A 50 mile loop with 5,500ft of ascending, all above 8200ft. Road, dirt road, jeep road, and two track all combine to create this high country loop. A five hour slog that always leaves the tank empty, thrashed and ready for beer. Beer is the premium recovery beverage, while stream water is still the go to hydrator when baking in the sun at altitude.
@jahkief rolling on FS 700 with the west end of the Gore Range in the background. Jah Guide!
The previous day we mashed out 65mi and 6.5 hours- ride, so we took our time heading out the door. Fueled by a pot of goodness from the french press and a little ganja to ease the soreness (hippie speedball), we hit the road at the crack of 10am. Long days make late starts acceptable during the summer months, not so much in the winter where the early bird catches the worm.
While summer temps are hitting the Front Range, the high country is green, the grasses are tall and the animals are healthy and happy. I fucking love it up high! Dreaming of greener pastures as I push the pedals on FS 700 en route to Muddy Pass, I realize this day really is no different than any other time I've ridden this loop. I ask myself the same questions. Is it always this hard? Should I be on my mountain bike? Can I build a yurt out here and live happily ever after?
As we push on, it's not any easier this time through. It's the same terrain, the same soft dirt, the same red dust filling my lungs. I'm fat and have no endurance. Today there is more suffering than usual. I try to forget. I try to focus on moving efficiently while enjoying the moment and all that I'm surrounded by. I embrace the lingering fatigue from yesterday. I've missed that feeling sitting on the couch since March. Fatigue makes this workhorse feel alive, feel accomplished.
There's no place to rest. The ups are lung busting, and the downs are white knucklers. Shoulders ache, hands tremble and my water bottles act like jumping beans as they rattle out of my cages on multiple occasions. I keep my eyes peeled for bottles that jumped ship on my last soiree in this remote area. Hoping to restock the bottle supply, but no such luck.
With no flats or mechanicals, we roll and roll and keep on rolling. Today we make it home in time for dinner. My body hurts, from my brain down to my toes. I'm dehydrated and haven't peed in hours, when I finally do the color is dark yellow.