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  1. #1
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    Well, I had an adventurous weekend.....

    Man, life's been crappy, too much work and the fallout of a failing relationship had me looking for a way out of here. I finally managed to schedule a Fri and Mon off and took off from the back door for places unknown, really, I had no plan and no one knew where I was going.

    I had packed the bike the following week for a warm dry route. Friday morn arrived and the forecast was for thundershowers and rain in the Sierras, crap, out came all the wet weather gear and my bike magically gained 5 pounds.

    I figured I'd head for Tahoe via Soda Springs. I figured if I got dumped on I could bail to my cousins house in Tahoe Vista. Sure enough, after heading out Foresthill Road, up to Robinson Flat, out through the Cedars and up to Soda Springs and cresting Donner Pass I got hammered. All the way across Truckee, Martis Valley and up 267 to Brockway Summit I got caught in the worst T-Storm I've ever ridden through, that includes some pretty nasty stuff on the Western Slope of Colorado.

    I crested Brockway summit and the sun was shining, literally in the space of a 1/2 mile the weather changed 360 degrees. I figured I'd head to my cousins anyways, it would give me a chance to pull everything out and get my gear and myself dry for the next 3 days.

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  2. #2
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    Day 2

    Sat morn arrived with a few showers. I was dressed and off by 7am for the long day over to Luther Pass or Scotts Lake, whichever I could make before dark. After yesterdays rain out, I wasn't going to do that again, my ass was pretty chafed from wet chamois.

    So I guess I did the super punisher with a bonus Hwy89/Mount Rose/431 climb but no Marlette Peak, so I'm not sure what that gets me...

    Trails were awesome from the previous days rain, maybe the best I've seen the Spooner and Kingsbury sections. Simply an outstanding day, perhaps a top ten day on the bike.

    Bonus shots of all the stuff that spills out of the bike plus what I wear when off the bike.

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  3. #3
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    Sean, great thread - love seeing adventure pics! Where did you find the saddle bag(s)? Those look super light - in fact your whole setup is very compact! Does the back bag ever end up hitting your rear tire or is it all clear? Really cool trip! Keep posting updates.
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  4. #4
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    Day 3

    After spending the night just off of Luther Pass I was off to ride the Scotts Lake Connector so I could go down Scotts Lake trail to Big Meadow Trail and then down Christmas Valley to start the day off, pretty stellar way to wake up!

    After a spending spree at Lira's market in Meyers I was off to climb to the top of Echo Summit and the Pony Express Trail. The Pony Express trail had seen a bit of rain as well and was in great shape, certainly not many folks riding this gem.

    After a lunch break in Strawberry I was off to conquer the dreaded paved Wrights Lake Road to make my way up to the Barrett Lake OHV trail. This is a tough little climb, especially on tired legs. I finally made it to Barrett Lake OHV and rode/walked this trail for 4 miles till I reached the Two Peaks Trail.

    I have been looking for this trail for a couple of years and finally found the top of it a couple of months ago( hours of bushwacking to find it!) This trail is essentially a stock trail, they use it to run cattle from lower elevations up into the high country. They had already moved the stock up so the trail was totally beat in, real easy to follow and apart from being a bit loose a really fun but tough trail. I averaged 3 MPH over 10 miles on Barrett/Two Peaks

    From the end of Two Peaks I slogged/pushed up to the Tells Creek Equestrian Camp and then it was a road ride from there to the Rubicon River on Eleven Pines Road off of Wentworth Springs Rd. I set up camp below the bridge on the mighty Rubicon River.

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  5. #5
    Cheesiest
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    Killer trip! I'll be moving to Sacramento in about a month. I'm looking forward to heading out on some trips like yours...inspirational!

  6. #6
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    Day 4

    I was awakened by logging trucks going over the bridge at 4am, WTF, I guess these guys get paid by the load and they are going to get a full days runs in!.

    I was off at 6:30 for the long road climb up to French Meadows Lake and then on to the Western States trail for the remainder of the day. My water filter had broken the prior evening so I was in a pickle. I had enough water to make it to the spring just before Hell Hole Rd but I was reluctant to drop the Western States without a filter, I had Iodine tabs with me but really didn't want to jack my stomach up for the next week. As I made my way up to French Meadows I decided that as long as the pump at Deadwood was working I would be fine, or dead if it was broken

    As I dropped down the WS towards the swinging bridge the temp was really beginning to rise, I was starting to think I was a dumbass for thinking this was a good idea. For those of you lucky enough to have done this section from Last Chance to Devils Thumb( or Middle Finger as I like to call it) you know what the deal is.... 1.2 miles and 1,800' of hike a bike

    I made it to the spring at Deadwood in a respectable 58 minutes. Man it was really hot in the exposed sections though, I knew it would be even hotter on the way to Michigan Bluff.
    I ate pretty much the remainder of my food at the pump (which was working thank God) and headed off for Michigan Bluff. The WS flowed out as usual, excellent. No one was out on a hot Monday so I had the place to myself (also had to be careful since no one would find the body either!).

