Skip to content

Colorado Trail Yo-yo Round 2

Cover photo by Josh Hicks.

The mistakes and inefficiencies had been on my mind since we finished last year. In 2020, Katie and I started our own individual time trials to yo-yo the CT about a week after we learned that the yo-yo was a thing, and something no one had done before. Our friends Justin and Alexandera introduced this concept to us, as they were preparing for their own yo-yo ITTs. We were hooked. How hard could it be? Turns out it’s pretty tough. Looking back, I definitely hadn’t processed what this effort would require and I hadn’t mentally prepared for turning around in Durango. I struggled when the weather got nasty, being out in the backcountry alone, knowing that no one was nearby and also that Katie was somewhere behind me enduring the same conditions. 

The day when Katie caught me it had been storming on and off all day as I went through Sargents Mesa and the La Garita Wilderness detour. I arrived at Spring Creek Pass around 9pm and right as rain started pouring. I went straight for the vault toilet for shelter, in theory to wait for the heavy rain to pass, but deep down I knew I just wanted to stop there for the night. I had become less and less committed to my sleep schedule as the weather drained my spirits. In 2019, my first Colorado Trail Race, I had near perfect weather the whole time. I put my rain pants on once – for about 10 minutes. In 2020, we had 4 straight days of wet weather with very little sunlight to dry things out or improve my mood. I hadn’t had cell service in over 24hrs, I didn’t know where Katie was or how she was doing in these storms. I fell asleep feeling a little guilty about being in this shelter while Katie was out in the woods somewhere, feeling a little apprehensive about this whole yo-yo thing, feeling conflicted about trying to go fast vs my desire to stay warm and dry in my sleep kit. 

Katie arrived at the same vault toilet that night around 1am, if you haven’t read her account, it’s HERE. She and I and our new friend Lenny slept in there until about 6am, only to wake up to more rain. At some point that day I voiced my hesitation about the yo-yo to Katie, I was thinking about stopping in Durango. She replied that she was turning around in Durango and finishing no matter what. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear at the time, but it was the peer pressure I needed to start the return trip to Denver. We decided to ride back together, compromising the integrity of our ITTs. I don’t think I would have completed the yo-yo without her encouragement, so I think it was the right choice for me to ride together. But I knew that riding with my wife was not racing solo, self-supported. We completed the yo-yo, but I knew I could do it faster. I wanted a clean run. 

Fast forward to July 2021, I was ready to take on the yo-yo again. I’d spent all year thinking about my strategy, my gear list, and my bike. I’d have a fairly strict sleep schedule, I’d bring a real sleeping pad, I’d bring a synthetic puffy vest instead of down, I’d ditch the water filter in favor of tabs, I’d have photochromic sunglasses, I’d run an easier singlespeed gear, I’d use a metal bike with a bulletproof singlespeed system, I’d replace my roll-top frame bag with a faster zipper opening bag, I’d use a hip pack instead of a backpack, I’d bring a phone with better battery life, I’d stop myself from checking trackleaders every time I stopped, I’d be prepared for bad weather. 

I started by myself in Waterton Canyon at 6am (tracker link here) and instead of looking over my shoulder for the first hour trying to spot Katie, I was focused. Aside from a large number of thru hikers on the trail, I was alone and ready to move efficiently. Katie had decided to start with the grand depart this year, racing from Durango to Denver. I was starting in Denver 6 days prior to the grand depart, in theory I would have people to chase on my return trip. I was mentally prepared for the whole 1000 mile effort, although I wouldn’t let myself think that far ahead. One mile at a time. 

