Anyone who knows me well knows that the Colorado Trail Race (CTR) is my favorite race of all time.  What's not to like about a 550-mile, completely self-supported mountain bike race?  With over 75k of climbing (and descending), all kinds of Colorado weather, and some really primitive, remote areas, the CTR is not for the faint of heart.  But there's just something about it that draws me in, its toughness aside.  I've done it twice (2011 and 2013), and every time I say "Never again!"  However, it usually only takes a week or so for me to forget about the difficult parts and remember only the beauty - both of the wilderness you travel through and, as I've said before, the wilderness within.  The personal journey one experiences on the CTR is really the reason to do such a thing, in my opinion.

Eric Foster and Danny Powers push up towards Coney Summit during the 2013 CTR.

Eric Foster and Danny Powers push up towards Coney Summit during the 2013 CTR.

In any case, the 2014 CTR began on Sunday morning in Denver, and racers are on their way down to Durango as I write.  CTR stalwarts Jefe, Jesse, and Ethan are all sitting out this year, along with a bunch of others (myself included), leaving the smallest field we've seen at the CTR in a few years.  Crested Butte's Neil Beltchenko took the lead from the get-go and is flying out there.  As of 7:30pm, he's about to regain the trail after the mandatory detour through BV - the nearest rider is several hours back, which is incredible.

The detour near Buena Vista (northbound, though).

The detour near Buena Vista (northbound, though).

My neighbor, Garrett Alexander, is out there for the first time.  Looks like he had a fairly fast day yesterday, and may be paying for it today, as he hasn't covered much ground on Day 2.  It could have something to do with having to crest the Ten Mile Range today...

What the Ten Mile Range looks like at night.  Ouch.

What the Ten Mile Range looks like at night.  Ouch.

Customer Michael Ackerman is also out there, racing the course in reverse - he started at our front door at 4am on Sunday, heading for Denver!  He's currently on one of the most beautiful, remote, and terrifying (if the weather's bad) sections of the CT, east of Silverton.  I sure hope the weather is clear tonight up there, because riding that section of above-treeline trail during a full moon (a "supermoon" at that!) has long been a dream of mine.  I sure hope he is coherent enough to enjoy it.

Wouldn't you want to experience this under a supermoon?

Wouldn't you want to experience this under a supermoon?

Finally, customer Scott Shirey is out there, climbing (currently) Searle Pass outside of Copper.  That's a really nice climb, not that difficult even with a loaded bike.  Ride well, everyone - we'll check back in tomorrow!

This little guy lives up on Searle Pass.  Perhaps Scott Shirey will see him - he was awfully bold last summer.

This little guy lives up on Searle Pass.  Perhaps Scott Shirey will see him - he was awfully bold last summer.