I used a bivy in 09 which was light and fine, but worried me when it rained. Also it didn't breath real well. Around 7am my down bag would be wet from my own sweat, which makes breaking camp easy, but uncomfortable. The fancy Laser Competition is too much tent and too much money. I needed a good compromise between ease of setup and protection(from myself). Enter the Nemo Gogo. Almost perfect; just a little on the heavy side. I heard about it from Gnat Likes Fortunatly Nemo is having a garage sale and I snagged the last 09 model from 125. I can't beat that. I know it's a little heavy, and I'm trying to lighten up for 2010, but it's all about compromises. If it's easy to setup and provides adequate shelter then I will be encouraged to sleep outside more. That should translate to riding longer each day(not to mention saving money).
It's nice and snowy today. Hopefully the ground will freeze over and I can go biking tomorrow.
I think I'm caught up on the whole blog thing. TD 09 journal is finished. Now I'm thinking of TD '10. I have a leave of absence plus two weeks vacation lined up. I'm saving eveything I can. I'd love to have a new bike, like a Siren Song 29er or a Salsa Dos Niner. I don't think I can quite afford that though. So I'll use the Ziggurat, but I'll splurge on a Rohloff, and a Nemo Gogo tent. New Crank and BB and then new tires. That will save me some cash. Oh and a Brooks saddle.
11th annual 12hrs of the Hill of Truth at Haw Ridge. It was great being back at Haw Ridge, but the rain had mucked up the trail pretty bad. After the third lap it stopped being fun and just became a pain. Warm/dry clothes were more tempting. Needless to say I only completed 4 laps, but they were in a row so that's good right?
I woke up at 4 am and threw up. Then back to sleep for a few hours. We had breakfast and I barely ate my pancakes. We rode(an agonizing mile) to the general store. I wandered around in a daze and then threw up again. It was Sunday, the store owner said he could take care of me if it was a big deal. I thanked him and said I would just stay in the hotel another night(spensive).
We said out goodbye's, and good lucks, and parted ways. I pretty much knew that was it. I went back and tried to rest and ice my knee but could really do that. I tried to eat crackers and Gatorade, but I couldn't keep that down. I couldn't even keep down water. So I tossed and turned and watched Ice Road Truckers. Truly mind numbing.
I woke up on Monday and rode up to the store and a guy gave me a ride to Alburquerque. Nice guy.
I wasn't sad or made or upset. I was quite impressed with myself that I made it that far. Maybe in 2010?.....
New Mexico! Happy 4th of July. Per and/or Paul wished me a Happy Independence Day which was quite nice. Apparently the thing to do in New Mexico on the 4th is ride around on quad bikes and haul stumps. Per and Paul thought that was funny. About mid day my knee starting hurting pretty damn bad. I even cried climbing one hill. It felt like my knee was being hit by a hammer just below the cap.
Nasty mud(even worse when wet) between Vallecitos and El Rito. Of course everything was closed on July 4th. We pressed on toward Abiquiu, stopped by a bar to ask if they would call ahead. The bar tender said they would probably turn us down right then. Paul, Per and Trevor hurried on towards the hotel/restaurant. I followed as fast as I could; crying the whole way. It hurt big time. I came in the lobby as the clerk was on the phone talking about our potential room. Fortunately someone canceled. I slammed my credit card down and said "We'll take it! I don't care what it is", and joined the rest for dinner. I thanked them for getting there before the restaurant closed. Thus began my demise.
I ordered the quesadilla instead of the tortilla soup. I think that's where I went wrong. We all had a main course and desert. It was divine(the first time).
Started the morning with the climb up Indiana Pass. Which, wasn't too bad. I wouldn't do it in the afternoon though. Summitville wasn't much to look at. Water was not a problem. Just don't drink the stuff at the bottom of Summitville. Anything south of Elwood Pass is fine. Very beautiful there. Stopped in Platoro for lunch, the people were super nice as well. They were keeping track with a sign in book. We rode onto Horca, which was pretty much nothing. The shop was pratically empty, but the campground 2 miles away was open. They were full(it was July 4th), but they let us stay in an empty lot for 10 bucks. It was a fine place to take a half day. We did laundry and had cookies and hung out in the screened in game room.
The ride into Del Norte was the best. It was a 4x4 road with undulations, kinda like double track. Finally I felt like I was actually mountain biking.
