The photo on the right is of Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski crushing everyone on the Mens A race.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mt. Evans Hillclimb Reconnaissance Trip

On July 19th I'm going to race the Mt. Evans Hillclimb with my friends Evan and Scott. For those unfamiliar with Mt. Evans, it has the highest paved road in the US, topping out at 14,135 feet. The race starts in Idaho Springs, CO and winds its way up from 7,500 feet to the summit over 28 miles with a pretty constant grade of around 5 or 6 percent.

It's one thing to look at a course profile or a course description and imagine what riding a 14'er peak would be like, but it's another thing to actually do it. On Friday on my way to Silverthorne I stopped in Idaho Springs to ride up to the summit. I got started a little bit late and the thundershowers that usually roll in by afternoon convinced me to turn around after 15 miles at around 11,000 feet, just below treeline. From riding the first part, I can say that this is a completely unrelenting climb. It just keeps going up and up and up without letting up at all. The elevation didn't seem to bother me, but once it started raining, the ride down was miserable. I ended up hitching a ride down with a really nice couple from Denver. They earned a few good karma points for picking me up, thanks!On Sunday I returned to Mt. Evans to ride the top sections, but it was raining in the morning, so I decided to drive instead. It started snowing at about 12,000 feet and by the summit, the snow wasn't even sticking to my windshield! There were three people riding up to the summit in the harsh weather, including this guy who turned down the ride that I offered to continue towards the summit (I was trying to earn back some of those karma points!).

On the way down, I stopped at Summit Lake which sits on a spur of the mountain at 12,000 or so. I met two really nice guys from Minnesota who I joined for a short hike that turned into a longer hike as the views drew me onward. Here are a few pics from the hike below. I was really tempted to break out my skis and take a few turns on the slushy snow, but decided against it since I don't have any poles and the pitches were pretty steep.
Finally, I took a few videos while driving down Mt. Evans to give people a sense of what the terrain and views are like. This is my first experiment with video editing, so bear with the amateur editing. The video is a bit long (8 minutes), so Mom and Dad, this might be of more interest to you than everyone else.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

An epic ride in Silverthorne

This weekend I went up to Silverthorne with Adam and Alison to stay at friend's mountain house for a few days. The views from the house were stunning.
On Sunday morning Adam and Alison headed out for a run/hike and I went up to Ute Pass to explore a mountain bike/hiking trail that I found on the map. The trail started at 8,500 feet or so and ended on top of a mountain (Ute Mountain?) at about 12,000 feet. The trail immediately started climbing up and aside from occasional dips, pretty much went straight up until I got to the top. Here is a view about a mile into the trail:
The pitch of the trail was better for hiking, but still rideable in the small gears with some effort. The trail was all beautiful single track.
As I approached the top, the trail got steeper and snowier and I eventually had to ditch my bike and start hiking. I probably hiked the last mile or so of the 10 mile trail but was rewarded with some great views on top:
Riding up took about 2.5 hours. The 4,000 or so foot descent took 40 minutes, the majority of which was off-the-saddle, steep descending. From looking at the map, it seems like there are countless trails like this one to explore in the Silverthorne, Frisco, Breckenridge area.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Celebrating the 4th right with family and mechanical bulls!

On Friday I caught up with my cousin Justin and his girlfriend Alexis who also live in Boulder. I hadn't seen Justin in years, so it was great to catch up after so much time. After getting dinner on Pearl St. we hiked up a hill in Chautaqua Park which has a great view of Boulder and Denver.
Sitting several hundred feet above Boulder on a hilltop we were able to see the fireworks display in Boulder and several others in the distance around Denver. Here's a shot of a spider that we saw on the walk down. I wouldn't want to wake up with :
On the walk back down to Boulder, we walked by a bar that had a big crowd outside. Through the window we could see a girl riding a mechanical bull and we all quickly decided that we had to go check it out. Bull rides were only $1 so we all took a few rides. Justin's co-worker Babs and I took a ride together which I think meant that the cowboy hat-wearing, tobacco chewing mechanical bull operator took it a little easier on us. Turns out mechanical bull riding is both a great way to celebrate the independence of our nation and bond with your cousin!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

What's up with creationism anyway?

I heard this great piece on NPR a few weeks ago about the evolving debate about the teaching of creationism versus evolution in public schools. Joe Palca and his guests lay out the current state of the debate, explaining how opponents of teaching evolution have retreated from trying to get creationism taught alongside evolution, to instead push to get public schools to teach about the "weaknesses" of evolution, indirectly injecting the teaching of creationism into the curriculum. Palca's guests discuss how the objections to teaching evolution in public school are pretty weak. Check out the hour long program if you've got some time.

Bolder Boulder

I arrived in Boulder on Wednesday and it took me about 10 seconds to decide that it is an amazing place to live. After hours of driving through heavy rain and shoot-me-in-the-head straight roads in eastern Wyoming, I drove into Boulder as the sun was setting behind the mountains and the rain stopped. I stayed with my friends Adam and Alison who fit in well in the active sports-oriented community of Boulder. Adam is training for the Leadville 50 mile trail running race which is held above 10,000 feet at the end of July and Alison is planning to do some off-road triathlons later this year, so they are a pretty fit couple. Adam also works at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine and does coaching, so its part of his job to ski, run and bike! Not a bad way to live if you ask me. On Thursday showed me some of the fun trails in Boulder (Marshall Mesa I think) but I forgot my camera so I don't have any pictures. That night George and Amanda, who are also on a road trip from NH stopped in for a visit, which was a lot of fun.The next day Adam and I went up to Walker Ranch to do the 8 mile loop, me on my bike and and Adam running.
After a few wrong turns, Adam and I got headed the right direction on the dry, rocky trail. All of the riding I have done on my trip until now has been a variation of the same type of rooty, rocky trails with hard-packed moist soil, but this type of riding was totally different. Between the views and the rolling, technical single track with no roots but lots of rocks, I hoped that the trail wouldn't stop.
Adam caught up to me on the huge, switchback riddled climb up to the parking lot and we headed back down to Boulder.