6 Months to Go: Committing to the Colorado Trail Race

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Well, it is snowing again in Boise.  This has been a record-setting winter with heavier and more constant snowfall than old-timers have seen in 30+ years.  However, I’m not thinking about the fluffy white stuff this morning.  I’m thinking about alpine singletrack high on the spine of the Rocky Mountains.

As of today, we’re 6 months away from the start of the Colorado Trail Race.  On July 28, I’ll depart Durango for Denver on a 500+mile route that covers some of the highest and most rugged singletrack on our American continent.  This will be a monumental challenge unlike anything I’ve undertaken to date.  Today, my preparation starts in earnest.

Since last summer, I’ve had my eye on the CTR.  Sometime around Thanksgiving, I decided to commit.  I sat on the fence for quite some time, intimidated by the unforgiving brutality of the route and the all-consuming work necessary to complete it.  Was I ready and willing to take on something on this level?  After lots of research and self-examination and with the encouragement of my wife along with other friends and family, I decided to take it on.

Unlike many of the superhumans who race the CTR, I am no elite bikepacking racer.  I have a long way to go and a lot of work to do if I hope to complete the route.  I’ll need to rebuild my body, focus my mind and prepare my equipment along with lots of research and planning.  I humbly offer this blog as a document of the journey, in hopes that some of you might be inspired to take on similar challenges.  At the very least, I hope you’ll be inspired to get out and explore your world from the saddle of a bicycle.

In addition to updating this blog page, I’ll also be writing about portions of the process for Bike Touring News. Check out their blog, store and consider supporting this awesome small business based right here in Boise, Idaho.  Without their help I would not be able to turn this dream into a reality.

I’ll also be posting updates from the road, trail and workshop via social media.  Follow me @Bobby.Buttons and get updates from BTN @BikeTouringNews.

In my next post, I’ll share a little bit of my previous bikepacking experience and some of the motivating factors for tackling the CTR.  In the meantime, here is a great short film from Aaron Johnson that encapsulates the romance and challenge of the Colorado Trail Race.  Thanks for reading!  Feel free to leave any questions or comments below!

The Colorado Trail Race: A Self-Powered Adventure from Aaron Johnson on Vimeo.

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