Zen On Dirt

Someday we’ll learn how to rest…until then, time to play

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Over the years, I’ve learned how to spend my energy points extremely carefully. I’ve found that I can’t just gogogo, at least I can’t without repercussion. Sure, I can spend four months on the CDT, but then I’m not going to even be able to look at a bike for three months afterwards. I’ve worked really hard to make the conscious choice to conserve energy whenever possible…and when the opportunity arises to rest, to rest. (I’m really bad at the last part)

When Scott and I rolled into Boulder to watch my parents’ dog, we had one thing on the agenda: Recover from the PNW road trip and go into the bikepacking portion of the summer relatively well rested.

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Rest is easy to do in Boulder as a mountain biker. At least as a spoiled-rotten mountain biker who is used to having trails from the front door. You want me to ride roads for 40 minutes before I get to a trail? Nah, I’ll drink a margarita in the sun instead, thank you very much. 

I did run Sanitas a few times. According to The Strava, it’s possible to take the ridge from the top down in 12 minutes. That blows my mind because I think if I got really brave, I could do it in under 20. Maybe.

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We did a little bit of riding.

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A little bit of making fun of Boulder.

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Scott even got me to drive to a ride with the promise of a pie shop at the finish. He said he didn’t remember the trail as techy. Scott sometimes has a very poor memory. Let this be a publicly known fact since he likes to tell people that there ‘might’ be some hike-a-bike on trails.

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When the heat got to be too much, we escaped to Winter Park. There was much of this between spurts of work.

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And some of this.

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Dylan, the first intrepid soul to retry our CDT route just happened to be passing through Winter Park as we got there.

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We took him hiking. We fed him pizza. He fed us stories of getting epic’d by the weather in New Mexico.

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We then gave him an escort out of town before bombing back down.

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Bama called one morning. How many miles are we riding today?

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Not that many, but there’s going to be hiking involved.

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Looking for multisport adventure and wanting to climb a peak, we rode our bikes up to Rogers Pass Trailhead. While the trail is open to bikes for a little while, the 2-mile long snowdrift had us ditching bikes earlier than we had hoped.

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Air wheelie! James Peak in the distance. 

There were some technical snow field crossings.

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Then a long walk up to a snowy summit.

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Then a long walk back down and a speedy descent down on trails.

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I love that I have friends who’ll partake in silly adventuritas with me.

Scott and I got hooked on the hiking thing, but his allergies were getting the best of him. We cooked up a plan.

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I’d get dropped off at the base of Winter Park ski resort and run to the top of Berthoud Pass.

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Scott, with an inability to breathe hard, would drive up and hike down.

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Somewhere in there would be a romantic meeting.

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We hoped there wouldn’t be thunderstorms.

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And there would be yummy food afterwards. It worked out beautifully with me pulling up to the resort just minutes before Scott got there.

Still hooked on hiking and wanting to test the theory that we could do a long day without getting wrecked, I concocted a plan to go up to Buchanan Pass from Monarch Lake near Granby. It would be circa 19 miles round trip.

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It was great until we walked into the clouds on the pass.

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The visibility wasn’t exactly what we had been hoping for.

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It was okay. We got to run a good chunk of the trail back and marvel at the bear prints that now covered our own.

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Soaking the leggies in the river was pretty good, too.

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As a final little adventure, we got invited to a birthday ride.

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The goal was 40 miles, but after 25 and a stop for a beer, I threw up the white flag.

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I was tired. So much for resting.

We headed back to Boulder to hang out with my parents for a few days before jetting off to Salt Lake for Scott’s mom’s birthday dinner. I don’t think they actually thought I was serious when I suggested climbing Mt Wire after dinner.

Luckily, the Morris idea of a brilliant idea closely aligns with mine and I was able to convince both Scott and his brother Brian to come with me.

The sunset was spectacular from the steeper-than-stupid ridge and we watched the moon rise from near the summit.

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Down. Down. Down.

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We were in bed just shy of midnight with alarms set for 6am for a beat-the-heat ride with Scott’s dad. Rest? Who said anything about rest.

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