The sendoff at Waterton Canyon

The first day went pretty smoothly, aside from some high temps and mild cramps on the exposed Tarryall detour. I only stopped at the Goose Creek Campground for long enough to fill my water, but should’ve spent a few minutes cooling down in the creek and eating more food. By the time I rejoined the CT at segment 5, my legs were cooked and I walked almost everything uphill until Kenosha Pass. I had camped just past Kenosha last year, so I told myself I had to go beyond that spot this year. I stopped for the night just after 11pm, which was my goal for each day, ride until at least 11pm. My back ached, my chest was tight, my legs still had twinges, and I didn’t have much of an appetite, but I knew my body would come around in a day or two. I set my alarm for 5 hours and went to sleep somewhat anxiously. My first outdoor overnight in a while. 

I layered up, ate what I could stomach, and I was rolling 10 minutes after I crawled out of my bivy. My mouth was dry and I was having trouble chewing and swallowing my food. I guess I got a little overheated on that detour the day before. I would take a bite of food and add water to help chew faster, hotdog eating competition style. I started my ride/hike up Georgia Pass, thinking back to how I was already losing focus at this point last year by spending time talking to lots of hikers and sitting down to eat snacks. I kept moving, nothing is slower than stopped time. I crossed Hwy 9 near Breckenridge and got pretty hot again on Gold Hill trail. I was out of water but knew exactly where the next creek was, and I had already made up my mind that I was going to stop and stick my feet in it. The east side of the climb up the Tenmile range is steep and rugged, it seemed to take forever in the heat. When I got near the top, I could see dark clouds on the peaks south of the trail. No thunder, but a little close for comfort, especially knowing that the trail traversed the ridge for a while, all exposed above treeline. I was having flashbacks from last year, getting caught in thunderstorms up high. I kept an eye on the clouds while I still had some cover around me, but eventually had to make the call to take shelter or go for it. The sun was shining overhead and the clouds didn’t seem to be moving towards me, so I went. As soon as I was up on top of the ridge, thunder clapped loudly and I rode and ran as fast as I could over the piles of rocks that make up the trail. As I got lower, I felt more at ease knowing that I wasn’t the tallest thing around anymore, plus there were a few hikers on this side of the trail and a guy waiting to take my picture. I was relieved when I was back in the woods again, but that feeling of being so vulnerable up on an exposed ridge was forefront in my mind. Was I really up for this? I traversed along the Copper Mtn ski area and put on all my rain gear as it started to pour. I looked back at the Tenmile range to see a dark cloud and lightning over where I had just been. I was spooked. I called Katie, just needing to talk to someone to calm down. The rain stopped and my climb up Searle Pass was uneventful. It was dark by the time I reached the pass and started the high alpine section over to Kokomo Pass. I started to hear thunder nearby and a feeling of dread crept in. I moved as fast as I could, praying that I could get over Kokomo before the storm arrived. It rained, but the lightning never got close. I camped past Camp Hale after midnight, again further than I made it last year. My head was tired and my legs were tired, so at this point I decided 5 hours of sleep might not cut it and I should bump it up to 6. 

Photo by Josh Hicks
Photo by Josh Hicks

The alarm went off at 6:30am on my 3rd day and I was rolling by 6:45. That felt good, I’m not usually good about moving quickly in the mornings. Tennessee Pass and the Leadville detour were a welcome reprieve from the terrain the day before. After the climb from the Mt Elbert trailhead, the riding is fast and fun to Twin Lakes. With the sun shining, I remembered why I love being out there. I hit the Buena Vista detour mid afternoon along with some rain, and rolled into BV around 5pm. First resupply after 250ish miles. I walked around the grocery store in a daze and eventually gathered a pile of food big enough to fill every bag on my bike. I focused on foods I could chew easily, Lays potato chips were on the top of my list. I downed some chocolate milk and cold general tso chicken outside the store while talking to a few locals. Light rain turned to heavy rain on my ride up the road to rejoin the CT. Riding in the rain on the road with traffic put me right into a sour mood. I knew the next few miles of trail were slow going with big rocks and roots, and the rain wouldn’t help with that. I couldn’t help but look longingly at the tents of thru hikers as the rain continued and the sun set. I pushed on into the night until I passed Princeton Hot Springs and reached Chalk Creek and found a flat spot to sleep. I tried to push aside my negative attitude about the rain. My legs were finally feeling good, and there was so much great riding left ahead. 

