The planning for the May Rodeo Rally began serendipitously back in January, when, as you might recall, I took advantage of a warm winter Colorado day and set out on a solo dirt adventure south of Denver. The beautiful route and photos must of stuck in the craw of one Matt Deviney to such a degree that he worked tirelessly on finding a way back to Denver so as to avoid the treacherous no-shoulder/pucker-inducing-death-ride segment of Santa Fe north of Sedalia, between the small town of Louviers and Titan Road. We both recon’d different routes over the ensuing months, but neither could completely pre-ride the route and were skeptical we could find a better way back to Denver.
By Chris Joseph
Kokopelli Trail May 1-3 2014
- 136 total miles (218 km) in 22 hours ride time, 50 hours Total time
- Lessons learned:
- Good people and water are very, very valuable
- Bike shoes are not made for hiking
- Garmin doesn’t always know the way
- Cliff bars make a good adhesive for gluing teeth back in
- Taking photos requires energy. Less energy = less photos
- The comfort of sleeping on the ground increases exponentially depending on how tired you are
- When very dehydrated and hallucinating rocks can sometimes look like boxes stacked neatly on the trail in front of you
- The words “man up” can be humorous or humiliating depending on the point of origin
- Chainring wounds look similar to shark bites, only with a little grease mixed into the blood
“It’s just a recovery ride”
These are probably the most mis-used words in cycling, they are around here with the Denver Rodeo crew anyway. Yesterday’s ride was supposed to be a pleasant spin to see if “the sensations are good”, but it didn’t take long for Peder and myself to get bored and start looking for silly things to do. Every time we passed a dirt offshoot of the road we’d yell “singletrack!” and see if the trail went anywhere. Most didn’t but some did, and we hit the derping payload when we took a turn onto the North Table mountain trail system. Yes, we were on our road bikes, but more and more that makes our dirt rides more fun and we were up for the challenge of seeing where our wheels would take us.
Well, I had an early fail as the ride leader today. I’ve never led a group ride before (always suck wheel on that job) I should have known that my son might come down with Streptococcal pharyngitis and need a trip to urgent care for a tonsil swab (poor guy) and antibiotic prescription. I should have also known that waltzing into the mobile phone store to buy a new phone an hour before needing to be on the bike to meet the team was a bad idea. Who knew that took so long? And, I hadn’t eaten breakfast or lunch yet. Fortunately, these guys are forgiving gentlemen. However, cycling with teammates is like date night with your wife or fishing with your brother or best friend – you simply cannot show up late.
When not exploring the mountains or on a local group ride in Denver, Colorado, the High Line canal is a go-to route for quick miles. My favorite section is south of Hampden Blvd where the trail turns to gravel and meanders for over twenty miles, south and west, around Chatfield reservoir and to Waterton Canyon.
21 January 2014
Having this week off work in January meant base miles, and as many as possible in a few short days, since the flanking weekends would be spent skiing with the family. The weather in Colorado had been very temperate the past few days, and the forecast for this day was a high of 60-65 F (15-18 C). Knowing I would not have another opportunity like this for a long while, I decided to go big on this day of days. I had gone on a long ride the previous day with Stephen and Larsen up Golden Gate Canyon and Robinson Hill, but given the temperature and time available, a ride of 100 mi (160k), or more, was in clear view. After a 68 mi (110 km) ride with 6000 ft (1850 m) the day before, a flat loop seemed wisest, but I like to climb, so I convinced myself that a little climbing would be acceptable. Climbing a little (or a lot) would open up much more interesting route options, for the flat routes around Denver on the plains are rather tedious.
Once in a while you do a ride that leaves you tingling for days afterwards, and not because your fingers and toes are still recovering from frostbite and numbness. Colorado has experienced a remarkable cold snap in the last weeks with lows in the range of -15F and highs in the single digits F. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it myself, and for the first four or five days of the snap I didn’t seriously consider going outside.
This is a repost from 2013 while we get 2014 up and running.
By my own measuring stick I’ve been training a lot this year. It is funny because each year I can look back at whatever I accomplished on the bike and hopefully feel pretty good about it, but then I think about the next upcoming season and think “how can I top or even match that?”. I ride for fun, and training isn’t always fun, so when one season ends and the next one starts I’m left looking for ways to keep the pursuit of speed on two wheels enjoyable.
The wife and I are off on a road trip adventure to catch the largest professional bike race to hit US shores: The USA Pro Cycling Challenge. We’re road trippin’ in the Pearl, camping along the way, and enjoying the sights that Colorado has to offer.
I work with one of the teams in the race, Team Exergy, so I have managed to score some press credentials, which are wonderful for accessing the action and squeaking through road blocks and police barricades. The sailing in the Pearl has been smooth so far!