stone cold lampin'
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Monday, July 31
More LE
I knew it was going to be hot when at 5:30 in the a.m. it was already warm enough that shorts and short sleeves were in order. Before the sun was up. Wow. It was certainly early too. I briefly lost my keys, and sda breiefly lost his shorts. Luckily we got all that sorted out before any major freakout. Minor freakouts aside, I was at the start 15 minutes before the gun, or before the ACDC was blasting as it were. Saw Mic and his crew prerace, and Jim Craig too. It's good to see some friendly faces out there.

Instead of starting way back like last year, I wanted to be a bit further up, and started pretty solid mid pack. The first singletrack was maybe a quarter mile from the start, which equals a major cluster. I was dead stopped waiting for folks to get a move on through the funnel. People were in good spirits, I had to laugh at those who started mooing. Ah, to feel like cattle at 7:05.

I prerode the first small section of singletrack the night before, so I knew what to expect and rode it well, passing a few people here and there. It felt good to have some race mojo going on. After a mile or tow of that we crossed the highway and started the first dirtroad section. I gave myself a once over - lungs, legs, mindset, all systems were go. I settled in at my own pace, feeling good. Very good actually. The course gets rolly before that next section of singletrack, and it keeps turning onto the roads less traveled. This year, that meant sand, but i was ready for it with the big wheels and bigger tires. I was floating smooth and straight through the sandtraps, watching other folks bob and weave and fight their way through. I was passing folks all over out there, especially on the dh's - I was tracking straight past groups of 4's and 5's, even a group of 8 all at once. Very good indeed!

The second piece of singletrack is uphill, cresting at the super steep downhill wall - if you've done the LE, yep, that one. I rode well on the uphill, and still feeling good, I was catching up to the folks in front of me. At the end of that singletrack, we pointed it down the wall. And then guy#1 in that group lost it in the rut. Bam! Over the bars, in the dirt, guy #2 crashed into #1's bike, and I was able to stop with only a gentle bumb up against #2's ride. Whew! Everyone was safe, so I took off again, out into the backcountry two tracks of Wyoming. The first aid station came just in time, I refilled, ate a little, and popped the earphones on now that the race had thinned out a bit.

Ah, music. I don't ride with music much, but it was a lifesaver out there. I picked a ton of songs that kept me in the groove, spinning along. I even heard, at the next aide station, an aquaintance that I've always concidered to be faster than me tell me that I was going so much faster that it was like I hit a switch. Wow, havn't heard that one before! It also kept my mind off how hard it was getting out there. And how hot it was getting out there.

Here's what I remember between Aide #2 and #4: The sun was baking us. The roads were sandy. The singletrack was everywhere. I simply don't remember nearly that much trail last year, and this year it was everywhere. And this part of the course that was the same as last year! What a difference a year and not suffering makes! A particularly uplifting moment was when I rolled up on #4 - last year I remember an insanely hard climb that wiped me out. I stopped three quarters of the way up to rest. I spent almost an hour at #4 recovering. This year I was anticipating it. Waiting for it around every corner. And when I rolled up to #4, I was stunned. Sure, it was a long steady climb, but I was in my middle pushing a decent pace. What a difference a year, and a few more long rides, can make!

Here's the real crucible with the current version of the Enduro: The first 55ish miles are hard. The last 15 are brutal. Leaving #4, I was pretty confident. A mile down the road we dumped onto singletrack. It got steep. We were riding barely trail, cattlepath, me on my fully rigid bike. My hands were on fire, no longer able to absorb the hits from the trail. I could feel each vibration from the trail jarring my bones, or so it seemed. It was during the heat of the day, the sun directly overhead, there was little shade. We were circumnavigated a mountain, and taking the brunt of its fluctuating slopes. It seemed like every right hand corner revealed a steeper and looser climb.

I cracked like Humpty Dumpty - but instead of falling off the wall, I hit it.

I limped into the last aide station, and collapsed into some shade. Immediately a volunteer was there asking if I needed water or food or an EMT. After a rest of at least 20 minutes, and a refueling of water and salted potatoes, I was up. The road was miserable, baking in the midafternoon heat and sun. When I came to the last climb, Headquarters, I was estatic. There would be shade! I remember climbing more this year on the bike, less on my feet, and before I knew it I was at the top, where I was treated to some rolling trail, that was rooty and rocky. The last thing my hands and elbows and shoulders needed. I was walking nearly anything that resempled technical trail, for fear that I'd lose it and break myself. And finally I saw the road. A quarter mile later and I was at the finish line with a beer in hand, a smile on my face, and new and old friends around me.

So that's Laramie. No results on their website yet, but according to my watch I beat last years time by over an hour.
Sunday, July 30
And so the sun sets on another LE.
Or rather, here's the sunset pics from the night before the race. I decided to make a run north of the border solo, and hooked up with SDA and Sue for some super quiet camp action. Alarms off at 5:30am, packed up and headed 5 minutes down to the course. 93 degrees hot yesterday, fully rigid bikey bike, and I'm one wiped out boy today.

