Tuesday, September 25, 2012

WRIAD shakedown Ride

On Sunday, Matt and I did a 71 mile ride with 6000 feet of climbing to make sure we--and our bikes-- are ready for the White-Rim-In-A-Day ride.

Starting from home. I met Matt in the middle of Boulder.  From there we rode West on the creek path into the canyon and eventually up to Gold Hill.  The climb is steady and goes from 5300 feet in Boulder to 8300 feet in Gold Hill.  We had lunch and continued West gaining more elevation and peaking at 8700 feet.

From there it's a four mile descent to the town of Sunset on the Switzerland trail.  The Switzerland trail is an old railroad grade.  A big part of the history of Boulder County.  Once at Sunset, it was a climb on the next leg of the Switzerland trail to peak-to-peak highway.  This climb was long but gentle, eventually reaching 9000 feet at the highway.

We did a short loop West of the highway then returned to Boulder by Sugarloaf road.  The deceptive part is that even though we have to drop about 3000 feet from the start of Sugarloaf, there is climbing on sugarloaf as we approach Boulder.  This is followed by a dramatic descent into Boulder.

Adding a loop around the trails of Boulder to home, we completed an 8 hour ride with 7 hours in the saddle.

Here are some photos:

The bikes

At Gold Hill

The aspen on Switzerland Trail

The elevation profile
Elevation profile of the White Rim loop for comparison.  (Note scale change)

On Switzerland Trail

More Switzerland Trail

Looking at the divide

More Aspen

Matt above Caribou Ranch

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Prep Challenges for WRIAD

Our target date for White-Rim-in-a-day is Oct 7, 2012.

I built up my WRIAD bike using a Yeti ASR frame and parts from my other bike. At the moment, I'm focusing on hydration for the ride.  Unfortunately, this frame only has one water bottle cage.

My plan is to take two 3-liter bladders of hydration fluid and two bike bottles of fluid.  Last time, I used the frame cage and a saddle cage for the bottles.  My new saddle won't accommodate that sadde cage mount due to geometry of such a comfy saddle!  I could put a bottle in my pack with my two bladders but I am trying to get some of the weight off my back.

So getting creative, I came up with this for the extra bottle.

It looks like trying to rescue a beached whale by helicopter, but it seems to work for water bottles too!

Using a light weight camping strap, I found that I can strap a bottle to my stem and save a lot of weight over a bottle cage.  And it's cheaper and lighter than a stem cage, which are available for this.

Here is the method.




Ideally, the strap would be a little longer to get one more loop on the indented part of the bottle.

This can be used for ultralight bikepacking as well.  I am a huge fan of minimizing those little expensive gadgets to mount stuff when it can be done something that weighs less that the gadget!

A big shake down ride this weekend will determine whether this works or not!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

New Bike---well sorta

Gosh, It's been so long since I have posted. Well let's try and start the fire on this again. And a great way is to start with a new ride.

In 2009, a few months after I rode the White rim in a day, aka WRIAD (100 miles) in October 2008, I picked up a closeout Yeti ASR. I got it cheap, I always like Yeti bikes, and it seems like the perfect Full Suspension bike for really long endurance riding. I hung it on the wall with intention in 2009 of riding the WRIAD again and building up the bike. Work got busy with travel and it never happened.

2010: Same story.

2011: Same story....story is getting old...

2012: Here we are. No work trips. Riding a lot. Planning WRIAD Oct 8. The time has come. I needed to build the bike enough ahead of time to burn it in, get used to it and make sure it will work. I don't want to be one of those people who buy new shoes the day before the marathon....oh yeah, I have been there. So three weeks out, It's done. And not only that, I rode it 20 miles today.

It has three key things I hope make my ride better than last time.

--It's 4 pounds lighter.

 --It has a really comfortable saddle.

 --It has grip shifters, rather than trigger shifters--My right thumb has some issue that makes it hard to shift after several hours.

 I am so looking forward to this.