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  1. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    cb, co
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    4,349
    Quote Originally Posted by huckbucket View Post
    Anyone else seeing a bunch of 404s?
    Yeah, I only see 10-20 photos total.

  2. #27
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    2,821
    Only the first 20 photos are free. To see more you need the TRG premium subscription.

    Or try refreshing the page. Sometimes that works, sometimes I have to come back later and try again.

  3. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Tahoe-ish
    Posts
    1,910
    Excellent report! I'm further inspired to keep next summer free so I can 1: run away from the inevitable smoke and 2: do an awesome trip like the CT.
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    tree OH TREE!!!!!
    Posts
    4,039
    sweet TR, gold standard

  5. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Park City
    Posts
    1,606
    Thanks for doing this. I had put this on a bucket list. Now it is climbing to something I will try to do soon.

    One of the best trip reports I've seen!

  6. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Aspen
    Posts
    1,878
    Mega TR. Great pics, strong work! Really cool to follow the journey

  7. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    PRB
    Posts
    27,224
    That was awesome, can't wait for the finish! Edit: weird, I didn't see the last post with the last day, but now it's there above me.
    Last edited by Danno; 09-09-2021 at 08:37 AM.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "I'd eat a bag of Dicks and wash it down with a Coke any day." - iceman

  8. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    5,739
    I'm in awe.
    Really great report of an epic adventure

  9. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    cordova,AK
    Posts
    3,204
    great photos and write up. I was thinking about this today. Was hiking on the divide trail by san luis peak. Was thinking this is some hard riding a lot of contouring on narrow trail with steep drop offs. Looks like you went around this section. Probably encountered those conditions other places.
    off your knees Louie

  10. #35
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    585
    amazing. bravo. gettinerdone. makes me miss co!

  11. #36
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    2,821
    Summary and final thoughts....


    Overall stats -

    589.8 miles total, +77,605/-74,915 feet elevation gain/loss. Moving time 134hrs - moving average 4.3mph. My usual speed is around 5mph so this makes sense with overall steepness and elevation. Most of the route was between 10,000-12,000ft

    Average per race day 53.6mi, +7,055/-6,810ft gain/loss.



    No real mechanicals aside from bent rotor the last day.

    For gear, only two issues. First was the Katadyn befree filter seemed to clog up right at the start so the flow rate was super slow. It still functioned albeit very slowly so this was really just an annoyance, but frustrating especially when mosquitos were swarming or you were trying to filter quick to make time.

    Second was the rear rack. Or rather, my packing of dry sack on said rack. The rack itself was rock solid. I went with this Old Man Mountain rack since I can't use a traditional seat bag on a 29er full suspension bike - no room. Even with my hard tail and previous 26er bike, if I used a Revelate seat bag I could not drop the saddle at all on descents. With OMM the rack I could carry a fully loaded dry bag and still lower the seat its full drop on descents. The rack bolts to a custom thru-axle which carries the full weight of rack and cargo. Two arms attach to "pucks" zip tied to the seat stays which serve only to keep the rack balanced upright, they do not carry any weight. The issue was whenever the dry bag hung over the end of the rack, it would bounce up and down constantly when there was trail chatter (which was close to 100% of the time). No strapping down of the end seemed to stop it as the bag could slide forward/back. The sound got to be very annoying and distracting. Even later when I mailed stuff home and had less in the dry bag it could slide forward or backward on top of the rack and the end now hanging off the rack would bounce around. The rack really needs some fixed bosses on the side and front/back to help strap down the load better. Even as is, the ability to lower my seat makes it a way better option than a seat bag assuming one would fit this bike.


    Food, water, logistics:
    - water was a non-issue. Tons of streams everywhere. Later in the season there could be less water but still only a few long dry spells you could plan for.
    - food - I did bring a stove and used some backpacker meals on the Buena Vista-Silverton section. Figured it would be colder than it ended up being and that I'd want hot food. Could have gotten by without it but it was nice to have.
    - camped out every night. Places like Buena Vista were super busy and I'd heard rooms anywhere were $300/night minimum. Where's motel 6 when you need it??
    - did laundry once at Leadville, had showers that day and swims a couple other days on the ride
    - mailed stuff home from Buena vista - extra clothes I'd brought expecting more rain, and a few things I hadn't used

    Overall this was the hardest bikepack I've done so far. The AZT was longer by 300 miles but aside from the rim-to-rim hike carrying the bike it was far easier. Elevation played a big part in it, and there were a lot more extended and more constant climbing on the CT. While I didn't get hit by that many storms there were still a few days when I stopped earlier than I could have when storms were threatening and I didn't want to chance getting caught in a storm above tree line in the dark.

    I didn't see as many other bikepackers as I expected. Tons of thru hikers though, I'd guess 30-50 per day. Almost all of them were cool and just stoked to be out. I talked to a lot of them as "how's your hike going" could easily turn into a 5min conversation. It actually would have been cool to hang out with a lot of them more - the only downside to travelling faster by bike is you didn't see almost any of them again.


    There's not much I'd change if I did the CT again. Pack lighter would be the main thing. I always seem to bring more than I end up using, and it isn't til mid way or the end that I convince myself I didn't need some of those things. I did a better job than the AZT but could definitely improve there from the CT.

    Hard to say if I liked this better than AZT or not. They are both very different but memorable in their own way. I just wish I had more time to do both of them multiple times!

