Best Adventures of 2012

flatironsThe year is pulling to a close and in an effort to pass along some of the adventures I had this year, I present this blog post. There is so much to recap, I will probably keep thinking of new things!

Dirty Kanzaa 200

This was a fantastic event and one that I am still amazed by. So many great stories from that one that it took me so long to recount all that transpired. In many ways, moving here to Colorado has changed my mind on doing this in 2013, but only because there are so many new adventures to conquer. I will always love and promote DK and hope to see that beautiful country again in the future. And with that said, registration is set to open at January 12th!

New state, new trails

One of the biggest adventures for many years past has been moving to Colorado. And moving means exploring new trails.

Many times I headed out as a shot in the dark. I would find out there was a trail somewhere, go out and ride it. Sometimes this meant learning some interesting things like Dakota Ridge is pretty technical (especially when looped in which a bunch of other trails which gave me one of the most elevation heavy rides I’ve done…). But I’ve had so much fun despite fighting altitude and the strange feeling of climbing for hours.

Some favorites:

  • Green Mountain for it’s views and easily accessible trails
  • Flatiron Vista for more fun trails and beautiful views
  • Heil Valley for slightly technical, but fun riding
  • Kenosha Pass to Georgia Pass on the CT, a Colorado classic with beautiful vistas, aspens, and a rippin’ downhill
  • Buffalo Creek for miles of exploring and some more fun ripping
  • Monarch Crest, another Colorado Classic that I got to enjoy with some St. Louis friends!

Find more of where I ride on Stava!

Mount Bierstadt

I’ve long tried to tackle Missouri Mountain (a 14er) and it’s still not marked off my list. This year though, after getting farther in that trip than I previously had it was on to attempt something new. So after a few days of fun mountain biking, I went up to this beautiful Guanella Pass and tackled this mountain. Even though this is one of the busiest 14ers, the adventure was fun and certainly epic. Even had a close encounter of the moose kind to make things interesting.

Breckenridge

breck001I’ve written about my experiences in and around Breckenridge with the Breck 32, but I went back a few months later to tackle a new kind of adventure: bikepacking in the Rockies. Again, I just kind of picked an itinerary that I thought I could knock out and again Colorado taught me a set of lessons. Mostly, I bit off way more than I could chew. A section of the trail that I thought would take about 6-8 hours took the entire day.

I started by climbing up the ski roads to Wheeler Trail and finally crested the pass. After that I bombed down to the Colorado Trail and immediately began climbing again. And immediately began feeling the effort of this trail. There were beautiful views of near by Copper Mountain, but it took me a very long time to reach the top. By the time I was over the top looking down from the top of the Ten Mile range, I just wanted to get down from elevation. The adventure had taken it’s toll and I felt pretty ill. I made it down the tree line eventually and found a good place to put up the hammock, where I promptly fell right into my sleeping bag and just went to sleep without eating.

The morning brought a new day and I knew that I would knock out the rest of the trail and then go up to town via the bike path. And most of the day I spent riding the bike (rather than pushing it) which was awesome. I did take one “fun” spill over the bars but survived (mostly). The pavement was still a bit tiring but eventually I made it back to the car and back home. I only accomplished half of my planned trip but it nearly wiped me out. My next bike packing will be much more tame!

New things

And finally, just this weekend I returned from a great work retreat at Keystone resort, where I also started learning how to snowboard.