I've been signed up for the Crested Butte Classic 100 since some time in July. Then I got hurt on my solo ITT attempt of the Vapor Trail 125, and again on a routine ride the following Sunday. So my plan to ride the classic was up in the air.
Well, I've been back at it, and successfully finished a 55 mile loop up to Marshall Pass last weekend. I figured I had two of the three clover-leaf loops in me. And I needed a change of scenery, so I decided to go ahead and give it a shot. My friends Ed and Jeny had a condo there and they invited me to crash on the sofa-bed. Which made the decision and the trip easy.
I'm not going to break down my day in gory detail, but suffice to say that I finished two loops. One was Strand Hill/Deer Creek and back on the Gothic Road. The other was Slate Du’Huez to 403, down to the Gothic Road, up to Schofield Pass, all of 401 back to Gothic Road and back.
I proved to be not nearly fit enough to do that. But I slogged my way to the end regardless. And, as has been my custom this year, I hurt myself during a Colorado Endurance Series event. This time it wasn't a crash, it was losing my footing (damn Sidis!) while trying to shove my bike up a slippery steep bit of bare stone on 401. I had a handhold with my left and my whole body yanked my arm straight as I fell. I fell anyway, but managed to tweak my shoulder really well. Arg!
The day was lovely, the colors were spectacular...
Craig Nelson from Salida after he passed me, not to be seen again (by me) until he finished.
Strand Hill Trail winding through the aspen in the very early morning. Wow.
Wow x 2.
Deer Creek again.
The infamous Slate Du’Huez. Only about halfway up. Last time I did this was during the '07 Classic. Clearly I was lots fitter then, because it KICKED MY BUTT this time and I didn't remember it being that tough.
Lovely and amazing 401 in the prime of the turning aspen.
Another shot from 401.
I got back to town. Shelled. So glad to be done, even though I only did 66% of the whole ride. It was about 5:30. Crested Butte's Vinotok Festival, a pagan celebration of the equinox, was in full rage. It. Was. A. Blast.
I don't know if I've ever had more fun at a biking event's after part. Fabulous.