Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Golden Enduro

ok - I just got Jesus Camp... get to watch that tonight so I can go to bed all pissed off -
Don't have much, It's about 6:30 AM and I can't think.

Got this email from Dan, did the Golden Enduro on Saturday

From: Dan
Subject : Golden Enduro Retrospective

12 guys showed up to start at 5:14 Saturday morning, including two Pro's from some team I couldn't identify because it was too dark and I was too groggy. The race started when one of the Pro's said, "What are we waiting for?" and took off for the gate. Halfway up Belcher, where I was in 4th position and riding alone through groups of indifferent deer, only the light of the 3rd placed rider was visible ahead of me. The Pros were already out of sight, and would finish more than an hour in front of #3 (Stefan is his name), (they did it in about 7 1/2 hours. I would see them about 4 hours later as I was weaving my way up Mt. Falcon. They were on their way down.) I looked back to see a group of wobbling lights behind me. Daylight started to appear, I cleaned the entire Belcher singletrack climb, but slid across a waterbar on the descent and crashed before I passed the first "casualty", Taylor, looking at his directions, having missed the Belcher singletrack and ridden directly over to the Rawhide trail. We would end up riding the entire race together. Well, sort of. He didn't feel like going back to get on-route, so, as I was trying to explain to him where we were, another guy, Kevin, came by, and we quickly chased him down. Lights off, the three of us descended Longhorn as the sun started to rise.

After dropping our lights off at our cars, we took off for Chimney Gulch. Actually, they took off. I was still fishing through my pockets looking for some food. I re-caught them at the base of Chimney Gulch after descending through Golden. We rode the first half of the climb together, but after the first road crossing, Taylor, whom I had dropped early on Belcher, started riding away. Right then, an hour and a half into it, I realized I wasn't having a very good day, and I was going to suffer for the rest of the ride. There was a brief moment when I thought I was going to catch him before Lookout Mountain, but I crashed hard on my hand. (Yes, going UP the climb.) It would start cramping about an hour later, then go numb for the last three hours. The organizer's dad was standing at the second rode crossing, he told me I was in 5th place.

After descending Apex, I finally caught him again on 40. Kevin, who apparently never stops for anything, happily cruised by us at the Red Rocks parking lot. (Someone had to take care of some business there. By business I mean poo.) But we again quickly caught and passed him. The climb wasn't too bad, but Taylor dropped me as soon as it got steep. Somehow I managed to catch him at the top, but all that effort was wasted when he crashed into a pile of rocks on the descent. Nothing broken (besides the snapped spoke on his rear wheel he started with), so we took off again.

Mt Falcon was torture. Taylor dropped me immediately. The climb went on forever. It started to get hot. The trail, after about 45 minutes of climbing, finally leveled out before we hit the loop at the top and descended. But then came more, steeper, climbing. I walked all the steepest parts. Near the top, where Taylor was waiting for me (he had lost his directions), an old couple hiking asked us if we had started at the bottom parking lot, I replied "Yeah, the bottom parking lot of White Ranch." It's location apparently didn't register with them. On the way down, I almost crashed into a picnic bench in a gazebo. This needs no explanation, nor will you get one.

At about hour 5, we stopped in Morrison for water. I hadn't drunk half the contents of my Camelbak, but decided to fill it, and the water bottle I had, completely. I think this was a mistake. The trails, bike paths and roads from here to Golden, besides the climb up Green Mountain, weren't too bad, but Taylor decided we still had to pedal, and my ass really started to hurt. To compensate, I was tensing up my back muscles and triceps to get the weight off my saddle, and they started cramping, too. I was a little dazed by this point. From the bottom of Mt. Falcon to the bottom of Table Mountain (again excepting Green Mountain where he dropped me yet again), I didn't do anything but stare at Taylor's back wheel.

If you're heading south on 93, just before the turn to White Ranch you can see Table Mountain on your left. It doesn't look like much. We first made our way up a road from Golden to get to 93 and then over to the entrance, but as soon as we hit the service road leading to the top, I couldn't pedal anymore. I walked the entire road. Halfway to the top, I saw Kevin behind me, turning off 93 onto the dirt road and thought, "Shit, I have to walk faster." 2 minutes later, I looked back again, and saw him dismounting and starting to walk. I slowed down.

It took me about 20 minutes to walk to the top. Taylor, who rode the whole way up, was coasting down in the opposite direction. Had he already ridden the loop? He stopped in front of me and said, "I'm lost." After a sigh, I pulled out the official directions. "Right onto the North Table Mtn service road. Right on doubletrack. Descend the singletrack on the east side and follow this around to the north side." We looked up, saw doubletrack to our right and started pedaling towards it. A few minutes later, some singletrack appeared heading east. After 5 minutes or so of smooth, fast descending, we came to the top of a cliff. People were climbing on it. We later found out that we were supposed to go down the second doubletrack. Of course, how could we have been so stupid? The directions were generally terrible, but this was aggravating, and the end of my mental stamina. (I never would've found my way from Mt. Falcon to Green Mountain if it weren't for Taylor.) 8 1/2 hours into it, we were both too upset to turn around, so we portaged down the cliff, then down a trail that was impossible to ride, descended through a neighborhood and ended up halfway back to Golden. So, back up the road...

By the time we made it to White Ranch, it didn't matter that we had gone off-route 5 miles from the finish. We had ridden [and walked] ~72 miles, with ~11,600ft of elevation gain, in just under 9 hours. I hurt for the last 7. But just so you don't think I'm soft, I did Super Walker yesterday.

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