Friday, July 3, 2015

Fruita and Breck

Thursday morning I woke up in Fruita, thankful to be alive after tent camping alone for the first time in my life in a completely empty campground in the desert (with my tent open all night because of the heat/beautiful sky). I was a bit stressed to get on the bike asap to beat the 100 degree temps forecasted for the day, so I ate my oats and was on my bike by 7am. The plan was to ride as many trails in the Kokoeplli trail area as possible in 2-3 hours. This trail network consists of the main Kokopeli trail, with a few different loops coming off of it.

I accidentally spent a little more than 3 hours on my bike because it was way too pretty/fun out there, but was able to hit Rustler's Loop, Horsethief Loop, Mary's Loop, Steve's Loop, Lion's Loop, Mack Ridge and Moore Fun trails. Most of these trails consisted of swoopy, bermed perfect desert dirt that flowed so well I was giggling like a little kid, intermixed with rock ledges you had to both climb up and ride off. Steve's loop was basically just a bench trial on a cliff up above the Colorado River, with the most spectacular views of the river valley and the desert to the south. I threw in Moore Fun Trail to get back to the car because, well the name made me think it would be ... fun. That was the most technical part of the day with constant techy rock problems on the climb and then a seriously fun rock face/rock problem/rock face descent. It never got unbearably hot, but I was pretty exhausted by the end of the ride. Another highlight from riding Kokopelli loops was seeing more women out on the trail than men, including multiple groups of just women. I love that the sport is growing in that direction!
Lots of super deep cravasses, and beautiful red rocks. 

The trail basically just loops around the ledge, mostly a safe distance from the cliff. 
After I hit up a local bike shop to restock on bike food for the weekend, and saw this pretty wall art.

And then it was off to Breckenridge for the Firecracker 50 this weekend. On Thursday night I was lucky enough to camp with friends from Boulder who have camping for this race dialed with maybe the prettiest camp site ever. It felt significantly safer to be camping with other people, and I got to join them for an incredible (but maybe a bit too long) pre-ride this morning. We climbed from camp (at 10800ft) to Boreas Pass (11,450ft) and then descended Gold Dust trail, which was incredible! Think super fast singletrack through gorgeous alpine meadows, trees, crossing streams, and ending with a super fun flume style bobsled trail. I loved it. I did not love the 1500 ft climb back to Boreas Pass, but the old railroad grade road we were on wasn't too unpleasant and the magnificent views distracted me from the fact that I wasn't supposed to be riding so much the day before a race.

Bryan crushing the climb, like he's going to do tomorrow!
There were more girls on our ride than boys :) Always makes me happy when that happens. 
I could get used to these kinds of views, even if I'm starting to see stars from the altitude!
And now the game plan is to lay low, sleep in town and get ready to suffer tomorrow! 50 miles at this altitude is going to be brutal... but that's just how I like it!

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