Riding to the ride. We left Steamboat a day before the event got underway. On our way down to Fort Collins our route took us along the northern edge of Rocky Mountain National Park. 150 miles, 10,000 feet of climbing. Production Manager and R & D driver Nate Bradley climbs Cameron Pass on his ROUTT loaded with bags & gear. Nothing like a little warm up.
Nate’s ride of choice:
ROUTT, 54cm, Shimano Di2/hydrulic disc brakes, 50/34 chainrings, 11-28 cassette, Mavic All-Road, thru-axle front & rear. Porcelain Rocket bags, frame pump.
Not a single flat or mechanical in general.
WHAT IS IT? A 3 day bike packing trip that allows you to travel as light or heavy as you want. Some support was used.
WHY? Duh? To ride with 49 other characters, which will be called friends after the event.
The first day of the Steamboat Ralleye took us up into the foothills above Fort Collins. We covered 25 miles of pavement then hit Buckhorn Road that would put us on gravel from here on out to Steamboat. Up and over Pennock Pass…don’t forget that up part.
The view from the top of Pennock Pass.
Free flowing, free water along the way, kept us hydrated and feeling all “living off the land”…..good clean water. Yum.
Next level. The fine print on the sign stops at LEVEL 6 being the “worst”…The second day we hit LEVEL 10 roads for sure…..keep reading.
At the end of day one….How many bike riders does it take to start a fire?
This is what STEAMBOAT RALLEYE is all about. Meeting new people with a common thread of the bike and the ride experience.
MILES: 75, 50 of which was gravel
FEET CLIMBED: 8100′
BOTTLES DRANK: 6-8
NEW FRIENDS MADE: 48
CHEESEBURGERS ATE: 2 (at Rustic store)
Meals were furnished by THE CYCLIST MENU. BIG AGNES tents, pads and sleeping bags kept us sheltered.
Zander & Hedi from CYCLIST MENU provided fuel for our adventure.
Day two started with a 20 mile climb up over DEADMAN PASS. I traveled light on my Psychlo X; half frame bag, small tank bag and saddle bag. Ready for a long day in the saddle. Cameron Pass in the background.
Jon’s ride of choice:
Psychlo X, 56cm, Enve CX fork, Sram Force Disc 2x, 50/34 rings, 11-28 cassette, Mavic All-Road wheel set, thru-axle front and rear, Apidura bags, frame pump.
Not a single flat or mechanical for the entire trip. —I love this bike.
After summiting DEADMANS we were treated to a massive desent into the Laramie River Valley. Big western valley, with a few ranches.
Big, wide, open places.
Nate takes in the view of the big valley.
After a 6 mile cruise through the valley, we crossed the Laramie River and began the 2nd 20+ mile climb of the day. At this point we flagged down a passing RV and kindly begged for water…..all part of the experience.
High up on the 2nd big climb we found that the number of false summits around each corner began to take its toll on our group. Just up the road from this shot we only had 4-6 hike-a bike sections….the places we take cross bikes……..the 4 of us stuck together and rode it out. After a few choice cuss words…..of course.
There was some walking on Day 2.
Nate, Nick & Nate (in the background) grind it out just past the final “false summit” on day two. At this point the cusing was mostly done….mostly.
What goes up, must come down right? Myself and one of the Nate’s stop for a moment to take in the view. The nasty two track that came off the top made me glad I was riding a Moots. Baby heads everywhere, slobbering and sunscreen everywhere else.
Nate and Nick ride the valley floor towards Walden, Colorado. This section was lined with Lupine for miles. Also, side note; there are sand dunes in this area…..ouch.
The four amigos finish day 2 in Walden, CO. (L-R) Nate, Jon, Nate 2, Nick from Texas.
Sunset enhanced by a raging wild fire near by.
A good hat and flip flops bring relief at the end of a brillant day. At the time you are out there you question your thinking about doing things like this, then weeks later you want to put yourself right back out there. I want to go back and bottle this day.
Sunset at the Walden Central Park….good meal, good friends and I bathed in a spigot with a Dutchman. –True story.
MILES RIDDEN: 75 (100% gravel)
FEET CLIMBED: abazzilion…..(8,000+)
BOTTLES DRANK: 3 3/4 (not nearly enough)
FOOD SHARED: always
CUSS WORD COUNT: abazzilion
THE CYCLIST MENU provided the ambiance and food that would keep us ready for Day 3.
Rolling out of Walden on Day 3. FYI—Walden is the Moose viewing capital of Colorado. Do you know why? Water. Water also brings bugs…..and lots of them. Also known for aggressive mosquitos. If you flat, make you change quick or be carried away.
The approach to Buffalo Pass into Steamboat is just to the left of those snow capped mountains–Zirkel Wilderness Area.
Familiar sign and only 23 miles to go…..
Ahhhhh, the Yampa Valley. Dropping off Buffalo Pass into Steamboat….
A quick finishing beer at Butcherknife Brewery.
The Moots parking lot has been the scene of many epic rides over the years….this one was not much different. Exploded friends on the pavement, wondering how they can do this again.
MILES RIDDEN: 50
FEET CLIMBED: 4,000
RIVERS SWAM IN: 1
SADDLE SORES: 1
SHOWERS AT MOOTS TAKEN: 40
FRIENDS MADE: each and every one of the 48 beautiful souls on the trip.
DREAMING: yes, more of this please.
We finished at Moots, where THE CYCLIST MENU prepared a final meal together.
THE FINAL STATS:
DAYS RIDDEN (THERE & BACK) 4
MILES RIDDEN: @400
FEET CLIMBED: 31,300′
KITS USED: 1