Monday, May 18, 2009

El Burrito Grande con polle e Nelson

Ahem, so it is obvious that there were 3 people who made it out for el Burrito Grande this weekend, we just didn't coordinate too well. Joe and I were able to meet up at 10:30 in the Heil lot. This story, it turns out is one akin to "little kid gets himself in a bit over his head" (me being the kid). I knew I was in trouble when this dude shows up on a 29er singlespeed for a 40 mile mtb ride. I'm on a bike with all kinds of shocks and buttons and things to make my ride more doable and this guy is ready to roll with his happy face on and one shiney gear.

Riding up Heil was pretty mellow. Joe is looking like this the whole way up:

Meanwhile, I'm remembering this video and trying to figure out if wobbling my knees around like that actually helps me get up hills:

We soon fell into conversation:

"So, this is the first time I have ridden this trail. I moved out here from New Jersey. I've done Picture Rock. How is this one?", says Joe.

"Huff, huff, pant... Um.... pant, huff, this side is pretty rocky, but ... huff pant, , it's not too bad," says I.

"This is pretty different from what I had back in Jersey. There were a lot more rocks and big obstacles in Jersey than this trail" he goes on.

"Hack, cough. Really?" thinking I need to get him to talk more in hopes of slowing him down "So.... pant, huff, huff... What are the trails like there? Why did you move here?" While this wisely got the conversation onto him, it didn't seem to slow him down. I started to fantasize about having a bungy cord to attach to the back of his bike for uphills.

Heil wasn't too bad for me as an uphill. Something about 140mm of travel makes it a lot more rideable. We rode up to the loop, and then ducked down to the Wild Turkey for a quick exit to Picture Rock. PR was in great shape, but the fleet of uphill riders kept us in check. At one point, I came around a corner at about way to fast and a poor uphill climbing woman eyes went as big as pie plates and I thought she was going to do this:

But I guess being startled by me would be better than a deep fear of cotton balls (after watching this video, I may have a new phobia).

Good lesson, midday on a weekend, keep the “turbo boost” off on the downhills and make sure your brake pads are fresh!

Meanwhile, we see this guy in BSV duds parked out at a switchback. I said "hi" but, didn't figure he was on "the trail of the little donkey" - Sorry Perry - also I'm a bit afraid of "the man" and you had your Boulder MTB Trail Guy placard on and I was afraid you would arrest me for wearing spandex with an ass that had no business being in it :)

Down to the bottom of PR and I was starting to feel warmed up. My shoulder injury from last week was a bit of a bother, but not bad and we were ready for the climb up the rock garden at Hall. I think this is where I felt the most able to keep up with Joe. Me, on nearly 6 inches of travel, and him on a hard tail singlespeed. I have to say though, hitting a ginormous rock garden after 12 miles of rough riding was starting to feel a bit grueling. The coach dude I hired told me to ride big this weekend, but keep my HR out of zone 4 as much as possible. Oh, hell. This was like a sprint workout the whole way up. Watching Joe ride this stuff was inspiring. Any SS rider worth his or her salt is fun to watch on technical stuff. After we got to the top of the Garden (providing the veggies for our Burrito), we headed up to the Nelson loop and got in a good loop. I found myself more and more happy to stop and talk to people and give directions as the climb sapped my will to live. At mile 15, we were at the top of the Nelson loop. Downhill was like frantic LA traffic. I was going 20 mph and then zero as I stopped to let someone head up and then 20 and then zero, the whole way down. It's crazy this year how many people are out there biking!

Finally, lunch time! Oskar Blues. Oh, double crap! I forgot my wallet. Joe agreed to loan me some of his $20 but that was going to make for a very skimpy lunch. Luckily, a very very nice waitress offered to allow me to get food on credit and call back with my CC number! Wow, that took us from "small sandwich and water" to "another beer please". One Gordon's Imperial IPA (8.7%) later and I was emotionally ready to head back! Of course, pulled-pork sandwich and a beer didn't help my stomach feel able to get over the hills. Joe at all of his fries and I only ate half of mine. Would that be enough to level the odds? I offered to let him eat the rest of my fries. Maybe that would help. No dice though, he was onto my game :)

The most painful part of this ride was going back up antelope trail after lunch. I started fantasizing, like when I was in college, about how good a barf would feel. Why doesn't Oskar Blues have "light half sandwich with side of fruit" as an option?

I met up with Joe again at the top of the hill by the Prairie Dog town. He was sitting on the bench, talking to some folks and I think he had completed a complete ecological study of the dog town before I arrived. We rode together down the rock garden and I started feeling better again.

Picture Rock on the way up was slow for me, but I had hit my "slow groovy" speed and was just enjoying the trip back up to the top. After a quick loop on Wild Turkey out to the overlook, we cruised back down to the trailhead and I found a shallow ditch to go lie in and die.

El Burrito Grande was a dream of mine - to ride the connected trails in the Boulder/Lyons area. Now that I’m done, I’ve got a goal - to cut 30 min off of the ride time next time I go! If you are thinking about doing this ride and have plenty of snacks, I say “Go for it!!” It’s definitely the most epic ride we’ve got around here as far as true singletrack.

Oh, I almost forgot the stats. 37.9 miles, 4:41 active ride time, ave speed 6.1 miles (that includes break for lunch), and 3813 calories. No wonder I'm hungry!

Here is a map:


Perry said...

Well at least you were not splitting a GU at the bottom of Moore Fun trail between three mountain bikers after 35 miles.....$20 sounds pretty nice. Next time I will just wear a cardboard sign around my neck like they do at the airports. Glad you all had fun--it was an amazing day to be out riding and almost no traffic on the trails. Perry

Perry said...

Joe needs to ride up higher--plenty o rocks for him to play on but he is right, the trails on the FR are very smooth overall. I came from VA and rode in MD, PA, and so forth through the Appalachia and I know what he is talking about--you stop pedaling at all and your bike stops. Again, just go higher, it gets rockier than you can imagine!