    Thanks for the kind words, this was definitely an awesome adventure.

  12. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    SW, CO
    Posts
    925
    Are day 12's pictures loading for anyone? I can see all the pictures besides those. I tried in a different browser too and had the same problem.

    Thanks for the TR evdog! Super interesting as someone who has ridden much of the CT sections down in the San Juans and spent some time considering doing this ride myself.

  13. #38
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    2,821
    I was having trouble getting them to show last night after hitting the post reply button, but see them all now. Try coming back to the thread later.

  14. #39
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Montrose, CO
    Posts
    3,683
    Quote Originally Posted by ASmileyFace View Post
    Are day 12's pictures loading for anyone? I can see all the pictures besides those. I tried in a different browser too and had the same problem.
    Working fine for me on my iphone today. What a great TR and epic journey!

  15. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    SW, CO
    Posts
    925
    Quote Originally Posted by snowaddict91 View Post
    Working fine for me on my iphone today. What a great TR and epic journey!
    I ended up looking on my phone and they worked there for me too.

    Again I just want to sat that this is a fantastic TR! I was in Silverton yesterday and chatted with a nice guy who was on day 9. He had nothing but bad things to say about the Sargents Mesa area. That area seems to be universally hated by the bikepacking community lol

  16. #41
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Park City
    Posts
    1,606
    Bike specs? Anything you would do different on bike set up? How did the FKT guy keep breaking spokes?

    This was really enjoyable. Thanks!

  17. #42
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    In a van... down by the river
    Posts
    9,037
    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    <snip>Tons of thru hikers though, I'd guess 30-50 per day.
    Dayum. The year I did it (1994) there were only 26 CT "completers" documented for the entire season. I'm sure there were more thru-hikers than that in '94, but 30-50 per *day* is quite eye-opening.

  18. #43
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    2,821
    The hikers hated Sargents just as much. It is a long dry section for them on top of all the loose rock that is no fun to walk on. At least I could get through it in half a day. Hikers have the pleasure of spending a night or two there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Canada1 View Post
    Bike specs? Anything you would do different on bike set up? How did the FKT guy keep breaking spokes?

    This was really enjoyable. Thanks!
    Thanks!

    Bike is a pretty much stock Transition Spur, GX level build. Minion DHF up front and an Agressor on the rear. The drivetrain was 32T x 10-52 (?) GX Eagle. I was planning to swap in a 28T chainring before the CT but never got around to it. So that will change in the future. I also ordered the Canfield 160mm cranks I posted about in the Ask an Expert thread. Hoping those help with the knee pain I sometimes get on long rides. With all the HAB on the CT it wasn't really an issue. Two other changes I'm planning - drill some slots in the Old Man mountain rack or add some tabs to help lash down the load better. I'd also like to transfer my hub dynamo from the 27.5" wheel its on now to a 29" wheel for this bike. It's very nice being able to power a light using the dynamo since it then doesn't require charging.

    The FKT guy looked to be running light XC race wheels. Easy for loose rocks to get kicked up into your spokes on places like Sargents, and with a lightweight build that can easily break a spoke or five. That's why I run heavier wheels. Not only do the spokes not break as easy, I can keep riding with a broken spoke or two.

  19. #44
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    2,821
    Quote Originally Posted by skaredshtles View Post
    Dayum. The year I did it (1994) there were only 26 CT "completers" documented for the entire season. I'm sure there were more thru-hikers than that in '94, but 30-50 per *day* is quite eye-opening.
    There were lots of CDT thru hikers too. Plus people doing the Collegiate Peaks loop or just backpacking a number of CT segments. There are around 350 completers listed on the CT org website so far for 2021, and that's just people who actually finished the trail who bothered to fill out their completers form. So there would have been lots more out there, and some are still going.

    But yeah, thru hiking is crazy popular right now.

  20. #45
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    In a van... down by the river
    Posts
    9,037
    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    <snip>
    But yeah, thru hiking is crazy popular right now.
    I have to say... there is not much of a better way to blow a few months.

  21. #46
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Three-O-Three
    Posts
    14,791

  22. #47
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,320
    Ahsum post(s). Appreciate you taking the time to share your experience. Always amazed that you take the time to take so many pictures. I get that it gives you an excuse to take a break but when I'm really tired the last thing I want to do on a break is deal with getting out the camera to snap some shots.

  23. #48
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    PRB
    Posts
    27,224
    Quote Originally Posted by rudy View Post
    Ahsum post(s). Appreciate you taking the time to share your experience. Always amazed that you take the time to take so many pictures. I get that it gives you an excuse to take a break but when I'm really tired the last thing I want to do on a break is deal with getting out the camera to snap some shots.
    Yeah, this deserves highlighting and praise for sure. The extra effort to take the pictures in the first place and then put them together here, with a great narrative, is impressive.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "I'd eat a bag of Dicks and wash it down with a Coke any day." - iceman

  24. #49
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Carbondale
    Posts
    11,454
    This is a truly an epic TR. Thanks for sharing.
    www.dpsskis.com
    www.point6.com
    formerly an ambassador for a few others, but the ski industry is... interesting.
    Fukt: a very small amount of snow.

  25. #50
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    bestcoast
    Posts
    1,883
    very cool, definitely a endeavor that's been occupying my mind lately, nice to read a pretty honest accounting of the experience! thanks for taking the time to put that all together!

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