Colorado Trail Race 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alexandre Lussier   
Tuesday, 18 August 2015 16:34

Alex Lussier - Colorado Trail Race

After Many Years of Threatening to enter a bike-pack race I finally pulled the trigger on the 2015 Colorado Trail Race. I thing this one mostly Because It fit in well with my schedule. I soon Realized That bike-packing races come in very different flavors. As I Pushed my bike up yet Reviews another high mountain pass gold, i could not help comparing this goal to a 500 mile enduro. The Colorado Trails is a hiking trail Predominantly bike and the acts Alternately have a fantastic enabler and a ridiculous and awkward object That You lug up or down a rocky path.

Day 1 Had Me climbing over 21,000 feet from Durango, Silverton through, and beyond into the San Juan Mountains. The race started at 4:00 am and 1:30 am It was the next day by the time I-settled down for the "night." I was lucky enough to find Reviews another competitor to share the last 7 hour push into the night. We Travelled 98 miles at 12,800 feet and bivied. It was a weird experience to be out of breath When I was try trying to sleep and this Would come to bite me later.

After 3 hours of sleep we got back our bikes and we continued along The Highest section of the trail, qui Reached at 13.280 feet icts Highest Point. The two riders I Had beens riding with Aaron Johnson, and Joe Grant, Eventually we dropped me long hike a bike section and I found myself battling alone with the altitude. I did not have time immediately Recognize my altitude-related problems. I tried forcing down food and Taking more additional electrolytes to no avail. Luckily, the race Took us down to about 9,000 feet and That Day I Almost time immediately Regained Some spunk. After "only" 11,000 feet of climbing and just under 100 miles I purposely thing to sleep as low as I Could, Even Though It was a bit colder in the valley, and slumbered for a long 5 hours.

Somewhat invigorated, I tackled day 3 along Sargent's Mesa, a section so littered with rocks that it is unrideable in-Spite of being white Relatively flat, Then Marshal Pass, Fooses Creek, and the Beginning of the Collegiate Peaks whoopdy-doos. Early I crossed paths That Day with Jay Petevary, a bike-packing legend, and we ended up riding together for the better portion of three days. He Was Some feel knee pain, and to be happy Seemed to-have someone to chase down the trail. For me, Having a partner About did not ensured That I slack off. Additionally, Having Reviews another person around Tackling When 12,000 football passes in the middle of the night offers a non-negligible safety factor. We got along and shared stories from our past racing adventure.

After a bivy 2:45 Above Buena Vista we rolled into town for the second resupply along the road. I felt like a zombie and Had a hard time Selecting food items for the next leg goal Somehow Appropriate choices made and we headed out Towards Leadville, Where We had a cheeseburger before heading over Kokomo and Searle Pass is our way to Copper Mtn Resort. Again I felt Some effects of elevation goal this time and mostly just dizziness Lack of coordination, not so much stomach issues. On the last descent into the night the effects of sleep and oxygen deprivation Revealed Themselves in the form of mild hallucinations. Nothing serious, goal I Was happy to settle down for a night 4h Relatively fat.

"Climbing out of bed" has never Seemed n Appropriate, Even Though I did not-have a mattress, let alone a bed, Because We started the day with a 3,000 foot hike-a-bike, Followed by a rocky technical descent, and has 1,500 foot climb, Reviews and another, and a 2,000 foot climb, Reviews and another, and several --other 1,000 footers. This race is truly relentless. We had a minor celebration after-reaching Georgia Pass, the last item Above 11,000 feet Would we tackle this race one (11,800 feet). Thick air from here on out!

I time trialed the last 45 minutes of the day to the Stage Stop wanting to make sour Salon I did not miss the last resupply on the race. Missing this landmark Would Have Meant waiting up to the next morning to purchase food for the last 100 miles. I inhaled two Thirds of pizza, packed the rest for the next day, and my bags filled with high-calorie options whatever i could find in the little convenience store. Since We Were Already There and half unpacked we DECIDED to take our last event of the nap right there in the beer garden.

I hit the road just after midnight on the longest Wilderness detour on course. It was great to complete this section with no traffic at night and cool temperatures. I stopped at Wellington Lake not long after-sunrise to enjoy a slice of pizza and a view of the craggy peak behind the lake, bathed in alpenglow. A swim-been Would Have nice, but I Was still "racing". When I finally Rejoined the Colorado Wilderness Trail after-this detour I spotted Sam Koerber, Reviews another competitor, Obviously getting ready to hit the trail a short after-night. Part of me About did not care anymore about placings, this whole entreprise is too big to worry about Such things, I still order About did not waste Any time after Saying hello.

After about 4 hours of Reviews some of the best single track ever (yes, There Are Some sections are very beautiful this race) I Reached the South Platte River. All That Was left to tackle Was a steep 2,000 foot climb, a 2,000 foot descent, final 500 foot climb, and long descent to the finish.Just as I Was Assessing my water needs for this next section, Sam Showed up, and the race is Was. After 5.5 days I Was going to-have a battle to the finish. I did not really-have enough water That goal I thought if I got hustled out of sight and I might be ble to _him_ splits off to the finish. I turned myself inside out on the 2,000 foot climb and started Taking Chances on the descent down the other side, and paid for it when i got a flat tire. Quickly I put a tube in and Evaporated the last drops of moisture out of my body frantically putting air in my shoots with the mini-pump. I Was amazed to get back on the trail before Sam caught me and thought Perhaps That He Was not chasing after-all.

I downed a water bottle taken from a creek without Directly treatment and tackled the last 500 foot climb. Too weak to pedal up the last 100 yards I Was pushing my bike When Sam cam barreling up the hill behind me. Before i could react he bunny-hopped out of the single track, into the brush, and overtook me like a monster truck. I Chased _him_ to the top and we started cat-and-mousing down the switchbacks on the other side. When we popped out of the single track We Were side-by-side contemplating a 6.5 mile drag race down a dirt road to the finish. It started comically with us Both alternating entre spinning out and trying to get aero coasting down the road goal When the grade eased off, and We Both HAD big enough gears to push, I Was No Match For His monster truck power and he rode away from me. I finished 3 minutes behind (5 days, 8 hours, and 26 minutes) in what turned out to be 8 th place though Neither of us HAD Any idea at the time.

It Would sccm a little ridiculous to fight for one position Especially an 8 th place at the end of Such a Long trek, I think That this goal is an indication of the grit is required to take this event.You have to be willing to fight Just Because There Is a battle to be Had, Otherwise You Will quit before reaching the finish line.

The total ride 540 miles Was, with 85,000 feet of climbing. I can only guess at how much of That Was Spent goal pushing my bike It was a lot. It has-been three days since I finished and I am feeling human again. I can not go through the day without a nap goal When I Sleep I sleep well.The edema in my lower legs HAS subsided. I only-have minor numbness in my hands and feet.The sores on my tongue and the scabs are gone in my nasal passages are Almost Healed.Finally, if you mentally define recovery as "the desire to go back out there and do it again," that might take a while. Check out fellow competitor Aaron Johnson's photos here.