Another good day to you, glorious fellow rider. Our first true day of riding here in Durango has treated us all very well, with Gino and the Good Doctor having spotted Shanny Vanlandingham (sp?) and Carl Decker. They have from their reported that Mr. Decker's mustache is coming in quite well.
The rest of your D9 Bulldozer/SSWC09 Cast and Crew took a "slightly" longer route outside of town, with the help of the shuttle van.
We awoke to complimentary breakfast from out no-tell hotel, and rushed on our bikes to the Durango Cyclery where the shuttles were waiting to take us on a 1.5 hour, I repeat - 1.5 hour, drive up a sketchy dirt road to the trailhead, which was approximately 10,500 feet up. We then proceeded to climb another several hundred feet up, which had everyone walking:
Up, up, and up, getting served by the token millionaire who does every extreme sport, and who is as tan as DaveyB is Pro. We finally reached the highest point of just over 11,000ft (not the end of the climbing by a long shot though) and were happy to be there:
Having descended for few minutes, we found ourselves still in teh clouds:
Out of the clouds, our pain in our snapped-wrists was replaced by the pain of a melted face with shots like this - note the lone rider up top, descending to the lower trail (click on photo for high-res photo):
Myself, approaching what I think is destiny:
Here's where things get a little dicey. "T-tocs," also known as Forrest Taft, had an unfortunate run-in with gravity. The problem was that he had his wheel turned when it was trying to go forward down some rocks on the side of a mountain. Having been behind him at the moment, it looked as if he was trying to grab hold of a jenkem bottle that was 6 feet ahead of him. The result: a potato-chip front wheel that required some special tools to straighten - a large rock and a tree trunk. And the ground. Ridable wheel on the bike, we pressed on and had to ford a creek, and since it was ice-cold, we took the shoes and socks off and walked across, toasty feet waiting on the other side. Don't give us shit, because several other poor saps did try and FAIL:
After that creek crossing, we still had 18 miles of trail left to ride.
"T-tocs" and "Masson" riding along Hermosa Creek on the Hermosa Creek Trail:
This trail system encompassed nearly every, EVERY terrain imaginable, except sand. Thank Energor. Every terrain and condition besides a fucking Sahara sand-storm - rock gardens, dry and slick roots, aspen groves, buff and banked corners, switchbacks, creek-crossings, pine sections, fire-roads, 35-mph paved descent from altitude, end-less climbs, light rain, sun, bridges, and alpine-style bench-cut fields. Jerkward is here pictured descending a rock garden that was at the end of a particular grin-inducing descent:
The route that we took was a high-altitude trailhead for the Colorado Trail, which lead us to the Corral Draw, and ended up on Hermosa Creek. This route, specifically Hermosa, is a trail of truly Energor-like proportions. The descending on this route is what you dream about - you will descend a couple of sections that will make you think "sweet downhill!" if you were in Missouri. But that "one sections" would be in between literally *30* other sections that continually point down to a valley floor that never seems to show up. The climbs are equally as significant, but the pay-off is worth it. Always.
The ride was entering its 5th hour when we finally reached the last trailhead. Upon regrouping, we were then required to descend to this Matson-Hill style gravel road for several minutes, until it turned into pavement, at which point the speed increased dramatically for probably ten more minutes - above 30 mph. The fun was over when we were had to ride nearly 10 miles back to town on the hwy:
We started pedaling at 10am, and had not come prepared with enough food. So we had to stop in at the local gourmet burrito purveyor, and crush some fucking burritos that were wrapped and rolled more expertly than any other big burrito than I've ever seen:
39 miles, nearly 6 hours, 2800ft of elevation gain and at least triple that in elevation loss. The only things more annoying than the horse shit that we encounted are Illinois juggalos.
Tomorrow we shall be shuttle-riding once moar, and then going to the *chronic* SSWC09 parties. Our wrists are going to come out of this trip stronger than evar.
I am sitting here in the mountains, with my buddies, drinking a PBR pint from our awesome sponsor, letting my legs recover for tomorrow's ride.
This is what's it's is *all* about.
-Casey F. Ryback
P.S. Google the word "robortion" and thank me later.
P.P.S. Bob Jenkins, you in fact suck worse. However, you snapped my wrist hardcore at Bearcat Cross.