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Thread: 12 day mountain bike trip!

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default 12 day mountain bike trip!

    After waiting about 2 years for scheduling to work out,

    I AM GOIN' BIKING!

    www.sanjuanhuts.com
    ~210 miles through the san juan mountain range.
    Should depart Aug 27.

    Bad thing is that I've only got room for 1 light and no extra battery!

    Me and college buddy a.k.a best man at wedding are heading for the hills, which should come as quite a shock as we both live at sea level.

    So what's 11,000 feet like under strenuous exertion?
    Last edited by turbodog; 07-20-2006 at 08:41 AM.
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  2. #2
    Flashaholic* nethiker's Avatar
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    Default Re: FINALLY!

    Wow, that sounds awesome. What a cool way to travel. The Huts sound great. Enjoy yourselves.
    ~Greg

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  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Lunal_Tic's Avatar
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    Default Re: FINALLY!

    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog
    So what's 11,000 feet like under strenuous exertion?
    For flatlanders, painful. I made the mistake of overdoing it in CO years back. I was so O2 deprived my teeth hurt.

    Be safe, have a good time and come back in one piece.

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    lunal tic (n)
    a distinctive behavioral trait or quirk directly related to or caused by light [15th cent. Latin lunaris. Ultimately from an IE word meaning “light,”] and [Early 19th cent. Italian ticchio.] see also: moon quirk

  4. #4
    * The Arctic Moderator * Sigman's Avatar
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    Default Re: FINALLY!

    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog
    ...Bad thing is that I've only got room for 1 light and no extra battery!...
    Sounding like an EternaLight would fill that requirement? What light are you planning on taking?
    -"Must control self"-
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  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Silviron's Avatar
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    Default Re: FINALLY!

    Oh, Man, That sounds wonderful. I wish I could get away to do that. I sure hope you will have room for a decent camera.... You will be seeing some of the most beautiful country in the world IMHO. Hopefully you will be right on time for the fall colors.

    But really, get yourself acclimatized to higher altitude before you go. A few years ago I took a buddy who lives at sea level to the San Juans (My favorite area in the whole world) and he was sick nearly the whole trip from the altitude.

    I'm not talking exertion, just sitting in the vehicle....

    Horrible headaches, upset stomach, shortness of breath. etc. A few days at the elevation of Durango and he was able to get acclimatized enough to stand being at 11,000 ft, but not to exert himself.... and just driving the 13,000+ pass roads was still too much for him.

    'Course he is an even older codger than I, so your results might be different. But I'd hate to have what sounds like a wonderful adventure ruined because you couldn't take the altitude.

    I live at 7,000 ft, and I can definitely feel the difference at 11,000ft.; just easy hiking... I can't imagine trying to bike it. (Well, at least you don't have to climb over Black Bear or Imogene Pass on your way out of Telluride.)


    If you get a chance though, get to Telluride a day or so early and rent a Jeep or go on one of the jeep tours and do the Imogene, Black Bear and Ophir Pass loops if they are open. That will help acclimatize you and be well worth it.

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    Glowing admin B@rt's Avatar
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    Drool Re: FINALLY!


    Awsome trip! I'm jealous...

    Make sure you drink plenty and listen to your body, you can feel the reduced O2 content pretty good if you are used to sea-level.
    BART

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    Default Re: FINALLY!

    So what's 11,000 feet like under strenuous exertion?

    If by strenuous you mean slow walking then it's bearable. If you mean drive to 11k hop on a bike and start peddling then I would predict a problem for a flatlander unless it was 90% flat or down hill. My Dad and I did 2 weeks in Bolder, CO. 3 summers in a row when I was a kid. We would head into the mountains for slow hiking during the second week and I remember it as quite tough to catch my breath even as a kid.

    Still sounds great, have a ball.

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    Cool Re: FINALLY!

    i strongly recommend a camelback to stay hydrated.

    -David

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Steve K's Avatar
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    Default Re: FINALLY!

    Sounds like a fun time! Take lots of pictures, and be careful.

    Any chance you can spend a couple of days above 6000 feet to adapt to the thinner air? I did Ride the Rockies two years ago, when it started in Boulder, and wandered around passes over 9000 feet. I think the highest pass was Loveland Pass at 11,900 ft. I was able to spend a few days around Denver and Boulder prior to the ride, and felt fine when we started riding.

