My name is Jason and this blog is about bikes and biking, plain and simple. I don't claim to be a gear head, a former pro, a hipster or an afficionado. I just like to ride my bicycle.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Solo Bike Colorado 2010

With my bike adventure across Colorado coming up at the end of the week it seemed an appropriate time to get my plans in order for this little trek.  I've bought myself 9 full days of riding with a combination of vacation days, holiday and a mandated furlough. So with plenty of time, I should be able to do this right...or at least as right as I'm able. I sat down with my Delorme's Colorado Gazetter, Google Maps and Map My Ride and figured out what route to take. The map below, which should link to a larger map, details the high level outline of my trip.

View Larger Map

I picked the route westward along highway 50 for a couple reasons. It is a relatively scenic route. It generally travels through towns and 'cities' at regular intervals, but shouldn't be too busy. I've driven it a couple times to know that it is not excessively busy during the week. It has a wide shoulder and is a quasi direct route across the state.  My plan is to take 50 west, perhaps using some local bypass routes at convenient locations and then when I hit Gunnison make a decision about heading north to Crested Butte or west to Sapinero. I really want to head up through Paonia and Hotchkiss because it will be harvest season for the orchards and vineyards there which should make for a nice day of cruising around (plus I've never been out that way before and I have to see something new!) So my Crested Butte option, if I'm feeling saucy, will take me up over Kebbler pass; supposedly a very flat, passable dirt road. Or my escape plan is out to Sapinero and then up 92 near the Black Canyon. Probably still a tough jaunt but not like climbing another mountain pass.

Here's the tentative breakdown of the day by day:
1E. BorderFowler~115
2FowlerCanon City~73
3Canon CitySalida~58
6HotchkissGrand Junction~60
7Grand JunctionW Border~30

With this plan I should have 2 days built in for resting, dodging bad weather or doing other things. This will also help buffer any of my ambition if I find that I'm biting off more mileage per day than I can handle. As you can tell, I front load the eastern part of the trip (the flat stuff) with some big mileage days. That helps me get through the less scenic parts of the trip, as well as maximize my freshness on the ride with the flats to cut into the big distance I have to cover. It all sounds very well planned out, but I assure you I'm only two steps away from making this stuff up as I go. Should be fun!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Rumors and Hearsay

Spoked has definitely been offline for much of the summer. And with any hiatus or departure from the public eye, gossip begins to spread and rumors grow. So in the interest of rekindling my intimate relationship with all you wonderful bike loving, blog reading folk I thought I’d enter the confessional booth and say my Hail Mary’s and Hello Dolly‘s. I’ll try to address all of the speculation and rampant rumor mongering to cut off many of these ill-truths and falsehoods at the head.

Do you even still ride a bike any more? I heard you quit.
Well don’t believe everything that you hear. Of course I ride my bike…all the time. I still get around town on my trusty Surly and have racked up over 3,500 miles on it since Feb. (Don’t pay attention to that there odometer to the right just yet, I’ve not sorted it out.) I’ve enjoyed riding to work around the 2 dozen detours and construction projects which have made my commute an exercise in backtracking and circumlocution.

Well do you race? I heard you quit.
Well don’t believe everything that you hear….ok this one is more or less true. I did: I raced. I raced this season (like 4-5 times) and that was that. I don’t train. I don’t measure my food, weigh myself in the morning each day, and check my resting heart rate when I get up before I pee and then weigh myself again. I don’t name my days of the week: interval, hill repeat, recovery, active recovery, LSD, race-day. They’re back to Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday etc. I just couldn’t find the mojo to get it working for racing this year. While I miss hanging out with my team I don’t miss the second job…amateur bike racing. I now enjoy my bike and when I want to park it, I enjoy parking it.

Have you secretly been using your bike as a tool to invoke a communist, UN led revolution here in Colorado?
Sort of…that’s about all I’ll say. You can thank Dan Maes for ruining that one though: if it weren’t for that pesky kook-pot, tin-foil hat republican, and his dog too (reread that last bit and think about Scooby Doo…it makes this quasi true story much, much better.)

What happened to the Dick?
Well the Dick finally got caught. Alas I was not the one to catch him, but I did hear all about the tale and will be updating you all on that fantastic sea-yarn very shortly. It involves a harpoon, a stakeout, and the Wheatridge PO.

What about the trip across CO?
Oh yeah baby what about it? Its happenin’…next weekend. I’ve actually been training for this event over the past month or so with several preparation rides and other bouts of prolonged suffering on my heavy bike with bags full of heavy stuff. I’m heading out to the eastern border Thursday night and then I’m going to guide my Surly LHT westward to the CO border near Fruita. While I’m out there I might just mountain bike my Surly with all its pannier weight on some sweet Fruita single track…or I might just drink some wine and pass out instead. Who knows? I’m gearing up for this ride so I’ll be posting all my ride details, experiences and in’s and out’s on this here blog. Just stay posted.

Did Elin hit you with a golf club too when you told her all about Tiger?
No, she was pretty grateful to find out about her DB husband. I won’t see any of that cash though which is a bummer, I thought we had something real special…like a connection or something.

So what’s new in bikes?
Nothing. It is still a simple, gear driven, human propelled machine. It’s the most efficient method of human conveyance. I think they make them out of aluminum now though which is pretty cool.

Any funny commuter stories?
Well I was riding home from work the other day and I got passed by this racer, all kitted up for his weekday afternoon glory. He passed me at the light at Pierce heading up the hill before Wadsworth and then made a big acceleration up to the light. But he stalled! He kind of looked back and then down at his bike. His SRAM doubletap failed him and he dropped his heavy, sponsor laden chain like a CAT 4 amateur in a Pink Floyd jersey. I smoked him after that, laughing all the way to Paris…oh wait. Did that really happen? Now who’s spreading rumors?

Well I think that covers it for now. And you know what? I feel much better. Don’t you?