• Doubling up in Breckenridge and Durango

    July 4th Holiday is big in Colorado, especially in the racing and riding scene. 2 fun mountain bike events over the span of a few days. First, the Firecracker 50 in Breckenridge. Secondly, the Durango Dirty Century. For me, this is a good racing/riding/training block. I get to toe the start line with tons of cool people as well as go out and suffer. This year, the Firecracker 50 course was altered a bit. Less road climbing and descending, replaced with more singletrack.

    2012 Firecracker 50

    This year was like my 8th time racing this event. The day went really well for me. I felt good all day and the new Canyon 29er was a blast to pedal. By the end of the day, I finished 18th in the Pro Men and turned my fastest race time ever at this event. While not monumental by any means, to PR my placing and time at this event had me looking forward to the 100 miles in Durango in a few days.

    While Colorado has been very dry for months, the weather man was calling for the monsoonal pattern to return to Colorado this weekend. Yes, it did. The Durango Dirty Century (DDC) is a 100 mile backcountry loop north of Durango. It has everything from steep climbs, hike-a-bike, super high altitude, and much much more. Last year I went out a bit too hot in my pacing, and paid for it dearly later in the race. This year, I rode conservative and it paid off. While I ended up finishing 7th overall, my time was over 1 hr faster than last year. This year we dealt with torrental rains at 12k. I was head to toe in gore-tex. Others were not and were forced out with near hypothermic conditions. For the most part I felt good, but a little sluggish. No doubt from the Firecracker 50 effort.

    2012 Durango Dirty CenturyWe had roughly 50 riders start at 6 AM for the 100 mile route.

    2012 Durango Dirty CenturyLead group heading up to the Hermosa Creek Trailhead, about 12 miles outside of Durango.

    2012 Durango Dirty CenturyHermosa Creek Trail, the opening miles of singletrack. Pure mtb awesomeness!

    2012 Durango Dirty CenturyClimbing up Bolam Pass Rd. switchbacks with rain clouds moving in.

    2012 Durango Dirty CenturyClimbing on the Colorado Trail with light rain falling.

    2012 Durango Dirty CenturyShortly after this pic was taken, the skis opened up. Pouring rain at over 11,000 ft on the Colorado Trail. It was freezing, and I was dress in gore-tex from head to toe.  The trails became running rivers.

    2012 Durango Dirty CenturyThe rain eventually stopped, and the sun came back out. Speeds were slow for the most part, so pics were easy as well as a distraction from the 100 mile effort.

    The most worrisome spot for me, or what I thought would be, was the Indian Ridge area. This section is above 12,000 ft and totally exposed. I wanted to complete this section before the next storm moved in. Lightening was the biggest concern.

    2012 Durango Dirty Century100% exposed with no quick way down.

    2012 Durango Dirty CenturyThe sun eventually broke the clouds. I got lucky. Riders behind be, not so much. As the clouds redeveloped and came with rain, thunder, and lightening.

    This section of the Colorado Trail is AMAZING! The video does a good job of showing what these late miles in the race were like. Enjoy! Excuse the condensation on the lens from the wetness early in the race.

    Strava file for the Firecracker 50.

    Strava file for the Durango Dirty Century.