4/6/15 – 4/12/15

4/6 – 4/7 – climbing @ Turkey Rocks 

Crack climbing. Offwidth crack climbing. Much cursing. 

We checked out Turkey Perch for the third time as sort of a warmup to the week – since, you know, we can’t get enough of that offwidth. Cannot for the life of me remember what we climbed, but I believe Chrissy lead most all of them. For me, hand/fist cracks in the area are pretty fun, off widths are challenging, but doable (until they’re not), and finger cracks give me the most grief – this is all on pretty moderate grades, let’s not forget. The rock here is pretty unforgiving rough pink granite, and you WILL leave with bloody scrapes. 

On the second day, we went over to Turkey Rock which is a much more complicated mess of a place. We couldn’t decide on a route to do or really which route was which, and I did a little wandering about, until I found a cave and a dropped biner inside that has now made a fine addition to my keychain.

I attempted to lead P1 of Nighttime Madness, but got spooked at the final, flaring, offwidth, overhanging (set on fire, full of alligators – whatever) crack. So I did the sneak to the left, and climbed a pretty mellow, slabby thing, that I barely protected, because I was out of useable gear and it felt free-solo-easy. 

The kink in the route, and my lack of knowledge on how best to deal with it, even with my partner’s advice caused immense rope drag, which was a bummer. I made an anchor at the top, she followed me up, and we traversed to a bolted anchor to the east, where we set up a top rope to play with and we then climbed Jumpstart (5.9) and Vanishing Point (5.10d), both which were much fun. Jumpstart’s crux is very low, and probably easy to protect, but you need some flexibility in your legs. Vanishing Point’s crack goes to fingers, with few face holds, until, well, vanishing at the top, until you get an easy fist crack to the bolts. 

And that sadly, ended Day #2. One of the problems we decided we needed to work on was just being prepared, when in such a confusing area: we didn’t have a guidebook, so figuring out what climbs are what was a time burner for sure. We did though bring a hatchet for camping, which provided much utility and entertainment. 

 

4/8 – jog

We left Turkey Rocks Wednesday somewhat late and I think we were both pretty tired, so I just took a little job around the neighborhood with my Lady. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015 – Sub Hour Green via Amphitheatre/Saddle Rock up, Ranger/Gregory down (S); scrambling then another summit of Green (S)

Seeing if I picked up any speed running mountains in the last… year, with an a PR attempt of Green Mountain – my 40th for the year.
Ascent was surprisingly strong, being able to run up to the ladder no sweat, where l I relented to actually climb the ladder, then power hike a few meters until the trail appeared more trail-like. Noticed some tightness in my left leg – especially my calf, but didn’t think too much of it. 
Made it on top in around 38:13, which is 7 seconds faster than my PR, I think. Didn’t waste time at the summit, and bombed down the trail with great  speed and little attention to safety. Luckily, things were pretty empty out there. Managed to take a spill, like ya do, while trying to think about not falling.
That took a little out of me, and I was running slower than I would have hoped to afterwards – I was under the impression that I was just knackered from the effort, so just decided to finish as strong as I could. Lost a good minute+ at the very least. All and all, I was much faster on the ascent that I’ve ever been, but not quite as fast descending – the fall had a good part of it. Eeked a PR by about 8 minutes, or missed my PR by 12 seconds – Strava data seems to be very confused with this – I’m going with the former.
But, something sort of seemed off with the leg. Took it easy and just power hiked up to Freeway, and then another summit of Green, before calling it a day. 
Friday, April 10, 2015 – Freeway, Bakers Way, Green (S)
Saturday I relented and took a break from the week. In the evening, we drove up to Boulder to watch the world premiere of Inspired To Ride, Mike Dion’s new film about the self supported Trans Am bike race, somewhat of a Tour Divide on pavement. 

Inspired to Ride Teaser Trailer from Mike Dion on Vimeo.

