Yesterday PBR, Little E, Lubes and myself made our way up to Lyons for the Lyons Fat Tire Festival and Dave's Uber Death March. We hooked up with 20 or so other folks and headed up to Estes Park.
This was a huge group for this type of ride and within 2 miles of hitting singletrack we lost about 10 riders. Dave had told us once we were all on the dirt ribbon to take all rights...Somehow I managed to be the 2nd or 3rd rider to the turn and yelled out for the guys in front to turn it around. We got to the top of our next intersection and there were only 10 of us. Then we saw a rider in the distance and it turned out to be Dave who said he was the last rider to the turn.
Dave and Chad broke away from the group to find the others and a good 30 minutes later we see the rest of the group making their way to us. Another 15 minutes later we see Dave and Chad and the word is called out for us to continue our march to the top of the mountain.
We made our way up and reached a point for a good 10 minute hike a bike. All the while we could feel the air temperature cooling and thunder in the distance marking the progress of our march and the approaching storms.
We reached the top and the view point and watched the storms rack the not so distant mountains. I tried for at least 5 minutes to catch one of the mesmerizing lightning strikes but my shutter finger was to slow.
E decided to take a jump on the group for the descent, being on the fixie and PBR, Mr. Trek from Montana, and myself decided to follow suit. I managed to become distracted with all the magnificent views a few times and each time it ended with me eating dirt on the side of trail. This gave chance for a few riders to pass me and as we made our way to the big technical descent of the day I quickly learned what a mistake my view taking had made. The three guys who made their way in front of me were cutting trail to avoid the more technical sections and I called out several times to stay on trail....Keep it one track.
Finally we made it to a particularly rocky section and the guys had no choice but to hop off their bikes and step off trail. I took this as my cue and made quick work of the techy section on the bike. I quickly caught back up to E and another guy and our group varied as riders came and went with the short climbs interspersed throughout our descent.
Just as we made it through a tough techy section I heard a loud pop as E's rear tire blew. Making sure E had everything he needed I went on my own enjoying the descent. I reached the bottom and we had a group of 5 that became about 14 riders as more descended off the mountain.
About that time the distant storms caught up with us and a light rain began to fall. We decided to split the group and left two riders behind to let the other group know what we had done and about 12 of us took off for a 5 mile paved road ride. I had put on my waterproof jacket but soon discovered that I was overheating so I let the group go on.
About that time the sun poked back out and I heard a grunt to my left. A massive elk stood about 40 yards away and as I pulled out my camera I heard car tires squeal behind me as passing tourist saw the Elk as well. This caused the Elk to bolt but I did manage to snap this picture just before he did.
I caught back up with the group at the pinic area of Glenn Haven and from there we made our way to the town of Glenn Haven and finally the climb back up the mountain. We came to a trail split and decided to keep climbing as this would bring us back to the meadow where we had been seperated in the beginning and give us one final descent before our last short rocky climb.
Back off the meadow and to our 1st trail split we waited for two of our riders as one had a mechanical that later we learned to be a split shifter cable housing. After about 15 minutes we saw riders coming from the lower trail and were relieved to see it was the rest of our original group. Another 15 minutes or so and our two riders with a mechanical rolled up and we all finished the last climb out together.
Later...we drove back to Lyons and went to Oscar Blues. Tabetha and the girls met me for dinner and I learned that a Death March+Oscars's Old Chub(8.0 ABV)+Oscar's Tenfidy(10.5ABV)=a swaying Goat.