On Saturday I left the house at roughly 8:30 AM with a route and a plan to head west.....and to return Sunday mid-afternoon. The goal of the trip was to dial in my kit for the Colorado Trail Race. What do I need and what don't I need. I would ride 8 hours west.....and then on Sunday ride back home, another 8 hours.
My route included a good mix of all kinds of Colorado terrain. For example, and old road turned foot/bike/horse path.
The roads varied in structure. Some smooth...others a little rough, but totally rideable.
Roads then turn to singletrack!
One of many 'forks' in the trail. Had to get off this trail at this point, as it leads into wilderness area where bikes are not allowed.
Lots of good water flow in the high country right now. There was no shortage of clear and clean streams following from the higher elevations. As welcomed as these water sources were.....they likely are the cause of my 'issue' later on in the evening.
Back on the trail where things began to get a bit 'chunky'. This was a long hike-a-bike section right on the border of a wilderness area. Go left off the trail and you were in a protected wilderness area. Go right off the trail and you were in National Forest Service land. Eventually, this trail just disappeared. I had to resort to following the thin red line on the GPS....bushwacking through the woods and carrying my bike over blow-down.
With the sun getting low, I arrived at the area I planned to sleep for the night. Elevation was roughly 10,500 ft.....and this was the view!
I unpacked all my sleeping gear, built a fire, and heated up a meal. Note, the stove will not go on CTR with me. I brought it along on this trip simply because I had the room...and I wanted a warm meal before bed and coffee in the AM. My plan was to go to sleep early....then get up early (4 AM) to start the ride back to Fort Collins in the dark on Sunday AM.
There would become one problem as I made myself at home in my camp. The problem would become the mosquitoes! I hate mosquitoes! I tried to sleep, but the buzzing and biting was out of this world. After being at camp for about 1.5 hours, I packed up and head back to Fort Collins. Along the way, I stopped in 2 different locations....both at drier and lower altitudes....hoping to be able to get my nights sleep in. Wrong! I was still attacked by the mosquitoes. This brings me back to the filtering of water. Yes, the ample supply of water is great for long distance travel in the backcountry right now....but this water is also the breeding grounds for the little creatures that didn't let me sleep.
The ride home was a race against the sun. I had lights....but not super bright lights. Thankfully the traffic on the paved roads I rode on to get home was not bad.
I rolled into Fort Collins sometime after 10 PM. For the day, I spent roughly 12 hours on the bike....and accumulated about 120 miles of distance covered.
Now I need to figure out a lightweight way to solve this potential CTR mosquito problem. Not a fan of bug spray or deet....as they don't work for me. Might start looking for a mesh net that covers most, if not all of my sleeping space. Thoughts?