Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Colorado Trail Race: WHY?

It’s gonna rain. Oh hell ya, its gonna rain.
Probably at least once everyday next week.  It’s August. It’s Colorado. It doesn’t stop raining until September. I clearly remember spending around 15 days out in the Colorado wilderness last year in September. These days included epic climbing, camping and hiking. And no rain. But…those were the soley foot-powered, pre-Superfly days….
Now as I am going through my gear again and again, and maybe wishing a little that this race was September 1st, I am ready to get wet..and muddy…and bloody. And be hungry, and thristy. And change flats and fix chains and torn sidewalls. I am ready to sweat and shiver. I am ready to Climb. Pedal. Push. Carry. Slip. Turn. Crash. Descend. Filter water. Watch the sun rise and set. See the stars appear and disappear. Nap in the shade. Sleep in the rain. Marvel at the Columbines. Drink in the thin air…
I am ready to finish this race. A race I only learned about last October when I stumbled upon a woman’s blog that outlined her experience. I remember thinking how much I wanted to do this race when I was done reading. I sat back in my chair and I made up my mind that I was going to learn more about this bikepacking thing that completely intrigued me. And I was going to be at the starting line of the 2011 CTR.
Now, four full days away, I have my gear packed and ready. I am nervous, but that is nothing new…typical Jill. Nerves and stomach knots mean I want it..Really want it.
I will buy food on Sunday and head out to the start to camp with my brother and my black lab. Monday morning I will roll out with all the others who have strapped a bunch of bags to their bikes for one reason or another…
Sooo…why am I doing this? What’s my reason?
Because I do crazy shit? Heh, well. Yeah.
I am doing the Colorado Trail Race to:
Challenge myself not only physically and mentally, but to fulfill my innate need to be in Colorado’s unique and perfect mountains.
Finish every single mile of a trail that cuts through the most personally inspiring and stunning place I have ever been.
Experience challenges without the mundane conveniences we all perceive as necessary.
Search for a bit of chaos and adventure.
Simply pedal my bike (some will understand, some will not…)
Use strategy and skill to my advantage as the conditions and situations arise.
Apply the things I learned in Arizona this past April, namely: leave the uber-competitive drive to win at home and race to finish, it’s a long race and one flat or mishap isn’t going to end it. Push on. Wisely. Calmly.
Get the hell away from text messages, email and Facebook
Finish. Finish. Finish.
Continue my lifetime pursuit of epic...


  1. Awesome. We are all tackling the Colorado Trail for different reasons - but in the end - they are all the same. Just an unreal adventure & challenge through the greatest region in the world.

  2. See how much you have grown in wisdom as well as in strength and stamina and skill since Arizona?

  3. Nice post. Push on wisely and calmly and you'll kill it!

    Have a great adventure out there.

  4. Good luck Jill. I hope you find The Colorado Trail in good condition and well signed. Our little org. and our volunteers work to keep it nice for all. Rubber side down...

    Bill Manning, Mg Dir, The Colorado Trail Foundation