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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
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    Crested Butte Photos and report

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    Sometime in June we got an email from Western Spirit about Mastering the Mountain Bike with Mark Sevenoff, co-owner of WS. We've done a few trips with WS, but I've always avoided the ones with significant single track since my accident in 2007. I just haven't been really confident in my skills when faced with any exposure, so a clinic with an excellent instructor, seemed like a good way to find my mountain bike mojo again.

    The clinic was hosted by Eleven and we stayed at their Scarp Ridge Lodge. I don't think I have ever been so pampered. Bountiful breakfasts, luscious lunches and divine dinners were prepared for us. Snacks were brought trail side. The daily schedule was ours to create. The 13,000 square foot lodge had a pool, 2 Jacuzzis, a steam room, sauna, media room... Eleven got the idea to do these various clinics in May and Thom and I were the only ones to sign up for mountain biking. A private clinic with Mark and a guide from Crested Butte Mountain Guides, Zach Guy, if I couldn't find my mojo under these conditions, it was gone for good.



    The first night - Sunday - a bike fitter and physical therapist from Heights Performance came in to fit us to our bikes - Trek Fuel 8s. They used lasers to check our alignment. Not at all surprising, my right leg is totally wonky. It is the one with the overuse injury.



    Mark, Thom and I talked at dinner about our expectations, skills and various rides we had done. This caused Mark to adjust the original schedule and we rode Lupine and Lower Loop Trails Monday morning - 11 miles. There was a little bit of "death to the left" on Lupine, which I rode through, but the blind corner after it freaked me out. I stopped and Mark rode around it and told to me it was "easy". He was right. The ride had gone well, but by the time we returned for lunch the altitude and poor sleep were getting to me. I took a shower and had a nap while the guys did Upper Loop Trail. That night the guys from Heights Performance came back and did Functional Movement Screening. We did 7 different tests and were scored 1 - 3 on each. We both scored well overall.



    Tuesday we rode Snodgrass and Lupine Trails - 20 miles - in the morning. A professional photographer took pictures on both trails. At the bottom of Snodgrass, the Eleven crew met us with snacks, and then we went back to Lupine. Knowing the trail, definitely helped my confidence and I rode it much faster. In the afternoon we went with another guide to Lake Irwin for paddle boarding, and we goofed around a small water fall. Eleven has a private cabin up there for skiing and it has the world's nicest pit toilet! The photographer, Alex Fenlon, was also on hand to get photos there.







    Wednesday was a tough, fun day! We rode Reno, Flag, Bear - 17 miles with two significant climbs, lots of technical sections with roots and rocks. It was a blast! While I didn't ride everything, I rode a lot that would have freaked me out in the past.



    After lunch, Zach took us rock climbing. That guy is amazing - a masters in Snow Science, ski guide, rock climbing guide and pro mountain bike racer. It made for lots of interesting conversations.



    Thursday we rode 401. Guide books describe this trail as epic and it certainly was. A tough climb through the woods emerging to see the Maroon Bells. The descent had a lot more exposure, but amazing flowers. Fortunately the exposure wasn't too technical and I rode almost all of it. I did manage to fall twice - once while trying to stay with Mark and once though a rocky creek. But those were what I call "normal" mountain biking injuries - road rash and bruises.



    Friday morning we took the ski lift as far as we could and then hiked up to the summit of Mount Crested Butte. We were suppose to fly home Friday night, but our flight out of Gunnison was canceled and we got home late Saturday afternoon. Our luggage arrived home on Sunday.



    I definitely found my mojo and celebrated at 11,350 feet





    More photos are here.

    Veronica
    Last edited by Veronica; 08-05-2013 at 05:27 AM.
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    Wow; what an amazing trip, V!!! Between the location, the lodge (which is totally drool worthy) and two private guides/instructors, it sounds like a dream come true. I'm so glad you've rediscovered your love of mountain biking.

