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  1. #1
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    Colorado Trail Summer 2014: An invitation

    12 days. 343 miles. 53,190 feet of climbing. 59,635 feet of downhill. 10,316 feet average elevation. 13,250 maximum elevation.
    Colorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-56.jpg
    This is an epic 12 day journey across the roof of the Rockies on the Colorado Trail, which winds 487 miles through Colorado from Denver to Durango. It is a high altitude trail, with its lowest point at 5600 feet near Denver, the highest bike legal point at 13,250 feet near Lake City, and an average elevation of over 10,000 feet.
    Colorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-21.jpg
    It's one of the preeminent alpine trail rides in the world, with over 90% singletrack, grueling climbs, epic descents, stunning views, fantastic camping, cold beer, hot food, and good company. If this isnít enough reason to do this trip on its own, thereís also the fact that Iím getting old, Iím getting decrepit, life is getting busier, and I want to ride this trail while I am still able, a situation that Iím sure is shared Ėat least in part- by many of you. Thus, I am extending an invitation for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
    Colorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-19.jpg
    Myself and a handful of friends will be riding this route in the in late summer of 2014. This isn't a commercial trip. I'm not getting paid -in fact, I'll be paying my equal share of expenses as well- and we are offering the opportunity to other riders to join us for this awesome trip.
    Colorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-51.jpg
    What makes me want to lead this trip? About a decade ago, I attempted to start a commercial guiding service to support and guide riders over the entire length of the Colorado Trail but was stonewalled by the multiple layers of Forest Service permitting requirements and bureaucracy. While putting together my business plan back then, I rode at least 40% of this route: I found the campsites; I figured out the segment lengths and access points; and I know the weather and terrain of the Colorado Rockies from a lifetime of living amid them.
    Colorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-20.jpg
    Today, there are still no commercial outfitters that offer support to ride the full trail, thus one must either arrange for a private support vehicle to haul your gear or do the ride fully self-supported, and Iím just not fit enough, hard-core enough, or motivated enough to want to suffer that much. If you are, more power to you, but this trip is for those of us that want the experience of riding the trail, but also want to enjoy a cold beer, a hot dinner, a comfortable camp chair, an occasional soft bed, and some ripping trail unencumbered by 40 pounds of gear strapped to our bike.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Currently, we have 4 riders and 1 support driver confirmed for the trip. We have room for 4 more (our maximum group size is 8 riders and 2 drivers/vehicles). Anyone that joins this trip needs to be in good physical shape, have the equipment, skills, and time to ride technical singletrack at extreme elevation for upwards of 40 miles a day for 12 continuous days. That said, this isnít a race, and we will go at sane pace.
    Colorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-25.jpg
    This ride isn't for the faint of heart. Here's the daily breakdown of each ride:
    Day 1: 28 miles, 5000 feet of climbing, 2600 feet of descending, average elevation 6865 feet, maximum altitude 7815 feet
    Day 2: 27 miles, 4500 feet of climbing, 4000 feet of descending, average elevation 9640 feet, maximum altitude 11,880 feet
    Day:3 30 miles, 6020 feet of climbing, 6390 feet of descending, average elevation 10,400 feet, maximum altitude 12,460 feet
    Day 4: 27 miles, 4425 feet of climbing, 4125 feet of descending, average elevation 10,665 feet, maximum altitude 12,250 feet
    Day 5: 35.5 miles, 4100 feet of climbing, 6425 feet of descending, average elevation 9640 feet, maximum altitude 11,090 feet
    Day 6: 30 miles, 4700 feet of climbing, 5100 feet of descending, average elevation 10,360 feet, maximum altitude 11,950 feet
    Day 7: 32 miles, 5540 feet of climbing, 6050 feet of descending, average elevation 11,090 feet, maximum altitude 11,775 feet
    Day 8: 17.5 miles, 1340 feet of climbing, 1800 feet of descending, average elevation 9715 feet, maximum altitude 10,425 feet
    Day 9: 17 miles, 3640 feet of climbing, 2180 feet of descending, average elevation 12,250 feet, maximum altitude 13,250 feet
    Day 10: 27 miles, 3525 feet of climbing, 6600 feet of descending, average elevation 11,900 feet, maximum altitude 13,000 feet
    Day 11: 36 miles, 5860 feet of climbing, 6075 feet of descending, average elevation 11,400 feet, maximum altitude 12,460 feet
    Day 12: 36 miles, 4540 feet of climbing, 8290 feet of descending, average elevation 9875 feet, maximum altitude 12,300 feet
    Colorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-0712091517.jpg

    So here's the deal: this trip will cost $850-$900 per person (for either 4 or 8 riders, prices will change if we have 5-7 riders), not including transportation to/from Durango and Denver. This includes shared gas, food, beer, a couple of motel nights, campground fees, and our support drivers.

    Also, we will need support drivers for this trip. One will drive my truck and if we have more than 4 people, we'll need a second vehicle and driver as well. Being a driver is a great option if you don't feel up for the big days but still want to ride some of these trails, or have a significant other/friend/family member that isn't a rider but wants to experience and camp in some of the sweetest spots in the Colorado Rockies. There will be plenty of time every day for the drivers to start the ride with us before riding back to the car and driving to the next camp, or they can ride in to meet once they've reached the next camp. There will also be plenty of time for hiking, riding, fishing, etc, pretty much everyday. Add to that the fact that we are paying the drivers $400 for driving for us for 2 weeks and that we will cover all of their food, beer, and motel expenses, and it's an awesome opportunity!

