It's safe to say that the epics are on like Donkey Kong to quote my main man Dave Towle. 4.5 hours yesterday with some of the other fellas on the ride we linked up with out for 6. We're getting snow out here in Boulder which is great, but it's amazing how quickly it melts and gives us perfectly tacky and miraculously dry conditions. The best of all worlds.
The crew hooked up at Heil, some riding there, Matty an I driving due to time constraints (even though Bobby thinks we're getting soft). We had, Rob Batey, Matt Opperman, Bobby Noyes, The Longest Man, Jason Vogel and last but certainly not least, the wonder twin powers of the Torrance brothers.
The ride we did is basically a truncated version of the "Boulder Epic"...which would start typically in Boulder and traverse Eagle Trail etc to get you to Heil Ranch, then on the way into the woods. Today, for Matty and I anyways, would be a section Heil Ranch which included the full length of the Wild Turkey Trail, we intersect with the new Picture Rock Connector trail dump out into Lyons CO and then meander over to the Antelope climb of the Hall Ranch trail system where we'd do a loop of the Nelson Loop at the top and descend Hall's notorious rock garden descent. From there it's back up the Picture Rock connector, into Heil and home.
The conditions of the trails were insane. Nice and tacky. The reality is (and anyone who rides the Heil/Picture network frequently will say the same), it's unbelievable rocky. Glacial till and exposed rock make the ride less 'flowy' but more a sustained series of shocks to the body. You actually do have to flow as best as possible to be smooth and keep momentum over the trail system as its entire length is like a technical challenge. I do this ride often but the pace we were going yesterday and the frequency of hauling the bike up and over the rocks challenges by yanking on the bars to table up and over these things and I feel like Mike Tyson beat the snot out of me.
The beginning half of the day I felt no chain. Rolling nicely....and it's no wonder as my ride lengths up to yesterday have been like in the 1.5-2 hour range. Yesterday truly broke the cherry! Matty Opp and I railed on our 29'ers through all of the stuff at break neck pace with the Torrance bros and Batey railing in tow. By the time we got to Hall, my bike literally started to come undone, XTR brakes (pieces of shit...and I need to upgrade to Avid soon!) effectively clamping down on my rotors. Oh, and the body felt it was doing the same! I had all the food in the world and felt no bonk, but the legs were so loaded it was incredible by the 3rd hour. Bobby (here's your shout out Bobby) literally had to say 'on your left' as he dropped me at Hall. Don't worry sports fans, he gets his.
On the way back up Picture Rock at roughly hour 3.5 I'm going psychotic with my rotors going scwhing scwhing scwhing scwhing scwhing scwhing scwhing scwhing scwhing scwhing with that high pitched rub. I wanted to huck the thing. I'd get off and literally YANK the rotor as I swear I think they bowed with the amount of action they got. By this time Bobby, who decided to turn the screws to the stragglers suffering some bike lengths behind with an all out attack, has a leg implosion (I swear I heard it through the woods...sort of like a 'pop!') and we see him essentially dead, buzzards circling above. I leave him with a Gu and some words of advice on how to survive in the wild overnight, and we leave his ass. (HA!...kidding...on the leaving part).
We all get back to Heil ~4.5 hours later, legs baked and toasty. Bike basically steaming. Matty Opp is way too fit for this time of year (start drinking Matt) and the Torrance bros couldn't tag team to reel the kid in. Batey I think wants revenge for getting dropped by the T's as well. Don't worry Batey, they're not half as good looking as you are, so you've got that going for you.
So that's it. Recovery ride today and we begin more of these character building assaults on our bodies from here on in. Also. some crappy YouTube. I ran out of free HD time on Vimeo this week.