Ernesto and myself meet up with local endurance super freak Josh Tostado for a personal tour....err.....death march through his stomping grounds. The plan was a 6 hour sprint. We left the route finding to him. Today, I pulled out no maps. Basically, I just did what I could to keep "Toast" in sight. We started up Boreas Pass Rd. About a mile up we took a right and hit up some singletrack on the Blue River Trail.
Blue River Trail had some excellent flow. So far...so good. Josh had both of us working a bit just to stay in contact.
Off of the Blue River Trail we then started getting into some sustained climbing on some steep rocky dirt roads. Here is a rare glimpse of Toast off the bike ;-)
Climbing was soon followed by a gravel road. A welcome sight...and a chance to grab some much needed air.
But it didn't last long. Toast brought us to another climb. Sweeeeet!
And we continued to climb. I believe this is going up Penn. Creek Rd. on the west side of Boreas Pass Rd.
It wasn't long and we started to get near the tree line. After riding with Tostado today.....it's no wonder he wins the Breckenridge 100 every year. He makes it look so effortless.
After we peaked out on the climb, we took a short breather to look around and take in some calories. From here it would be down....before heading back up to the summit of Boreas Pass at 11,481 feet. And yes, both Tostado and Ernesto are Ergon USA sponsored riders....note the grips.
But, before we could head down....we had to cross a bit of snow. Then my camera battery died. Dang it! Then Tostado fell on his ass. Dang it!
Looking back on our ride, I wish I never took the pictures above...and saved the battery. I say this, cause things got pretty epic. After the snow above we dropped into some singletrack...then climbed up to Boreas Pass on Boreas Pass Rd. We then dropped in on the south side and hit up the singletrack on the Gold Dust Trail. It was some of the best Colorado singletrack I have ever ridden. There was one section that had a pretty good rock garden section. Ernesto and myself were almost witness to Tostado loosing his front teeth...as he went over the bars and basically landed face first. After we scraped him up off the trail, we continued south to Como. As we did, the skies darkened.....and then some hail started to fall. Nothing crazy, as it ended shortly. We got to Como, CO and then headed back north toward Breckenridge on Boreas Pass Rd. No more than 10 minutes up the road...and the skies let loose with rain and hail. Tostado and Ernesto up'd their pace a bit and left me in the dust as they made a run for a cabin up the road.
Now at the 3.5 hour mark in our ride we all geared up in our rain gear. When the rain let up a bit we made a mad dash for the summit of Boreas Pass. Great idea, as black clouds flowed overhead...and lightening and thunder made their presence felt. By now, my legs are feeling the effects of the race and yesterdays 5 hour ride. I was having a hard time keeping contact. It wasn't long and I was hovering about 300 yards off their wheels. We reached the summit of Boreas Pass after climbing for like 25 minutes on a water soaked dirt/sand road. Ugh, what a grind.
As we descended Boreas Pass Rd towards Breckenridge, the skies let loose. It began pouring rain. The cold rain in combination with the wind chill from the descent made for super cold hands and feet. Ernesto was clinching his fists trying to circulate some blood. Half way down the descent, Tostado made the decision to drop back down to town via some singletrack as speeds would be slower and temps a bit warmer. Little did we know the trail we would ride would be a small raging creek. Heck with try to follow a line. Just stick the front wheel in the water flow and let go of the brakes. We descended for some time before emptying out onto a gravel road which took us to Hwy 9 south of town. Once we got back into the valley, the skies clear briefly to allow the air temp to warm up to what seemed like 80 degrees after freezing out butts off.
Ernesto and myself rolled back to Breckenridge as Tostado headed back home. We got into town...cleaned off bikes...and called it a day. It was a good thing, as it is pouring rain here right now in Breckenridge. All I can say is thanks to the people who invented gore-tex. It was a life saver today on our 4.5 hour adventure. Now it is time for a little R & R.