    Again, there are only a few spots on this trip. At this point, we have 4 that are confirmed, and 3 on the fence, so we may end up with a wait list. Being that we are a year away from this trip, there's a good chance that at least one of these people will have to bow out, thus opening up a spot. So if this is something that you'd like to do, send me a PM -include an email address- and I'll send you the trip plan and ride guide and put you on the email list so that you are up on what we are doing.

  2. #2
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    I'm interested. Keep me posted. I live in Colorado and have been thinking of doing this. I may know others that would be interested as well. Definitely keep me posted.

  3. #3
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    PM sent

  4. #4
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    PM replied.... thanks

  5. #5
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    You are awesome for putting this together. I wish I was in good enough shape to ride with y'all but 15 miles at 8000' gasses me up here. Please update us how everything went.

  6. #6
    More than one, of course!
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    Hunter, You've been PM'd.
    Sounds like a fantastic opportunity. Thanks
    FR
    "It's NEVER all downhill" DMR

  7. #7
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    Time for a bump on this trip.

    With 3 months to go, we are a go for a shortened version of the ride. Due to the demands of work, family and life in general, we'll ride the first 7 or 8 days of the Colorado Trail, ending near Gunnison, with every intention of finishing it off next year.

    As of now, we have 4 of us confirmed to ride and one truck and a possible shuttle driver. A few more peeps and another truck and driver would make it even better! The ride will start from Denver on the 23rd of August and end on the following Friday or Saturday (depending on transportation needs of everyone) the 29th or 30th near Gunnision. Anyone wanting to continue on to finish the entire trip is welcome so long as they can arrange their own support. I'll supply the details and leave our place in Durango for you to end the ride in comfort.

    If anyone is interested in joining this trip, knows someone that may be, or would want to get paid -as well as get some great riding in- to drive the support truck, let me know!

  8. #8
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    Wow! I'm surprised that there aren't more replies to this invitation! Sounds like an awesome trip. Wish I was fit enough to bike all day!
    Make sure to report back and post pictures. Subscribed!

  9. #9
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    Ooooo....How could I resist? PM sent!

  10. #10
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    Big props to you, hunter, for putting this out there. An incredible opportunity.

    I think you will be making it more enjoyable by doing half of the trail per year; certainly will open it up to more potential teammates.

    I would have thought hard about joining you in '12. I ended up going solo and included the big Foundation detour up the drainage to Kenosha Pass. I didn't think I was going to finish the Trail, coming from 2K' elevation with virtually no training, but a few easy days got me back in the game.

    Anyway, sorry to wax sentimental, but I have to agree with your assessment of the trail as a must-do for mountain bikers. I'm frankly surprised that your roster isn't full already. Any competent rider who has the slightest inkling to do the Trail and get the most out of the technical aspects would be blowing it by not joining you. Hell, if I wasn't booked I'd be thinking hard about it.

    Good luck and happy trails!

    Mike

  11. #11
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    Bump time...

    We have a full trip but still need a driver for the 2nd shuttle. If you'd like to spend a week in the Colorado high country, camping under the stars, soaking in hot springs, and riding miles of exceptional single track, while also getting paid then send me a PM ASAP.

    This ride will start on Friday the 22nd of August and will wrap up on the 30th with a travel day on either side.

  12. #12
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    This is awesome!!!! I wish I had the time, and was fit enough for this!!!

  13. #13
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    Since this got a bump, might as well mention that we have room for two riders for 3 days of riding. 2 guys are bailing the ride when we reach Leadville (Tuesday night, Aug 26th), and we'll have room for 2 more to ride the final 3 days from Leadville to CO Hwy 114.

    Costs, logistics and everything are finalized, but we'd need a commitment from any interested riders by the end of July.

    PM me if interested.

  14. #14
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    Back from the trip, with some great memories, some sore body parts, and some bike parts that need replacement. 11 days of riding, 200+ miles of high altitude riding, +/- 30,000 feet of climbing, and a mix of sun, rain, hail, snow, and booze. As I'm too beat for a full TR, here's a few select images:
    Colorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-934807_10152669436852838_1410497057976650206_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-1545939_10152674403002838_6252473690714290731_n.jpgName:  1620982_10152659994822838_8379977407482640836_n.jpg
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Size:  28.1 KBColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-1920092_10152669924752838_4580755301874783910_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10252057_10152659994867838_8556479830037187654_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10386778_10152662456907838_8693681077296185482_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10391035_10152659994977838_6389540610348707797_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10408867_10152425944388347_1119513366768303525_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10411163_10152666896927838_7936906163174681822_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10447546_10152669925357838_6824283919317449560_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10511121_10152659995132838_4936869633177493295_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10557154_10152659995207838_8984568773590784784_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10576967_10152662456597838_7746871834909940470_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10590478_10152666896887838_5645290266181858483_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10590631_10152669436937838_6808443446069461334_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10592924_10152438682393347_105068370581800493_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10606238_10152669526197838_8559244555426806419_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10606308_10152662456767838_3013010519934428657_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10609719_10152672618307838_1131205184512814830_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10615605_10152662456977838_3693077668972216096_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10622834_10152443079728347_9180509032086626404_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10624965_10152662456697838_2678975947054622536_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10629878_10152659995577838_4673432308591820426_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10639422_10152672618472838_1723527504462021268_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10647141_10152669952082838_6314439331766534655_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10647189_10152669436832838_3744737464828601790_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10653378_10152438683008347_6074874802093658966_n.jpgColorado Trail Summer 2014:  An invitation-10660172_10152445007218347_7284459205505527016_n.jpg

  15. #15
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    that looks incredible

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