This coming Saturday at 10PM a select number of riders will depart from Salida, CO in the Vapor Trail 125. It is a 125 miles of some of the best singletrack and jeep road in Colorado.....not to mention a shit-ton of climbing. The best part is that it is almost all above the treeline. Check out the route! There are a few aid stations and one of those also acts as a drop bag point where riders can have food and equipment shuttled for resupply. Since the race is pretty remote, equipment and items carried play a big role in success. Below is a pretty good run down of how I plan to attack this race. I did the race last year....and was happy with what I carried. This year, I am changing a few minor items in hopes of turning a fast time and bettering my 7th place. Keep in mind, this ride/race lasts 12-18 hours for most riders.
Bike choice is the same as last year. The course is brutal rough in spots....and there is a ton of climbing. So, I am opting for the carbon FS bike again. Only change up for this year is tires, Magura 100mm fork w/lock out, and the rear carbon DT Swiss shock.
Speaking of the tires, since the course is pretty intense, I am running tires with some meat to them. I took off the lightweight xc racing tires in favor of the Tubeless Conti Mountain King 2.2. The race course is pretty loose in spots.....and sharp rocks in other areas. This tire will work well in all those conditions.
On the bike I plan to carry 2 water bottles full of a concentrated Cytomax mix. I will also have an LED handlebar light and Suunto T6 HR monitor. On my helmet I will have another LED light. Both lights will be powered by up to 18 hrs of Lith-Ion battery power.
On my back will be an Ergon BD2 pack with the following items...
- 100 oz bladder filled with a to-be-determined amount of water
- 2 or 3 tubes
- Spare batteries
- Topeak mini-tool
- Topeak mini-pump
- Food items such as Power Bars, Power Gels, Clif Bars, etc. Aid stations are well stocked.
- Gore-Tex jacket and pants from Go-Lite
- Full finger waterproof gloves from Endura
- Adidas sunglasses for when the sun comes up
- Cell phone
- Small headlamp (backup light)
Since the race starts at 10 PM, the early race hours will be done in the dark with cool to cold temps. Riding in temps below freezing are not out of the question. Last year was unseasonably warm....and there was still frost on the ground above 10,000 ft. So, I am going to be prepared to start with the following items....maybe more or less depending on the final forecast...
- Topeak-Ergon bib shorts
- Topeak-Ergon SS jersey
- Topeak-Ergon LS jersey
- Pearl Izumi knee warmers or Topeak-Ergon leg warmers
- Craft full finger gloves
- Topeak-Ergon skull cap
- Craft base layer
- Wool socks from either Pearl Izumi or DeFeet
As mentioned above there is a drop bag point. In my drop bag I plan to have the following....
- Supply of Endurolytes and/or ELETE
- Cytomax for bottle refills
- Sports nutrition bars/gels (Power Bars, Clif Bars, etc)
- Select clothing items such as gloves, socks, and warm clothing
- Pain killers
- Chamois cream
- Spare tire and tubes
- Chain lube (Finish-Line Wet)
- Ergon short finger gloves
That just about covers it. I will add and subtract to this list over the next 2 days. I am going off of last years race success...and from some stuff I have learned over the past year from riding here in CO.
To be continued from Salida...