My next big event on the schedule is more than big, it’s gargantuant.
Colorado Trail Race… 470 miles, 70,000′ ish of elevation gain, totally self supported, solo, and really intimidating to me. I am not still not 100% confirmed, but provided I get the ok from the doc, I’m in. My left Tailors Bunion has gotten pretty bad. I’ve been putting off surgery for years. For the type of racing I’ve been doing, cutting holes in my shoes has solved the problem. For something like CTR with all the crazy hiking and remoteness, I want to get it checked by a podiatrist first. Sixth toe aside, I’m moving forward.
I ordered my bags from Revelate Designs and am still waiting for the custom frame bag. I do have the top tube and seat bag which, coupled with my backpack, have been enough for training.
I’m shooting for 50-55 lb combined bike and gear weight. It’s really difficult to ride a weighted bike on singletrack, especially uphill. I’ve been trying to accept the slow pace and let the frustration burn off from how hard it is to simply pedal the bike. I’m really hoping to get smaller chain rings for my SRAM XX 2×10, but it’s been an uphill battle (pun intended!) I have about 5 weeks to go before the start. At this time, I’m not feeling confident, but I will.
For instance, I did my first overnight self supported trip yesterday. I left my house at 630, rode for 3 hours until it was dark, chose a spot and made my home for the night. I was extremely anxious. I have a fear of mountain lions, but then I looked up some facts. Fact. One person every 15 years dies from a mountain lion attack in Colorado. Fact. 786 people die in a car wreck every year in Colorado. I had to repeat to myself many times throughout the night that there wasn’t a mountain lion about to eat me in my sleep. I also had never slept sans tent. I did use my tarp to cover my head and hooked it to my bike and the ground. That gave me a little piece of mind. I did wake up more than a few times and listen to the silence. My mind tried to play tricks on me, but I had to silence it. My heart would start pounding alone in the dark when the wind rustled my tarp.
Doing things that scare you make you stronger because eventually, they aren’t as scary.
I do carry the means to protect myself if a weirdo or big kitty try to attack me, but I hope I don’t ever have to use it.
After the tough ride and being a little spooked at night, I was ready to give up on this baloney CTR… until the sun came up.
Maybe I can somehow do this afterall. There are amazing untapped adventures I do not want to miss. It will be a life-changing experience. I’ve never entered something I wasn’t sure I could finish. This is my first.
There is a ton of preparation that goes into something this epic. Every detail must be planned. I have almost everything, but I’m still dialing my sleep system which will require more overnighters (as well as dialing my COURAGE). I may have figured out shoes – shoes need to be stiff enough for riding, but flexy enough for hiking, and there is A LOT of pushing your bike.
I may not be brave enough or strong enough just yet for the CTR, but something tells me I’m getting warmer.