Surly ECR and the Surly 24-Pack Rack: Initial Impressions

Imagine my delight,

when an enormous box from Surly was delivered to my door, with instructions to do something cool with the contents: A medium Surly ECR, and a 24-Pack Rack! I was planning a trip to Breckenridge to say hello to my Brother who was becoming a year older, and I wanted to climb some mountains to train for the Tour of the Highest Hundred, so naturally, The Surly ECR entered into the thick of my plans.

In this post, I’ll go over the unboxing process, some of initial thoughts, and how I’ve set things up for a 5 day bike tour + mountaineering (bike-a-neering?) trip to Summit County. In a follow up post, we’ll talk about that trip itself.

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Tour of the Highest Hundred

More details to come, but please check out http://highesthundred.com for details on my next big summer adventure!

 


3/6/17 – 3/12/17 Training Journal

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2017 Moab Red Hot 55k Race Report

“Dude. What happened?”

I remove myself from my shallow moving meditation, “What?”

Look at your leg!

And so I do:

Starting from mid-thigh, it looks like I’ve managed to scrape a four inch wide section of my skin until the top of my ankle.

Road rash par-excellence.

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2/6/17 – 2/12/17 Training Journal

What else does a newly tuned up bike need, except a nice MUD BATH! In typical @longrangerjustin style, I literaly ran across town with all my bike gear in my @ultimatedirectionusa Fastpack 15 to catch a bus to Golden to pick up the Sherpa Bike aka Surly Ogre aka Adventure Buddy from @goldenbikeshop, and took ‘er on a 50+ mile curcuitous route back home featuring some nice gravel roads, a LOT of climbing, and a little bit of unavoidable slop- but I’ll take it, as it’s February and I’m riding bikes in a #cyclocross skinsuit #onesie, and life’s pretty good while riding bikes. Oh, and I got this amazingly dorky bright orange safety construction hard hat helmet thing to further enhance my visibility on the road. I actually think it goes well with my UD Fastpack- and beard! Thanks to @goldenbikeshop/@bentgate_mountaineering for helping me get a bike rolling as I get through all the not so fun accident stuff. Be good to your bike mechanics!

A post shared by The Long Ranger (@longrangerjustin) on

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1/23/17 – 1/29/17 Training Journal

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1/16/17 – 1/22/17 Training Journal

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Making the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route Even Greater: Rollins Pass/Argentine Pass


The GDMBR in yellow; alternative in red

The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route is without a doubt one of the preeminent off road touring routes in the US/Canada. Now that I’ve ridden the route essentially twice and have done some extensive touring within Colorado, I can’t help but think how one could enhance it.

Personally, I enjoyed my time more when the route stuck close to the actual Continental Divide, rather than opting to drop down into a relatively easy going valley or basin to gain some mileage towards the end goal (finishing!). I always greatly anticipated gaining the summit of the passes, then rocketing down. Knowing Colorado a little more intimately now, it’s a shame how much of Colorado is missed with the relatively easy path the GDMBR takes.

The GDMBR has many goals, and one of the most important one is to get a heavily laden bicycle and rider (cyclists on a mountain bike, pulling a trailer) eventually to the end of the route. If the route is too long, too hard, and/or with too many Divide crossings, it’s just never going to realistically happen for a good majority of people. If we throw these constraints out of the window, and focus on the goal of staying as close to the Divide as possible, while also keeping the route terrain somewhat similar: gravel roads to 4×4 trails, we start drawing out something a little different.

Below, I’ll be describing a route that takes you off the official GDMBR just before Ute Pass, and rather takes you up and over the Continental Divide at Rollins Pass, parallels the James Peak Wilderness as you travel south to Idaho Springs, then brings you back west to go up and over the Continental Divide again at Argentine Pass, finally depositing you once again onto the official GDMBR in summit county. It circuitous and it’s a whole lot of fun .

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