Gary and Patti were super generous. We stocked up and hit up a diner, then went back to clean up. It was nice talking to someone that knew about biking and didn't ask dumb questions. I weighed myself. 163, 12 pounds lighter. No arm muscle to spare. It was just nice to be in a house with real people, instead of an empty hotel room. Probably the best night's sleep.
Nice start. Had a nice breakfast in Hartsel. Stopped in Salida for a lunch break.
Left for Marshall's a little late, and was caught in the rain. My new rain jacket kicked butt. Also it was nice to know that there was a Colorado Hilton at the top. I only stopped twice to to bunker down. Soon enough I was in the warm Hilton eating a snack. Then I was joined by the rest, I suited up and bombed downhill, minus the rain into Sargents for the night.
The local's were celebrating a birthday. Even though they were busy they made us soup and fries. Super nice folk. Then they broke out the Karaoke. We joined in for "I'll Fly Away", which is hard to do after biking 98 miles. I was out of breath, but we all enjoyed it. I can't believe I didn't take any photos. We all talked about asking for some cake, but we didn't have the balls.
I called Gary Blakley and Patti Kelly to ask if we could stay with them in Del Norte and they said yes, thankfully.
Long climbs in the morning. I hate the fact that I sweat so much. Lots of mines and what not. Silverthorne was too busy, but it was a nice easy bike path. Breckenridge was a little worse I would say. Like Gatlenburg, minus the Jamboree of Bears. Also no cell service. Had a nice lunch and of course I ate too much before climbing Boreas Pass. Which would have been fine had my stomach hurt so much. I also didn't acclimate well and had to leave, it was my first time at 11,000+. Made it to Como and found Cricket, but she was not feeling well/was asleep in a closed B&B. Paul left her a note. She left the race from there. We stopped a lady who said we could camp in her cousin's yard, but they were not home, so we slept in the Winwood playground. It was practically abandoned, and for some reason I slept in the concrete bathroom and damn near froze on the cold floor.
Long morning climb. Per was in bad shape. First hot day. Had to stop to avoid it for a spell.
The ride through Aspen Grove was nice.
Then I bombed downhill on our way towards Steamboat Springs. I'm surprised my bike didn't explode. It was super rocky, but super fun. I stopped to wait on everyone else, and we decided to ride on into the night, hoping to catch Cricket. It was a nice ride too. Steamboat was empty at night. We stopped in the Bunny Motel I think, something to do with rabbits. The desk guy said Cricket was staying there. Ordered a nice big pizza and we decided to sleep in the next morning.
Woke up and Jason plaid us a song he wrote, it was very nice, but sad. I pulled out my radio for the first time and had reception! Nice little college station and NPR. It was good to have because I made great time. Fortunatly the rain had filled the only creek we crossed. I drank a liter and filled up while everyone passed me. I caught up for another break.
For such a desolate waste land, it sure was beautiful. I led for the rest of the day(thanks to the music) and came into town with no water left. Met up with Trevor and went to the bike shop where he fixed a broken spoke. Then we found Per and Paul at a diner, got a room and groceries and then sleep.
Yes Bull Balls. Started off in the rain, but we had oatmeal for breakfast, which helped immensely, as did Paul's encouragement. Easy ride besides the rain, nice flat and mostly asphalt. The rain stopped when we ducked into a rest stop(just as the wind picked up).
Atlantic City was nice. Great bar and great food. I had a few servings of beef stroganoff and some grilled cheese. We got word from the server that Cricket had been in not a few hours prior. Paul and Per got a kick out of the Kenny Chesney song "She Think's my Tractor's Sexy" especially the part about the farmers tan part. That gave me a good idea to make a utility bike and paint it John Deere green. Some Italian tourists came in and liked my Tomato Head jersey. They had a gorgeous daughter too, chatted her up a bit....anyway.
My steed Me Favorite picture of me :D
Left there with some rain clouds behind us(joy!). Certainly not worried about the Basin being dry now! Met Jason, and real cowboy. He had been out since May, and was surprisingly not crazy. Nice guy, gave Paul some Whiskey, and his horse. "He's not a St Pauli Girl horse!" He told Per and I to be careful about snakes since we were in bivies. Sure enough it started raining, and it was super windy too. Paul's tent did well with it's sloping lines(Terra Nova Laser Competition). Trevor's did not inspire confidence(Tarptent Contrail), but he was the first asleep. Per and I hovered behind the horse trailer for a bit and then scampered into our bivies. It didn't rain too bad, and blew over quickly.