Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Red Rocks!

Was (almost) worried that I wouldn't make it to Red Rocks this year.  But I knew Mule would come through!  Got my tix this morning.

I was there when they threw this down:

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

run commute 33

Running is sort of on the back burner for me now.  Still have a track 5k on Friday, which I am pretty much guaranteed to finish in last place, and the Garden ten miler, but basically my running events are over until after the thru-hike.  I'll probably continue to run every other day to get to work, alternating with riding, but that's about it.  Once we get back from the hike, I'll sit on the couch for a bit, run (walk) Pikes, then start getting ready for the JFK 50.

A few pics from Colfax:

Friday, May 25, 2018


The stuff I carry inside my pack.

North Face Thermoball Puffy.  12.3 ounces.  Think I paid $100 for this a year or two ago.  A staple on winter dogwalks.  Also doubles as a fantastic pillow at night.

North Face Fleece.  12 ounces.  One of my all time favorite pieces of gear.  The dog and I found this laying on a trail over in the Garden over two years ago.  I left it that time, but 24 hours later I returned, she was till there, and I took her home.

Oskar Blues buff.  Two ounces.  $8, picked up on the latest Tour de Longmont.

Sock Guy Socks.  Two ounces.  Can usually find sock guy on backcountry for $6.

Marmot Glide Softshell Gloves.  3.6 ounces.  Think these were around 50 bones quite some time ago.  Not great for winters here on the front range, but they should do for a summer hike.

Outdoor Research Helium II jacket.  6.4 ounces.  $100.  Pricey, but this coat has already bailed me out of some wet situations and seems to be worth it.

Las Vegas flip flops.  Three ounces.  Paid $3.99 for these at the exotic Golden Nugget less than twelve hours after the worst mass shooting in history.  #vegasstrong

Fleece hat.  Four ounces.  $20, which is expensive for a hat, but it says Pitt and you have to pay for that kind of quality.

Two pounds, 13.5 ounces.  $287.99.  The cost of all this is deceptive, most of the shit here has been in my stable for a long time and gets used all the time.  Funny though that my one piece of bomber equipment that I beat up the most and wear the most is the fleece that someone else threw away.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

the big four

30 days until we take our first steps on the Colorado trail.  Will put up a few posts on the gear I'm using, as well as trying to paint a picture of how much this is all going to cost.

Osprey Exos 58 - 2 lbs, 12 ounces.    $220, but I used an REI discount a year ago to get her for $176.   Very popular pack and so far this has been a great purchase.

Marmot Force three person tent - 4 lbs, 5 oz.  Think we paid less than $200 for it last year at Sierra Trading Post.  Twice as heavy as a lot of the tents I see, but it needs to hold up for two humans and a dog for approximately 31 nights.

Thermarest Z-Lite - 14 ounces.  Paid $25 at Mountain Equipment Recyclers.  It has already been a mainstay on my bikepacking trips.

Enlightened Equipment Revalation - 19 oz, $355.  Paid a lot for this, but so far it has been bomber.  Rated at 20F, a temp at which I hope to never have to sleep outside in.  The dog slept under here with me last time we visited Lost Creek Wilderness and she loves it.  It's also black and gold which is very important to a Steelers/Pirates/Penguins fan.

Total weight is 9 pounds, 2 ounces.  A cost of $756.  That weight is not ultralight by any means, but it's not too terrible.  I could shave two pounds or more with a lighter tent, but again then we might be trading durability and comfort for that weight.  My goal is to keep the pack at or below 35 pounds fully loaded, including food and water.  Food is roughly two pounds a day, and I'll be carrying six liters of water, approximately 13.5 pounds.

The dog currently weighs in around 65 pounds.

Monday, May 21, 2018


3:23:18.  Not too shabby given I thought I was in 3:30 shape.  Easy up until mile 23, when things became mildly unpleasant, but overall just a decent long run exploring Denver.  Of course, the moment when I started to suffer a bit, it was made worse by GZ catching up to me.

Relive 'Morning Run'

Good pre-Colfax pub crawl on Saturday, which included stops at Denver Beer Company, Alpine Dog Brewing, Sancho's, the 1 Up, Nob Hill, and the Satellite Bar.  We started early so we could still get a good night of sleep, so the hangover on Sunday was somewhat manageable.

An awesome post-run at Sancho's as well, with a drunk bartender that charged a total of $13 for PG, BLOS, and I.  And I got a free shirt.

Friday, May 18, 2018

bike commute 25

Monday - easy day.  2.7 mile hike with the dog.

Tuesday - 3.2 mile dog hike, bike commute 24, CityRock 73.

Wednesday - early three mile hike with the pup followed by run commute 30.  Nacheaux was in town after work so we hiked the dog through the Garden down to the Buffalo Bicycle Lodge.

Thursday - 2.7 mile dog hike, run commute 31, CityRock 74.  Probably drank a few too many beers at Alex's b-day party, but the Eddyline Grapefruit Yanker IPA was too good to pass up.