Saturday, July 29
huge news for Lyons and the stone!
A lot of you guys out in Lampin' land have ridden Hall Ranch here in Lyons. It's a great ride, but doesn't have many options out on the trail for more riding. I just learned that things will change much sooner than I ever thought possible! I am super duper stoked and had to shout it out.

Just to the south of Hall is Heil Ranch open space. Although it nearly abutts the town of Lyons, you have to drive 25 minutes to the trailhead because of land ownership issues. A connection from Heil to Lyons has been discussed several times, but the movement has always lost momentum when the owner of the property refuses to sell, despite positive negotiations with public agencies. We've made a lot of noise as mountain bikers and as people of Lyons in the last year. Well, a monumental thing happened Friday at 5pm.

Lyons has inked a deal to buy the private property in question. Even better, the town agrees to ownership and maintainence of a trailhead and facilites for Northern access to Heil Ranch! This is moving at Light Speed for Boulder County, something I never thought I'd see. An official release will come tomorrow around noon.

This new trail connector will make possible huge epic all day off road rides on singletrack and jeep roads. Trail access will be about .5 miles from the shop and 1 mile from home. yeehaw!
Friday, July 28
clouds and pics

the off and on clouds were nice. and so was the headwind. it kept things cool but didn't help our average speed. oh well. its about the ride and the destination not the speed.
actually here

the corner cafe is in this building.
breakfast for the ponca ride

i've been lazy about putting some pics up. here's one from northbend. we had breakfast at the corner cafe. at first i was hesitant about stopping for so long but i changed my tune. if my memory serves me well, we had around 4hrs of breaks last year. this year we had more like 3hrs total including this one. so we did pretty good but we had a headwind all day which made it a much longer ride.
Tuesday, July 25
Help out our Bitterroot Brethren
I posted this on the Redstone Blog, too. Gotta help out a homey. Blodgett's the only one I've ridden that's threatened and it was extra sweet.
Additional Montana National Forests Will Close More Than 400 Miles of Singletrack to Bicycles

A proposed Montana forest plan revision could set a dangerous national precedent by closing hundreds of miles of singletrack to bicycles. Montana's Bitterroot, Flathead and Lolo National Forests are recommending a new policy that will ban bicycles from trails in many roadless areas where access is currently allowed.

More than 400 miles of trail in seven roadless areas near Missoula are at risk, including many epic routes cherished by local cyclists. Some of the best trails include Heart Lake, Monture Creek, Bluejoint Creek and Blodgett Canyon. The Great Burn area alone contains 139 miles of singletrack that will be made off-limits to bicycles.

Unless cyclists take action, the Forest Service will zone these lands as "Recommended Wilderness," and will ban bicycles. Although most national forests around the country allow existing uses such as mountain biking to continue in Recommended Wilderness, the Bitterroot, Flathead and Lolo will not, thus setting a dangerous precedent.

Take Action!

Tell the Forest Service that you support continued access to the great trails in Recommended Wilderness in the Bitterroot, Flathead and Lolo National Forests.

If you prefer to mail your comments, the following address covers all three forests:

Proposed Land Management Plan
Bitterroot National Forest
1801 North 1st St.
Hamilton, MT 59840


The Forest Service will accept comments until August 7, 2006.

Talking Points

* Mountain bikers support the permanent conservation of Montana's roadless areas from development and road building. However, if Recommended Wilderness will ban bicycles from the places we love to ride, please use the Forest Service's "2.2 Backcountry Area" prescription to protect natural resources and allow continued bicycle use.

* The "2.2 Backcountry Area" prescription should be used to protect the following proposed Recommended Wilderness areas: Great Burn (Lolo), Monture Creek (Lolo), Quigg (Lolo) and Stony Mountain (Bitterroot and Lolo). In the Blodgett Canyon (Bitterroot) and Blue Joint (Bitterroot) areas it should at least be used to create corridors containing trails #19, 137, 303, 614 and 627 - favorite mountain bike routes.

* National Forests in Regions 2, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10 allow bikes in Recommended Wilderness. In neighboring Idaho and Wyoming, this includes at least the Bighorn, Boise, Caribou, Medicine Bow, Payette, Sawtooth and Targhee National Forests.

* All forms of recreation should be managed objectively through science-based decisions. Mountain biking is a quiet, human-powered, low-impact activity compatible with wild places. Science shows that bicycles have similar impacts as hiking and far less than equestrian or motorized use.

