Pan-American Continental Championship team selection

This is big. My first international competition, first time representing the United States, first time to Mexico.

While just making the team was reason to celebrate, I liken it to a football team getting to the Super Bowl (yes, I just likened something I did in track racing to the Super Bowl. If anyone would like to file a complaint, I will be spending my millions of dollars and answering hordes of media requests from the comfort of my mansion, thank you). Just getting there is pretty neat. But that wears off quickly, and you soon realize that you need to win the football game, and focus incredible amounts of mental energy and preparation for winning that football game, even though you know you’re about to enter something slighty wacky and totally unlike most normal football games you’re accustomed to.

So that’s me. This is another dream box checked off, but unfortunately for my legs there are still a few other boxes I’d like to tick. So I need to do well in September in Aguascalientes, because I will not rest until I race Worlds. Best way to ensure I get picked to go there, wherever there may be (thanks, UCI, for telling us so early!), is to get a medal.

Podium or bust.

Posted in boulder | Leave a comment

Wild Basin Trail

I had a nicely-timed rest week before a big trip to Indianapolis for racing, so I decided Whitney and I would go camp up in RMNP. Regardless of what she thought. So the week before, I rode up to Estes Park to procure a backcountry permit, and to actually talk to the people at the Backcountry Office about what sites are still snowed in, what conditions the trails are in after the flooding, etc. It’s strange, but pleasantly old-school, that not all that information is available on the RoMo site. You can definitely look at maps and sites and restrictions and rules and trails and all that jazz, but the real-time conditions on snowmelt, as well as the backcountry site reservations/vacancies, are only available inside the small office. I rode out there, talked to a lady ranger who helped me figure out where to go, and to Wild Basin we went the next week.

We saw marmots, gray jays, black squirrels, chipmunks, deer, and a few rare human sightings. More awesomely, after seeing their footprints all winter crisscrossing the Rockies, I finally laid eyes on the elusive snowshoe hare. Their back feet are gigantic. Also, I saw a pine marten for the first time ever. Cute weasel guy, who’d just as soon gnaw on my arm if given the chance.

As for the fishing, well, Thunder Lake was almost completely frozen over, and Ouzel Lake wasn’t biting. So I didn’t catch a thing, and didn’t even have Whit try her hand at casting the fly rod like I’d hoped. She didn’t care too much, as she had made three new fluffy rodent friends.

Posted in big trip, camping, Fun in the Mountains, hiking | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Whereabouts hilarabouts

I backpacked up in Rocky Mountain National Park two weekends ago. Whenever I deviate from my previously submitted whereabouts, I need to update the anti-doping authorities with where I’ll be. Generally I’m headed up into the mountains, a cell-reception morass with very few actual addresses.

I’m not sure anyone is actually reading these things when I send them to USADA, so I figured I’d post the gem here. I’m supposed to give times and locations, which can be a bit difficult when you’re camping, waking up to sunlight, not looking at a clock for three days, and only vaguely aware of where you truly are at any moment. Here’s what I told them:

I leave today after work, at 1pm, driving to the Wild Basin Summer Trailhead, at 40°12’30.6″N 105°33’59.1″W, aiming to get there by 3:30pm. Hiking the Wild Basin Trail toward Thunder Lake, stopping at the Pine Ridge campsite (see coordinates below).

Upon awaking and making some coffee and hot chocolate, and maybe eating a Pop Tart or two, we’ll continue our hike at roughly 9am toward Thunder Lake, ditching our camping gear at the North St. Vrain campsite before continuing on to Thunder Lake. If you do come test me then, be aware you’ll need snowshoes to get up there. Rangers said there’s still a lot of snow once the trail gets steep. After fishing at Thunder Lake, from maybe noon until 4pm, we’ll hike back down and make dinner at camp, and then sleep.

Sunday, we’ll wake up when the sun hits us, head toward Ouzel and Bluebird Lake at possibly 9am, do some more fishing, head back to check out Ouzel Falls and Calypso Cascade before getting to Tahosa, our campsite for the evening. Stars are supposed to be beautiful up there.

Monday, we will wake early, head back to the car, and drive back to Boulder for regularly scheduled activities (work/training per Whereabouts) by 9am.

Pine Ridge backcountry campsite – approximately 40°12’01.9″N 105°35’16.5″W
North St. Vrain backcountry campsite – approx. 40°12’29.3″N 105°37’02.7″W
Tahosa backcountry campsite – approx. 40°11’57.1″N 105°35’32.2″W

Posted in big trip, camping, Fun in the Mountains, hiking | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments