Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dam it feels good to be Bikepacking!

Yesterday was one of those miracle days where you felt like your legs could last forever and some how after several hours in the saddle it still feels comfy????

This trip basically ended up being an out and back from my house to the top of Almagre/Baldy Mountain. Lots of vertical and a good bit of miles made for a fun route. Most of the ride ended up being on dirt road and jeep road because my plans of riding single track in Jones Park and camping an extra night were thwarted by a broken spoke that popped just as I reached the summit of Almagre. So after reaching the top I decided to take Gold Camp back down (the way I rode up) and ended up coasting my bike, I am talking that sweet kind of coasting where you never have to hit your breaks or pedal for what seemed to go on and on for an hour and a half or more......:D





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Got a late start and ended up getting out the door at 7:00pm.



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A stretch of single track by my house on the way to the Santa Fe trail




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On the Santa Stinky down by Colorado College.



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The worst part of the trip was hitting the lower part of Gold Camp road on a Friday night right at the time every major  Dooosche Bag in the Springs decides to drive drunk up to the hills.
I made it up safely after enduring a bottle cap thrown at me and a few fighting words.... Later I pushed up past The Saint Marys trail head where I knew from here there would be much less people since this part of Gold Camp is closed to cars.





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Tired and weary I set up camp and stopped riding at about 11:45pm. I ate a quick tuna wrap and slept like a baby. I haven't used the bivy for a while but worked fantastic for this trip.





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A picture of camp.

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Coffee and oatmeal for breakfast.


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My bike packed up and ready to roll for the day. My J Paks worked out amazingly well. Tons of room, superb fit, and rugged. I cant thank Joe enough for the great work on these frame packs. The Snack Pak (gas tank) fits my exped sleeping pad! and the Ruck Sak is handy for a water bottle and a couple energy bars.. In my frame bag which could not have fit better, I had tools, rain jacket, spare clothes, tube lights etc, with room to spare.

Every thing felt balanced and light and was a great first time experience using frame bags. Typically in the past I would load everything on my back with my big Camelbak alpine explore but don't see me bikepacking like that again.   Thanks J Paks!




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So after a good bit of dirt road it was time for lunch by Frostys Park. I ditch some of my gear here because I was going to head back down this way before heading towards Jones Park.  It was nice to lighten up the load for the alpine section of the ride. I went packless and just used my J Paks frame back and Ruk Sak for this part of the trip.




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Thinking of that song " I wanna go Higher.."



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Once you get to this gate you know you are getting close to the top.







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There are two summits at the top of Almagre, and I have been to the south one before so decide to summit the one on the north end. Moonscape up here..




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Beach like sand at 12,300 feet??????


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You could see the Waldo Burn scar on the Ute Pass side..



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Less than a tenth of a mile from the summit I was pushed back by a nasty little thunderstorm that just wanted to hang out on the north side of the peak. Thunder above tree line is a bit on the scary side..



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So I turned back around and went for the summit on the south end. Looked much better.


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So I reach the top in no time and the weather was clearing out. Unfortunately my last torkey pedal strokes to reach the top snapped a spoke causing my wheel to get out of true and rub slightly against my frame.. After efforts to get the wheel back into shape failed, I decided to rethink my plans of single track in Jones Park and just head back the way I came and get home tonight.



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One last shot of me at the top (Pikes Peak in the background) I went back to get my gear that I stashed by Forstys Park and It was all down hill from there!


Time to get some more trips in before the season is over. Forgot how good bikepacking is:thumbsup:

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