Talk @ Neptune Mountaineering Notes + Thanks

Thanks everyone who made the time to come over to Neptune Mountaineering and participate in my talk! I really appreciate everyone’s interest and support! Thank you Neptune Mountaineering for hosting the event!

GPS tracks of the routes I presented are available on my Strava Routes page:

Some of the routes/races I mentioned:

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The Funny-Named Weird Little Bike Shop That Changed My Life (for the better)

It was many things, to many, many people. Here’s what it meant to me:


Salvagetti + Happy Coffee: a bike drive thru to by coffee + bike parts, open early in the morning. Another master idea by Scott. I borrowed those beefy tires from one of the mechanics of Salvagetti to try to ride this beast of a machine on some of the more technical parts of the Colorado Trail, in hopes of bagging some 14ers. Long story short: unsuccessful trip in many regards (Trailer?!), but I learned a lot and vowed to try again. September, 2010

I think I was on a date. We had just visited The Denver Art Museum. Practically across the street, there’s a block of row houses converted into businesses. One was a bike shop, with a hand painted sign, illustrated with a bike, and an Italian flag.


It read, “Salvagetti“.

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9/21/15 – 9/28/15

Mon Sep 21 – Neighborhood Trails (s)

Quickie around the trails near my house. Funnily, I’ve never been to any of these trails, which is a little embarassing. Good tuneup for the rest of the week, I guess. 

A Nolans Descent

The summit of La Plata, my third fourteen thousand foot mountain for the day, still seemed impossibly far away. The storm system that had surprisingly reappeared just over my shoulder was now again not so quietly building up force. Thunder boomed. On any other day I would have called it.


I crawled upward, rather than descend downward. What I needed desperately to do was to text the only person I knew who was in the area: my girlfriend. The only way to do that was to top the summit and chance getting cell coverage. Finally there, I typed furiously with cold fingers, wind and snow burning my cheeks:

HELP. I AM NOT OK. Too weak to keep going and stuck in another storm. Going to walk back to the La Plata Trailhead. I should be able to make it.


Are you there?


If my SPOT Tracker stops moving, I may have just passed out for a bit. If you get this, please meet me... meet me wherever I'm found.

If the text got out, and if she herself had service (who knows where she was camped?) she may then be there to help me with my extraction. A gamble, but it was my best idea to avoid calling Search and Rescue. It was going to be a cold night waiting out whatever was about to come down without her help. I just had an ultralight bivvy – a plastic bag essentially, to nestle in. I brought no sleeping bag.

Sending the message, I turned around, and immediately felt lost on the descent. My Unsupported Nolans 14 attempt was over, but my night was only beginning.

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On Self-Powered Peak Bagging

finish_tour_14er.jpgShortly after finishing up 34 days of bagging some high peaks, self-powered. 

Since completing my own Tour 14er, where I rode to, then summited the 58 (by my count) Colorado mountain peaks over 14,000 feet, I’ve started to get a fair bit of correspondence from people telling me that they’re inspired by what I’ve (and others) have done. They think to themselves: Boy howdy: I own a bike and there’s a group of mountains nearby that have that siren-like song attracting me to climb them – why not use my bike to ride to all of those mountains, then summit: fair means and self-supported?

Then they ask me, “So well: what are the details? How do you pull this off?” 

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Dirty 30 2015 Report


After crossing the finish line, letting out a long slow exhale, a big smile  – and then a little cry to myself in the corner of the parking lot: my 2015 Dirty 30 was in the bag @ 5:50:33. Relief. 

The days leading up to the race were a little less than ideal: I caught a cold! Right when the weather relented from the weeks of rain, rain, rain. I missed a few runs I wanted to do, and exchanged them for very easy sessions of spinning on the bike indoors, or doing nothing at all. Better to let the cold pass, than to potentially make things worse.  A bit too sheer of a drop off for tapering for my tastes, but it’s what I was given. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that I have years of base building, I’ve been relatively injury free all year – save a small hamstring strain I’ve consciously worked to prevent in the future, and I’ve been PR’ing all over the place. Time to line up! 

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Dirty 30 Recon – Pace

I was asked by UD to attend the Runners High Fun Run.


