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Wow what a long day.  29 miles of crazy single track – 35 miles total, climbs peaking out above timberline at 11,900 ft

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followed by a full hour of screaming down hill to 9800 ft only to climb for another couple of hours back to 11,100 ft, and then plumeting to Breackenridge in some of the fastest singletrack I have ever been on. 

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Then for a finalley, razer thin trail to the trail head.

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I am so blown….

With 285 behind me it was time to head to the next camp site.  Despite the issue with the chain, I was only 6 miles from my scheduled itenary.  On the way I passed by some really interesting tee-pees.

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Just as I was contemplating taking refuse in one of the tee-pees, the trees opened up and I was greeted with a view of South Park

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I reached mile 3.1 of segment 5…and I was done.  The next 3 miles would have to be tacked on to tomorrow.

This section I have been dreading ever since I started planning the trip.   Bike Packers have 2 options when finishing segment 3.  Either a 70 mile detour through mostly fire roads, or 30 miles through Bailey and up US-285.

The traffic is very heavy and in some spots there is virtually no shoulder.  Plus the climb is huge.  Bailey sits 7700ft and the top of the pass is at 10,000ft.

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It was a happy moment when I saw the sign confirming the achievment.

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Stopped at the Cut Throat Cafe…locals asked about my experience…next thing I know the entire clientele is rallying and flagging down anyone with a chain tool.  Dude with a downhill bike happened to be cruising by, he comes into the cafe and looks at me…”are you the one who needs rescuing?”  Three of us get the bike back to working order.  The tool owner says “I would feel more comfortable if you just took the tool with you..”  I gave him $40 for it.

I Love Colorado

Segment 2 was totally new to me.  After waking up in the perfect camp space I ate breakfast and packed up.  I felt I was about a liter short on water so I didn’t bother with coffee.  There was no opportunity for water for the next 10 miles so I wanted to conserve what I had.

Segment 2 on a hot day would be brutal.  There is very little cover. 

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But the biking is excellent…especially the last third

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Storms were moving in as I was finishing but they stayed to the north and missed me.  The morning was riden in isolation, but ran across a number of riders and hikers around noon time.  This included two 60+ year olds.  This trip has surprised me with number of older riders.  It’s great to see.

The first 2/3 of segment 3 were very familiar to me.  This is a section that I rode often back when I lived in Colorado.  Every thing past Buffalo Creek (which reaks of fish) was new to me.  As I started my climb away from Buffalo Creek my chain started to “suck”.  After fixing it several times it finally got totally stuck.

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One of the links of the chain opened up and jammed.  I was finally able to pry it apart, but the chain was now broken.  I took it off and used my bike as a scooter for the final 4 miles.

When I reached the end of segment 3 the clouds opened up and it began to lightening.  I hiked my bike back to the last campsite (1/8 mile) and set my tent up in the rain.  As it turns out my rain fly leaks.  So not the best way to end the day…but I’m too tired to push the bike to Bailey tonight…so the 9 mile hike will have to wait till morning.

From there I’ll have to taxi into Evergreen (or where ever the closest bike shop is) unless I can convince someone to bring me some supplies….