    Of course, the first step is to be in shape before you go! A second step would be to have adequately low gears on the bike. For the loooong 6% grades on Ride the Rockies, I found myself in my granny gear (26 x 26, or a 27" gear). I wouldn't use this low of a gear here in the midwest except for a 14% grade, but the air is thicker here in the midwest, and the hills are only a half mile long or so.

    It sounds like you'll be in warmer areas, but bring appropriate clothing. When the Ride the Rockies brochure said to be prepared for freezing temperatures in late June, I didn't really comprehend how nasty the weather could be. We had a day of riding canceled because the road was blocked by a blizzard.... in late June! We also had to ride in the rain with temperatues in the 40's, so proper raingear and warm clothes are critical. The need for warm clothes and raingear means that you'll need something to carry it in too, so have a large bag of some kind on the bike.

    good luck!

    Steve K.

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    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: FINALLY!

    Methinks the HDS will be going with me.

    I'll have about a day or two to get used to the elevation before we head out.

    The first day we start at about 8000 and end at 11000 that night.

    Thankfully I've been buying gear a little bit at a time. The only thing left is some insulated tights and a rain jacket.

    Darell will love this part.... I estimate our gas bill will be over $600. That's in a 14 mpg Dodge durango.
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    Default Re: FINALLY!

    Turbo,
    For fun how about you pull your trailer up there and back. Load it with cinder blocks just for added weight. That might get the MPG down to 9-11 which would cause Darell to pass out and do the funky chicken Tell who wouldn't enjoy seeing that?

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: FINALLY!

    Well we are attaching a gps directed exhaust diverter. It always points the exhaust toward Darell's house.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: FINALLY!

    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog
    A
    So what's 11,000 feet like under strenuous exertion?
    I tried doing something similar at that altitude but I couldn't take it. I felt better after about 4 days at altitude. Stay at altitude for a few days before you start biking or your trip will be ruined. I was in fairly good shape at the time.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* Silviron's Avatar
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    Default Re: FINALLY!

    Maybe you should take some viagra!!!!

    According to THIS ARTICLE taking viagra helps with athletic performance at high altitude. (They specifically mention bicycling).

    Now, personally, I would think that the INTENDED effects of Viagra would quite interfere with non-bedroom athletic endeavours, but then, maybe I'm unusual in that respect

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    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: FINALLY!

    I think that wouldn't work well with my lycra bike shorts.


    On a side note, we got our group spot reserved today.
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  16. #16
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 day mountain bike trip!

    It's official. We depart Aug 24.

    I've got all the gear together, and for "fun" I loaded the bike down with it all and did 46 miles last Friday.

    I kept looking behind me to try and find the log I was sure I was dragging that was tied to the bike.

    Ouch!

    Gear weighs a lot. It's time to go back to the drawing board and try and trim some weight.
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    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 day mountain bike trip!

    I can't imagine how you wouldn't have room for more than one light and no spares... it's not like a flashlight and an extra few batteries are that big or heavy...

    That said, have a great time! I love biking, but I'm not as involved as some other (crazies!) on this forum.
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  18. #18
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 day mountain bike trip!

    Quote Originally Posted by carrot
    I can't imagine how you wouldn't have room for more than one light and no spares... it's not like a flashlight and an extra few batteries are that big or heavy...

    That said, have a great time! I love biking, but I'm not as involved as some other (crazies!) on this forum.
    I've packed 1 light and 2 extra batteries. I would have packed only 1 extra batt, but the light and my water purifier use the same cells, except the water purifier uses 2x123 cells and the light 1x123.

    And to top it off, I checked sun/moon rise/set times for the trip. We'll be in pitch black just about the whole time.
    This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: 12 day mountain bike trip!

    no way I'd only take one light and beware of depending upon water purification systems running off cells.

    I'm assuming you are counting grams for a trip as this. ultra-light is only way to travel!

    did a two week backpacking trip to philmont scout ranch last summer. carried three lights. ARC AAA w/no backup cell, Li14430/CR2 w/one backup CR2 li-ion cell and ti cub w/one extra R123 li-ion.

    ti cub did primary duties. one R123 cell lasted for aprox. 12 days under intensive use. only switched cells for last of trip, was glad extra cell was there. ARC AAA (tent duties) and Li14430/CR2 had plenty of juice at end of trip on original cell.

    carried UVaquastar and MSR cholorine dioxide tabs for purification duties. we had loads of dry camps where we sourced water from streams. UVsquastar used was the proto model and ran out of power prmaturely. electronics can and do fail in bad places. always good to take backups.

    had to switch to MSR tablets for water purification duties. Philmont is located at Cimmirron NM. We hiked at attitudes with snow during summer. Quite the trip!