But. There’s… things about me you don’t understand. I Am A Loner Dottie, (A Rebel!), so getting me to do something in a group of people is tricky. UD do a lot for me – essentially they’re a huge fan of awesome things in the mountains, of which I tend to do a lot of, so going to this fun run is No Big Deal for me to accept. And the running community is accepting to weird people like me, since it’s just full of weird people already.


Along with the fun run, which was fun, since my sweetie ran with me, was the Elite Panel afterwards, which included Andrew Skurka.


He’s an interested character, with pretty firm opinions on technique and gear, but he also backs up his opinions with research and data. Love it. One of his articles, Pace charts for TNF 50. And how everyone starts too fast, seemed like a good one to put to the test, using my gps data from the recon run.


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5/4/15 – 5/10/15

Monday, May 4, 2015 – Rest

The deluge of last week finally hit me. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 – Green Mountain (S)

The weather has gone from cloudy to just drizzly, testing me to even want to go outside. It’s not just that we’re not used to such Pacific Northwest-like conditions, it’s that everything is getting super saturated and muddy – I’m just waiting for the entire OSMP’s to close. 

I’m also adjusting living a few miles away from Chautaugua, so doing an after work run poses some problems of where to stash my backpack. So, after work, I rode up to Chautaugua, put everything in a dry pack (including the MacBook) and just hoped no one took it! I’ve done this before at trailheads, but never so close to an urban center. 

This made me want to finish up my run pretty quickly and my planned two laps up Green ended up just one – helped by the blah conditions. Despite not really wanting to give it a good go, I PR’d the route up by 3:48, which is notable I guess. More than likely, just starting slower at the beginning gave me fresh legs, once the going got easier. 

Thankfully, the bag, and my Macbook were waiting for me at the bike. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 – Bouldering @ Movement

I had planned to take a run this morning, but I wasn’t down to leave my laptop there again. Thankfully work has lockers available and a shower, so I skipped the run, and rented a locker to throw my laptop in for the night, to pick up tomorrow morning. 

Instead, I joined Chrissy bouldering, and promptly hurt my left wrist again. I was actually hoping we’d be climbing on routes, rather than bouldering, which seems to be much nicer to my wrist, but alas. Did some stretching, and a short spin bike sess., so I didn’t feel to lazy about things. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015 – Green (S)

Another lap on Green, this time I had little, if no stoke left in me, having stayed up too late the night before, and having the weather just be as pretty much close to uninspiring as possible – I almost passed on the entire idea.

PR’d the roundtrip (1:09:32) by about 2 minutes, which I guess is nice, but far from what I could do, rightfully stoked and without the trail being super wet – I’m thinking 10 minutes can be found somewhere in there. 

Still, the goal was just to run 99.9% of the route – which was done comfortably. I’m still amazed I’m able to do that. It seems not that long ago that running up Green Mountain by any route was something to be newsworthy to me – as if it was something impossibly difficult to even comprehend. I can remember when running 5 miles on flat pavement was something that made me surprised. Or running flat pavement at a pace over 9:30.

I’ve learned a lot since then and maybe got a little stronger. The only route I cannot run from start to finish is the social trail behind the sunset Flatiron. It would be silly to do so, except as a challenge. A running time on that would certainly be much slow than a running/powerhiking time. 

Friday, May 8, 2015 – Bouldering @Movement

The weather has turned from bad to worse, and I skipped out on the idea of getting up early to do a massive run. Instead, I slept in, did some work, then hit the gym to do a few hours spin on the bike, about an hour of stretching, and then bouldering for another few more hours. Some fun problems, today.

Saturday, May 9, 2015 – Golden Gate Dirty 30 recon

The weather this week was sincerely getting people nervous that we were in for another flood-like catastrophe. The Quad Rock race up in Fort Collins was cancelled due to trail damage that most likely would occur if the race was held. This led many to all of a sudden have nothing to do on Saturday, and an itching to run, so Fred put together a group run together on the Dirty 30 course, which I was able to join in on. Golden Gate Canyon was probably one of the better places to be on trail, in the immediate area, but the weather just got even worse. Rain turned into snow and freezing rain, but sort of made the best of it, running around 21 miles of the course at a very casual pace. Some takeaways from the course: Most of the climbs and descents and much more mellower than what I practice on, but they seem much longer. I’ll have to make sure to keep myself in some sort of reasonable pace for the first half of the race, as that seems to be the easier half, and give it more of a go at the second, hard half. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015 – Off

Off to eat pizza.