    At the bridge over El Dorado Creek I dunked my head in the creek and hit the trail. I rode most of this section to my surprise, I was at about 300 miles so far and had figured this would be pretty ugly, 56 minutes later I was sitting in Michigan Bluff . Crap was it hot. I had slurped the last gulp out of my Camelbak coming into town so I blew off the idea of dropping down to Volcano Creek and instead hit the pavement for the slog up to Foresthill Rd.

    I beat it down Foresthill Rd to Wortons Market and bought the biggest cheeseburger and fries they would sell me. Man was I a stinky mess though, I hit myself up with some AXE body spray before I fouled up the store. The smell of 3 days of B.O. and Axe body spray must have been a sensory overload, although it is Foresthill so......

    All in all a great few days, a good time to ponder the road we could have traveled and the road we traveled down. Thanks for reading

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  7. #7
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    People who say "epic ride" should be reading this thread. Sounds like a "Ride the Divide." Seriously, you have freakish stamina to go so many miles and so many feet in 4 days. And here I am *****ing about a 15 mile ride.

    Props, bro... I'll remember your post the next time I start getting whiny. Oh, what's with the roses? I hope the ride gave you some sense of perspective.

  8. #8
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    what an awesome adventure....thanks for posting!

  9. #9
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    Oy vey.

  10. #10
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    fantastic trip report sean!

    What did the setup weigh and was it hard to get used to the loaded down bike in technical sections? Care to share your food/water fueling?

    Congrats on a very extreme and awesome 4 days of riding!

  11. #11
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    Wow, that's impressive. Takes epic to a whole new level.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  12. #12
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    Wow! Very amazing trip.

    The setup you have is pretty cool. When I saw how your bike was loaded up I couldn't imagine that you could actually completed a 4 day ride with what appeared to be "very minimal gear," but was packed very compactly. Major props to you.

    Someday I would love to do an adventure like that. I bet there was some major soul searching going on.

    Thanks for sharing!

  13. #13
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    my take aways:

    1. You're pretty damn beast.
    2. I really *really* want that burger at the bottom.

  14. #14
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    Great ride, thanks for the Write-up. I'm also curious what you brought. I've done some ultralight backpacking trips and would like to try something similar on the bike.

  15. #15
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    Wow. wow...

  16. #16
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    I think I can nail that ride. Just need to substitute Year 1 for Day 1, Year 2 for Day 2...

    Seriously, it's fun to live vicariously through your post. Thanks for sharing!

  17. #17
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    That's a hella big ride.

    fc

  18. #18
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    But was it therapeutic? Have you punished yourself enough yet to get over it?
    Let the good times roll.
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  19. #19
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    wow, now that is impressive.

  20. #20
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    Wow ...

  21. #21
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    Wow is all I can say too... mtn biking is definitely therapeutic...something that some of my non biking friends will never understand.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Allan View Post
    the weather changed 360 degrees.

  23. #23
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    Nice! The complete package...adventure, sweet trails, photos, gps, cajones... More bikepacking candy: bikepacking.net > Trip Reports

  24. #24
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    Holy Shite--You are the man!

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  25. #25
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    Dammit I knew I saw you Saturday, I was between tunnel creek and Tahoe Meadows riding up towards the meadows when you passed me coming down hill, it took 60 seconds or so to register in my head it was you, by then it was to late.
    Tahoe: Mt. Rose down Van Sickle!

    Amazing journey Sean, I hope the mountains brought you some much needed solace and peace.

    I'm toasting you with a beer right now.

    Cheers
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  26. #26
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    Inspirational!

  27. #27
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    Fock meh!

    That's one he!! of an epic Mr. Allen. Hoping you touched base with what ever it was that drove you to head out on that adventure.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  28. #28
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    **** yeah! this is way better than television. what's next?
    I'm not sure how this works.

  29. #29
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    Two thumbs up, Sean! As epic of a (legal) adventure you can do in our neck of the woods. You have set the bar for studliness over and over... and nobody I know can even come close to it. Excellent photos as well. Was the descent down Two Peaks fairly fun (even though you were probably tired)? P.S. I sure hope I read that first sentence wrong

  30. #30
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    epic is the word. nice ride!

  31. #31
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    Is this the route for your adventure race?


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  32. #32
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    Hey guys I road up the hill and around the lake. Wow is all I can say!

  33. #33
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    You're the man Sean.

    Keep yer chin up regarding the other stuff.
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  34. #34
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    Incredible!