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 day mountain bike trip!

    Well, there are 4 of us going. Someone's bound to bring a light.

    And there are 2 types of water treating equipment going also. Hopefully both will not fail.

    There's still 4 (out of 8) spots available for our departure date.

    Any takers?

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  21. #21
    Flashaholic Dreamer's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 day mountain bike trip!

    Sounds fun! If you still got some space left for a camera, do bring it. I'm sure you will across some beautiful landscapes that not many of us will hv the chance to see.
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    Flashaholic* eebowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 day mountain bike trip!

    turbodog, for your own safety and that of your people,read An Altitude Tutorial and other similar pages if you have time.

    "Anyone who goes to altitude can get AMS. It is primarily related to individual physiology (genetics) and the rate of ascent; there is no significant effect of age, gender, physical fitness, or previous altitude experience. Some people acclimatize quickly, and can ascend rapidly; others acclimatize slowly and have trouble staying well even on a slow ascent. There are factors that we don't understand; the same person may get AMS on one trip and not another despite an identical ascent itinerary. Unfortunately, no way has been found to predict who is likely to get sick at altitude. "

    I'll probably wither up and die at 5000ft. Going into a pool hall where there's lots of smokers, I feel drowsy almost immediately and soon enough, a headache comes on. The WORST is when I'm stuck in a bleeping taxi in the rain with no AC!

    I think you may need more than two spare cells since I'm sure you'll take much longer to do anything at that altitude. Also, the assumption "Well, there are 4 of us going. Someone's bound to bring a light." is almost dangerous. If you're the only flashoholic there, at least pack two EXTRA lights with spares. When you're ready to go riding you'll determine if the lights the others are carrying are good enough.

    All the best!
    Last edited by eebowler; 07-27-2006 at 03:30 AM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: 12 day mountain bike trip!

    I usually get in at least a week of skiing in at Winter Park each year - I have always heard to load up on vitamin E in the days prior to going to that altitude. I have always done it and had no altitude sickness - out of breath is a whole other subject. Sounds like a fun trip.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic MikeHunt79's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 day mountain bike trip!

    What about a dynamo powered bike light?

    Sounds like a great trip by the way... I love mountain biking and am envious.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* flownosaj's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 day mountain bike trip!

    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog
    So what's 11,000 feet like under strenuous exertion?
    uh...like trying to run a 4 minute mile behind a '79 Ford burning oil if you're not used to the altitude.

    Realize that the altitude will really slow you down and might put you in a serious crunch if you're not ready for it.

    *stay hydrated
    *take it easy and know your limits
    *read up on the s/s of altitude sickness

    be safe out there.
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  26. #26
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 day mountain bike trip!

    Well, in an effort to balance the extra weight on the bike I have ordered a front rack and bag.

    Now we're up to 6 riders out of 8 spots. We picked up 2 random dudes. One is from Europe I think.

    I've been training for the ride. My butt hurts already!
    This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: 12 day mountain bike trip!

    consider getting a single wheel bobs trailer....
    this will allow you to get weight off of your bike.

    don't know about you, but thought of riding single track loaded with 25+ lbs of gear is not too apealing...

    drawback is bobs trailer will add 18lbs to what you need to pull. I'd try both methods to find out which is best.

    lucked out and purchased a bobs trailer from another cpf'er for an excellent deal. it's been sitting unused ever since

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 day mountain bike trip!

    The heck you say! It took me 2 YEARS of Google searches to find a rear and front rack for a f/s mountain bike. No way I'm wimping out with a bob trailer now!

    That's like saying put down that surefire and pick up a mag!
    This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.
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  29. #29
    Flashaholic* rscanady's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 day mountain bike trip!

    That looks AWESOME, now I want to go, but I can definitely see how one needs to spend some quality time for Preparation.

    PLEASE, PLEASE report back here when you get done, I want to know how it all went.

    Thanks

    Ryan

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* rscanady's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 day mountain bike trip!

    isnt this only a 7 day trip and not 12 though?

    Ryan

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