* The Forest Service doesn't have to kick mountain bikes out of places they've been riding for years. Bicycles do not harm the land's potential for future Wilderness consideration and their continued use of Recommended Wilderness areas should be allowed.
Monday, July 24
Ring around the Swan, or Flumes a GoGo.
I headed back up to Breckenridge again this weekend. Zana and Erin hiked Quandary (14k+) and I rode some, and then rode some more. We were camped on the Colorado Trail, so I headed up from there to Georgia Pass, and then higher still to Glacier Ridge (12k+) and took in some views. After I'd had enough of attracting a bit of sunburn, I headed back down into the woods and picked up an old flume/ditch trail I'd heard about and seen on some maps. It was all a go Saturday, I was able to hit about 8 miles of it in almost one shot. Spectacular backcountry trail. Saw one person, a local, who gave me some scoop on its history which I'll not bore anyone with, but which I thought was pretty cool. In sections it gets pretty exposed. Pic #3 shows the trail cutting accross a scree field - it's about 500 feet down if you don't get that line right. And pic #4 is the rements of some of the flume construction - impressive 100 year old construction.

Sunday, July 23
"Craig Schmidt of Lincoln Plating-Lemond outsprinted breakaway companion Troy Krause to win the Cornhusker State Games Cat. I-II-III road race Saturday."

Nice job htop!
Tuesday, July 18
congrats Grant !!!
here's the semi-pro results for the MTB National Championships in Sonoma Ca. :

Grant Kier
Got some of the good stuff under my wheels in Breck this weekend with Ed & Mic. Good enough, I'm headed back to search out some other trails I think exist.

Saturday, July 15
I caved in to my own pressures last week and turned a display-for sale bike into a demo bike. I hope the bike shop gods will forgive me. I've already forgiven myself by riding it every day this week. It sure is fun.

It spent a few days lunch riding with me on the rolling hilled ghetto singletracks around Broomfield. It's the perfect bike for that. Got 45 minutes to charge out a workout? No problem. I did the Redstone Tuesday night ride with the rest of the crew and rode the On-One. A local buddy of mine was on his SS, too. It hurt, but I cleaned it. Then I got smoked on the downhill. Fun shit, seriously. I see this bike a lot in my future for winter night rides at Boulder Valley Ranch.
Wednesday, July 12
so-cal ride

so i visited my brother in/near pasadena. we drove. it was madness. i tried to hook up with clarke. it didn't happen regretably. i found a window of time to get out solo. i googled a ride. bro said it was where they go hiking so it was familiar to him. he dropped me off part way up hwy2 from la canada (need a tilde). i knew from the in-nerd-web that the ranger station i needed was 'red box station.' red box? wow. anyways. rode up the mountain. 34x17. got to another ranger station sooner then my intended destination. got a map. decided to enter the trail further down the mountain instead of going all the way up to red box. hit the trail at the switzer picnic area. found signs for the oakdale camp area. rode a bitchin trial to there. took this pic along the way. more...
Monday, July 10
Paging S-House.
I hear you're moving? When?

Think: Laramie Enduro, Breck, WP, Etc etc.
Sunday, July 9
Rain, rain...
mw was in town this weekend, on his way back from Cali. I promised some good times, but it's been rainging for 48 hours straight here. First time I've seen weather like this in I can't remember how long.

Yesterday we headed up to Lyons, but Restone was too busy for Dave to slip away early. We headed to Hall in the middle of the afternoon - 3 of 4 riders we saw were on 29'ers!

Today, we gathered up Pablo & Mic and headed for our local ride - we even bumped the start time to 7 so Dave could come down, and he's the guy who bailed!! We toured around the suburban trails for about 3 hours in the warm rain. Good stuff.

Thanks for stopping in, mw. Next time we nix the raindance!

Thursday, July 6
The wife and I made a 5 day weekend by adding a few days of vacation here and there, and decided to head west, then south, to see what's to be seen. Oh, it was a really good time, not only due to the scenery, but also the company of some other less vocal Redstoners. Pablo Sonny and Ella, and Karl Elisa and Macenzie made it an epic trip.

Here we are headed to camp, day 1. Wow! Mr. Polo bought a hell of a spread here. Thankfully, the county has kept the road open right through the middle of it.

We camped here.

It rained. New Tarp City in full effect. I had some serious tarp envy - Pablo has it exxxtra large.

Sonny rocking the GT I Drive.

Me riding in Telluride, Waterline followed by Jed Wiebe.

We headed to Molas Pass and the Colorado trail. Wow. We all vowed to complete this ride when the weather (and our late start) wouldn't prevent us from completing this epic. Here's Pablo, wasting precious energy above treeline.

Karl, riding the storm out, Fluxing it up.

Here's the view from our campspot in the San Juans, sw Colo. We took a left off the highway and drove 7 miles though Mr. Polo's ranch to get into this meadow, and it was worth it. We saw a whopping 8 people in 4 days up there, basically having the meadow to ourselves.

Dirtrag showed up in my mailbox this weekend.

Wednesday, July 5
We were robbed of what looks to be an utterly epic ride, due to our own negligence. We started super late for the altitude we were headed for. We knew the weather was questionable.

We're going back.