    What a beautiful super epic ride. Tour de Tahoe.

    I had to do a double take when I saw the miles and elevation, each done in only one day, one after the other.

    The long route, scenery, wonderful trails, and Sierra locations are truly epic.

    Your write up was excellent. Loved the pictures especially. They really captured some beautiful trails and how you were touring/riding.

    I'd love to do this sort of ride some day, but I'd need to cut well to under half of your ride to survive.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  35. #35
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    We'll copy this into an mtbr feature story today Sean if that's ok with you.

    Do you a bio or rider description? Readers will want to know what kind of bionic person can ride like this.

    fc

  36. #36
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    Sean,
    Thanks for the ride report and the pictures. As others have said I hope the ride helped clear up the issues you may be having.

    -Derek

  37. #37
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    great ride!

    Excellent adventure ride.....

    another way to get from Barrett lake jeep trail to Van Vleck or Loon....

    Take Barrett lake jeep trail until the left turn for Pearl Lake. Ride this all the way to Pearl lake. (its single track, but very ridable). Once at Pearl lake cross the dam and climb (push) up the west side of the lake.
    There is an old cairn marked trail that climbs to the granite ridge just north of Pearl lake. This connects to the Two Peaks trail. Turn left (west) and descend this trail down to Upper Bassi Ranch.

    From there you can take the Van Vleck (paved road) to Icehouse road.
    Or you can continue north on primative trails all the way to Loon lake.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    We'll copy this into an mtbr feature story today Sean if that's ok with you.

    Do you a bio or rider description? Readers will want to know what kind of bionic person can ride like this.

    fc
    Francis,
    That would be fine, although I don't know what a feature story is. In all honesty I just banged that out in a ride induced haze within an hour of getting out of the shower, certainly not my best literary work.

    Bio... ha! 47 year old normal guy with all the trials and tribulations we all possess.

    I'll reply to the other questions when I get a break tonight. Thanks all.

  39. #39
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Allan View Post
    Francis,
    That would be fine, although I don't know what a feature story is. In all honesty I just banged that out in a ride induced haze within an hour of getting out of the shower, certainly not my best literary work.

    Bio... ha! 47 year old normal guy with all the trials and tribulations we all possess.

    I'll reply to the other questions when I get a break tonight. Thanks all.
    It'll look something like this. 2012 Breck Epic – 6 Days, 240 Miles, 37K Vertical | Mountain Bike Review

    We'll proofread too and edit. I'll have Gregg send you some swagggg.

    fc

  40. #40
    YESBRO!!!
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    Wow dude!

    That's super rad man! Holy cow!

  41. #41
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    Mega mileage trip!

    Great write up & pictures. Hope the ride helped with your state of mind.
    Not really doing much Ridin' or Diggin'

  42. #42
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    good shlt man!

  43. #43
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  44. #44
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    I'm also raising a beer to you, I hope that was enough punishment to relieve your pain.

  45. #45
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    Epic and awesome! What apex of mountain biking!

  46. #46
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    You certainly convinced me to use the word "epic" more sparingly to describe my own rides. That was a truly epic 4 day ride you made. Thanks for sharing.
    Also known as Menso's dad.

  47. #47
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    So jealous.

    Sounds like an amazing ride.

  48. #48
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    Love it Sean. thanks for writing that down. As other buds have said, hope it cleared your head as you wished and good luck with everything clouding your head in the first place.

  49. #49
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    Holly crap Sean! I always knew you are a stud, but this is off the charts. Im going through some big changes in my personal life as well, but I'm only going for 3 hour rides ....I'm not worthy!
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  50. #50
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    Awesome ride. I hope it cleared your head. I went on a what was an epic ride to me when I found out my ex-wife was cheating on me. It definitely helped. As one of the other comments said people who don't ride, don't get it. I hope everything works out for you. Your ride was amazing. I'd love to be able to tackle something like that. Truly inspirational.
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  51. #51
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    Very worthy of a feature. When's the race?

  52. #52
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    You Suck!!
    No Wait... I do.
    Man you da Man Fo sho.
    Shake those demons Sean, shake 'em.
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  53. #53
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    Awesome

    Great write up....inspirational as well.

    I know when times have been rough for me in the past...I have had the urge to get out and do something like that...just not the guts. Well done!

    Man, that is MOUNTAIN BIKING.

    Prayin Fo Ya Brutha

  54. #54
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    Thanks all for the positive theme to your posts, we all deal with the crap life throws at us in our own way. I don't typically find riding to be therapeutic in dealing with the crisis of life, in fact it has been quite the opposite lately, too much space and time alone to think, which is not always good.

    So to answer a few questions

    Oh, what's with the roses?
    For my lovely Cousin, it was her and her husbands 28th wedding anniversary on that Sunday.