I have to come clean, but I was not Inspired To Ride. 
In fact, it cemented the face that I never, ever want to ride the route, let alone race it – it looks awful. As I get older, and have this feeling my number for getting hit by a car, hard, is coming up, I try to take the path less pedaled, and get on the dirt as much as possible. The sound of rushing traffic past me is now literally painful to hear, and causes me much distress. I’ve logged 10’s of thousands of miles on pavement, I’m just a little tired of it now. To want to race on such an environment kind of takes everything I adore about the GDMBR/Tour Divide route and throws it away. The bikes many of the racers were using were so fancy and over and above any sort of budget I could possibly put forth… ugh.  Sigh: roadies. 
And to be a little hypocritical, I have ridden portions of this route, as it shares a little bit with the GDMBR, and a lot of it is in Colorado, and well: roads in the mountains in Colorado are few and far between, so if it’s there, I’ve probably used it. My experiences on these parts is pretty great – HWY 9 and Hoosier Pass are pretty fun. If I had the time/choice though, I would suggest instead taking Boreas Pass to Hartsel – again the GDMBR way of doing things. From Hartsel, I would leave the GDMBR and head towards the res. to the east, as that’s an even better, albeit longer, route to Salida. You’ll even meet up with the Trans Am route in Guffy.
But man: riding through Kansas. No thanks. 
The movie itself was fine. Though I thought Ride the Divide was done much better – Matt Lee is just such a insightful and inspiring person with a very strong personality – you can literally taste his love for the route, and the race – he had this intense relationship with it that none of the Trans Am racers seem to have. This has to do a lot with the route itself: there’s just so much character you can give to a paved road. 
Ride the Divide also documented a race with about 9 or so starters, instead of the 64(?) that started TransAm – it’s just easier to follow along, and be engaged in everyone’s story. 
I thought the Italian rivalry in Inspired to Ride was completely ridiculous and that Bhuring’s portrayal was just weird: she came across as headstrong, which is fine (great, even), but it bordered on cockiness and the entire affair of her story was eye-rolling, as it was certainly partly due to her hamming it up for the camera.
Other than trying to beat two Italian men who themselves are portrayed as chauvinistic (a little stereotypical, I guess), her greatest dramas were crashing after hitting a… …a rock, and her drivetrain issues – a rookie mistake. Let me explain: 
First, she tried to replace a worn chain on a worn drivetrain, which is the quintessential Wrong Thing To Do – it doesn’t work, as all the components start wearing down into themselves, so a new component doesn’t “fit”. Then her old chain broke (perhaps because it was reapplied back on incorrectly), and she didn’t have a quick link to fix it, or a chain tool tool to makes things easier on herself. She then has the audacity to bad-mouth the mechanic that tried to help her. This is from a women who’s raced her bike across the world. Surely, surely! A similar problem must have surface a few weeks into that trip. And then a few weeks later, etc. I get it, it’s a race, but these are simple, cheap, and extremely light tools and spare parts. I don’t like leaving the house to go to the grocery store without them. 
So, nice things to say. Mike Hall is certainly the real deal, and it’s always nice to see Dave Goldberg looking strong, as I’ve shared many a race with that dude. He’s a total crackpot in the best of senses and his attitude is one that one should attempt to emulate. But during the entire movie, I did feel a little out of my element – was this really my tribe? I didn’t know anymore. 
The presentation afterwards was also a little bit awkward. A bike shop employee, who came out from one of the shops on the route donned a dress, and made a bit ta-do about it, when he got on stage. Apparently, there may have been a bet about things, like, “if you finish the race, I’ll come out the opening, in a dress!” And they did. This is ridiculous frat-boy behavior, and a touch trans-phobic, in my personal opinion, as they’re using the dress as a symbol of demoralizing embarrassment – as dresses belong on girls – silly! And boys are better than girls, and don’t get this confused, or you’re really off your rocker –  or some such bullshit. 
Bhuring herself was wearing a very stately dress – just the sort of thing you’d anticipate someone from Italy to wear actually, as a sense of style is generally appreciated, while no one else was truly dressing up for the occasion – making her then look out of place. Although she thought that this scene of boy-in-a-dress was also very funny, this stuck me as strange, since the symbolism of a guy in a dress plays into the same social system that dealt with her struggle with the chauvinistic Italian male racers, who were sure she was cheating during the race. It’s 2015 – we don’t have to play like this – let’s drop it, say? If you associate your gender as male or female and want to wear a dress? Cool With Me. In face, you don’t need my permission at all. 
Sunday, I took off again, as I woke up with massive pain in my stomach. Sick!