Friday - Hungover.  2.4 mile dog hike, bike commute 25, CityRock 75.

Was supposed to race the Battle of the Bear on Saturday, but that got cancelled.  Means more quality Sancho's time on Saturday, followed by the Colfax Marathon on Sunday.  Will be at Sancho's at 11:15am on Sunday after the race if any of yunz Denverites want to come say hello.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Mac Sabbath

Sunday night was the triumphant return of Mac Sabbath to the Black Sheep.  Such a great show.  I paid $5 for tickets.  Monday was not my most productive day at work.

Monday, May 14, 2018


Good ride on Saturday despite staying a bit late at Fossil the night before.  Very slow going up Rampart Range but I was determined to knock out Cup 'o Dirt ride #4.  Hope to be halfway done before we leave on our hike.

On Sunday I jumped into a local 5k.  Not much competition.  After a 6:33 opening mile it was just me and another guy, and I could not see third place.  I hit 5:59 the next mile and put a minute on that dude.  Struggled a bit on the solo third mile but not too shabby in 6:05.  19:24 at the tape.  I would much rather run faster and have 30+ folks ahead of me than pull this kind of stunt, but I did figure a few other fast guys would show up.  The third place guy juggled the entire way, FYI.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Garden climb

Monday - 2.9 mile hike with the dog followed by bike commute 23.  Took a great 12 mile route home through Bear Creek and Red Rock Canyon.

Tuesday - Played some hookey.  3.6 mile dog hike followed by an 18 mile run.  The run went really well.  I haven't trained for the upcoming Colfax marathon but at least it won't be a total disaster.

Wednesday - Accolade 25.  Pretty sore from all those road miles.  Also sat through the classroom portion of the Colorado Mountain Club intro to rock climbing class.

Thursday - 1.8 mile dog hike and run commute 29.  But the big news is that I went climbing, outside, at the Garden.  That's something I've been saying I'm going to do for several years now.  Nothing huge, but I did some climbing and rappelling where had I fallen the results would have been painful (though not fatal).  I now have a goal of reaching the top of Kindergarten Rock.  The red route is the plan.  Looks super easy, and for most folks it is, but it definitely wakes you up if you have a fear of heights.  The blue lines here are what I was doing yesterday.

I was supposed to spend this weekend climbing with Veterans Expeditions but that trip just got cancelled.  So now I have a big bike ride, a 5k race, and a long dog hike on the schedule.  With some beer drinking thrown in, of course.

And a show at the Black Sheep on Sunday evening.

Monday, May 07, 2018


Friday AM - Track.  5 x 400m.  Untimed, pretty sure they were all sub 90 though.

Friday PM - Incline 12, including a summit of Rocky Mountain.

Saturday - My first bike race in a long time.  Up to Castle Rock for the Ridgeline Rampage.  The top 5% of cyclists are assholes, but overall the day was pretty fun.  I rode well, for me, completing the 46 mile course in just under five hours.  I then spent the rest of the day drinking way too much.

Sunday - Sore and hungover.  Easy dog hike at White Acres followed by Incline 13 and a summit of Red Mountain.

Sunday, May 06, 2018


Another good month.  No rhyme or reason to anything as I'm not training for anything specific, just trying to maintain a general level of fitness. 

Run - 155 miles
Ride - 260 miles
Hike - 66 miles
CityRock - 14 trips
Accolade - 3 trips

Lots of cool stuff on deck for may.  Some bike racing, my first outdoor climbing trip, the Colfax marathon, and a three day backpacking trip at Lost Creek.  Also finished up the Peak Bagger program on Mtn Tactical and I'll be starting the Backcountry Big Game program to take me into the Colorado Trail.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Gold Belt Loop

From my house you can ride all the way up Gold Camp Road to Victor, down Phantom Canyon to Canon City, back up Shelf Road to Cripple Creek, and back down to the Springs.  155 mile loop, at least 90% of it on dirt.  Kircher and I decided to do it, leaving Friday after work and returning on Sunday afternoon.  A much more leisurely version of a similar ride Larry did while prepping for the Tour Divide.

We started at Trails End Taproom, then went across the street to Fossil Brewing.  In that quarter mile, Kircher lost his bike pack and got a flat tire.

From Fossil, we rode ten miles up Gold Camp Road before settling in for the night.

Saturday was an all day grind.  Over ten hours on the bike.  Lots of washboards on Phantom Canyon road and that stretch beat the crap out of us.

We got to Oil Well Flats, our planned stop for the night, and met $100 and the dog.

Left at 7:30AM on Sunday and began the very long climb to Cripple Creek, then some more climbing back up to Victor Pass.

After Victor Pass it was pretty much all downhill back to Trails End.

Fantastic way to spend a weekend, I feel very lucky to be able to do this kind of shit right from my door.