    Is this the route for your adventure race?
    Some of it, from Mount Rose to my house is included. Unfortunately the race will be so much harder coming and going all the way from Auburn, out through the Rubicon and doing all of the legal TRT, it is a monster. It's another 100 miles and almost 25,000 feet of climbing in addition to what I did. I couldn't pull off the organization of it this year, it's on for next year though.


    What did the setup weigh and was it hard to get used to the loaded down bike in technical sections? Care to share your food/water fueling?
    The setup when I left the house was 10 pounds on the bike. That was including a lot of gear I would not normally take because of rain. That also included 4 days of dinner and breakfast, lunch and other stuff I just got along the way. Since I was just cruising I also took my Ipod, phone and a portable charger and 10 AA lithium batteries. I also took a helmet light and battery just in case I got caught out. A SPOT is necessary and needed. Camelback weighed in at 14 pounds with a full bladder.
    I can ride roughly 90-95% of what I would normally ride on the TRT. Example would be I didn't put a foot down from Spooner to Kingbury. Once you've been riding for a couple of hours you can't tell the difference other than the added weight. It's like riding a 40 pound 4" downhill bike If you're tired, technical climbing and climbing in general become harder due to the extra weight, but not a huge deal. Hike a Bike can be brutal. Plus the more you eat, the lighter the load gets MSR water filter( which has broken for the second time) for water. Bought some at the Tramway market, love that place!
    Freeze dried dinners unpacked and then vacuum packed to make them smaller for dinner, instant oatmeal for dinner. No racer boy stuff when your touring, although I did take 4 days worth of Recoverite. Self supported racing is a whole other beast......

    Where did you find the saddle bag(s)?
    Those are Carousel Design Works in front and Revelate designs in back. High quality stuff for not a ton of money.

    But was it therapeutic? Have you punished yourself enough yet to get over it?
    Neither, which is good, since I wasn't looking for either. I used to race a lot and was pretty good at it, I still do occasionally, but this type of riding appeals to me more these days. Self supported racing, ala Tour Divide, Colorado Trail Race and such are the places I try to punish myself at. Finding the time and mental strength to do them lately has been really hard though, some people thrive on conflict and pain, I'm not one of those people. I do this stuff quite often if time permits. I just can't usually find the time to write about the adventure, plus you all would get bored if I wrote about it every time

    Amazing journey Sean, I hope the mountains brought you some much needed solace and peace.
    That is what I generally find on these trips. Sorry to have missed you Jeff, I saw you as well. I also saw Wherewolf and his riding partner on Spooner. I was not in a good place and felt bad for not stopping to talk to them, it wasn't till I saw their post that I realized it was them. I hate that climb to the bench for some reason and the rain the day before had rubbed my ass raw. No chamois butter at the Spooner bike shop left me in a foul mood. I must have looked like someone shot my puppy when they told me they didn't have any....


    Someone on the the comments section of the feature story sounded as if this was some sort of adventure that he could never do. Anyone of you could do this or your own version of it. Whatever you think is epic or adventuresome is exactly that, yours and yours alone.

    Like I said, I do this and other stupid stuff often enough that it seems somewhat normal, in fact my happiness depends on adventures like these. Hopefully you can find happiness in your next adventure

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Allan View Post
    Like I said, I do this and other stupid stuff often enough that it seems somewhat normal, in fact my happiness depends on adventures like these. Hopefully you can find happiness in your next adventure
    Well said. Thanks for sharing your adventures as well as insightful thoughts!
    Inch by inch, I will get there...
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  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Allan View Post
    No chamois butter at the Spooner bike shop left me in a foul mood. I must have looked like someone shot my puppy when they told me they didn't have any....
    I feel your pain after going through a couple weeks recently fighting a persistent saddle sore, so I won't tell you that I had plenty of butt butter packed away in my pack as you rolled by, of coarse you would have had to wait for till Freel pass in order to get BigBoulder to apply it for you that day
    Go get that KOM "You Deserve" - http://www.digitalepo.com/index.php

  57. #57
    jms
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    Allez Buddy

    Great Stuff.

    Allez Buddy
    My Favorite Peeps:

  58. #58
    mtbr member
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    Incredible Sean. My helmet is off to you.
    "Yeah, Humboldt County is way the %#@* up there, but worth it!"

  59. #59
    Kevin Klinefelter
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    Effing amazing that over time you have built up to this level of "normal." You have turned mountains into mole hills. Thumbs up to you bro.

  60. #60
    Pale Rider
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    Sean, Outstanding and very inspirational. I Salute you Sir.
    With my goldfish shorts swimming around my toes.

  61. #61
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    Recallibrating the term Epic. Loved it.

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