    I have to admit that riding out west really intimidates me, as much as I'd like to try it. We obviously have nothing like that type of riding here in Indiana. The elevation alone terrifies me. Add in that type of exposure, and I'm pretty sure I'd have a massive panic attack. But I think going out west for a clinic would be the way to approach it, at least for me. I keep eyeing clinics in Fruita, for instance, as something I'd like us to do sometime.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    San Francisco Bay Area
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    The riding in CO is amazing. We haven't been to Fruita, but it is on our list now. Mark gave me a list of rides that he thought I'd have no real problems with. I always expect to walk some. Eleven wants to make this an annual thing and they were already starting to talk dates for next year.

    Of course now I do want a new mountain bike.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
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    6,132
    Quote Originally Posted by Veronica View Post
    Of course now I do want a new mountain bike. Veronica
    But, of course!!! Do it!

    Eleven looks like a pretty cool company. Even before you posted your ride report, I was drooling over the Lodge. My word, it's nice. Crested Butte is almost too pretty for words.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    Quote Originally Posted by indysteel View Post
    But, of course!!! Do it!

    Crested Butte is almost too pretty for words.
    Thom's already started researching new bikes. He likes to do research.

    I feel like we barely scratched the surface of all the things to do in Crested Butte. There's so much hiking, we could have gone rafting. I'd like to do rock climbing when I'm not so tired. Zach, the guide, said that most people don't mountain bike and THEN go rock climbing. I have a whole book full of mountain bike trails. The Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association does a LOT of trail maintenance. They constructed the Lupine Trail in the last few years. We stopped by and joined the association and bought the book just to give back a little something because the trails were so amazing.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    One of our guides for our White Rim Trail ride last year is from Crested Butte, and he goes back each summer to lead rides. He did the WRT on a single speed, which I thought was pretty awesome. I assumed that the riding in Crested Butte--at that elevation and with those climbs--gets you in pretty amazing shape.

    Again, thanks for sharing your trip. You and Thom have given me and my husband inspiration in the past for our own trips. You sure know how to vacation!
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
    Posts
    1,822
    Amazing photos, and sounds like an awesome vacation. Are you thinking about a 29er?

    SheFly
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
    http://twoadventures.blogspot.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
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    Quote Originally Posted by SheFly View Post
    Amazing photos, and sounds like an awesome vacation. Are you thinking about a 29er?

    SheFly
    Thanks!

    I'm not really considering a 29er. I really think I'm too short and that was the fitter's opinion too. If one were available to try, I would try it, just to see. Our current mountain bikes are hardtails we bought in 2004. The industry has come a long way since then.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,099
    Beautiful pictures, Veronica.
    Just wondering how you adjusted to working that hard at elevation. I had *serious* problems in Boulder and especially when I was at 8-11K feet in other places in CO. I adapted to the elevation in Boulder enough to do an easy ride on the trail system. But when we went by car to the Continental Divide I was really feeling terrible. Of course, this was 10 years ago, when I was a beginning cyclist, but I had been exercising for many years. Last year, we did do some hiking in Grand Junction (about the same elevation as Boulder) and I was fine, but I had a headache the whole weekend I was there.
    I ask, because we leave for Italy in 10 days. We are going to be visiting friends in the lower Alps, as well as planning to do some hiking and take cable car tour at elevations that are pretty high. I am already freaking out about this.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
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    The four days we rode were a progression in altitude and I think that really helped. The last morning, we hiked up Mt Crested Butte 12,200, about 1,000 feet higher than we had biked the day before and I got a really bad headache that afternoon.

    I just tried to take it really easy and drank LOTS of water. My "sitting" pulse will drop to the 60s pretty quickly, but I could never get it below 90 while we were in Crested Butte.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    548
    Crankin- have you spoken with your doctor about your problems with altitude? My friends would take a prescription drug - Diamox - which helped them with the altitude. Worth looking into- altitude sickness can become a serious problem. Tokie

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Flagstaff AZ
    Posts
    2,521
    Lovely trip. Great riding and wow, those wildflowers!

 

 

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