Snack before the climb by Mt Elbert
Primitive bridge over a creek. Watch your step.

I gave myself 6 hours to sleep again, which felt great. A few minutes after getting moving I saw two moose walk right next to another bikepacker’s tent, which prompted his head to poke out a few seconds later. With legs feeling strong, I pushed it maybe a little too hard on the next fast rolling section. I crossed Hwy 50 midday and made my way up Fooses Creek, which wasn’t as hard as I had remembered. The last 100 yards are a steep push, but otherwise it’s a beautiful climb. It was raining along the Monarch Crest section and the trail to Marshall Pass was wet, but I rode over the rocks and roots more confidently than I had ever ridden a wet trail before. That’s one of the things I love about riding all day for multiple days, I can feel my bike handling and confidence improve dramatically in a relatively short period of time. The bike becomes an extension of your body, which sounds cliché, but it’s true. This was about where the weather really got nasty last year, so I was relieved to be able to ride the descent down to Tank Seven Creek, rather than walking down a trail-turned-creek. Tank Seven Creek is downstream from lots of cows, so I added an extra purification tab when I filled up and decided to let the tabs work overnight before drinking. I pushed to the start of the Sargents Mesa segment before setting up my bivy and tarp, I didn’t trust the clouds that night. 

It was frosty when I woke up, so I snoozed a bit and watched the sun come up across a big clearing. Sargents Mesa was a low point for me the first time I rode the CT, but now I know what to expect and dare I say I even enjoyed it this time.

I hit the start of segment 18 at noon and took out my down quilt to dry in the sun while I ate some quinoa and cheese for lunch.

The La Garita detour always feels eerie to me, I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because it seems like there should be people out there, but I usually don’t see anyone. I reached Los Pinos Pass as it started to rain and the sky ahead was dark as can be. I could see sheets of rain falling in the valley ahead and decided to take a 20 minute nap in hopes that it might pass before I had to ride through it.

The rain let up and I descended to Cebolla Creek on freshly washed-out gravel roads. It’s a long steady climb on gravel up to Slumgullion Pass, which I was somewhat looking forward to. It’s a pretty nice singlespeed climb. A few miles into the 20 mile climb, I looked back to see a dark wall of clouds creeping up on me. I started to push the pace, but it was gaining on me. A few minutes later I was back in full rain gear, slowly climbing up the mushy road. At this point I realized that my ultralight rain jacket wasn’t really doing its job anymore. There were a few holes in the back that were letting water through, so my shirt inside was soaked. It was getting dark, but as long as I was climbing, I was warm. When I hit the pavement to climb the final bit up to Slumgullion Pass, I hesitated. It was dark, I was soaking wet, and it was still raining. Turning left meant a short climb followed by a fast paved descent, then a short climb up to Spring Creek Pass. Beyond that was the most remote section of the CT. Turning right was also a fast paved descent, but Lake City was at the bottom, with food and indoor lodging. I was getting cold enough that I seriously considered turning right, but I assured myself that I had a dry quilt and a synthetic vest, and that I would be okay. I turned left, I froze on the descent, and tried to work up some internal heat on the climb to Spring Creek Pass. It was still raining when I reached the pass, and I had the vault toilet on my mind, just like last year. Except this year there were already two bikes parked outside of the toilet. Occupied. That’s okay, it’s dry inside those things, but that concrete floor is super cold to sleep on. I continued along the muddy doubletrack trail for another mile or so until I found a flat spot with trees that would work well with my tarp. It was still raining steadily, so I did my best to get my tarp tied up taught with my numb fingers, and crawled inside with my dry gear still in dry bags. I carefully set things up to keep my wet layers away from my quilt, which wasn’t easy under my small tarp. Then I faced a dilemma with my soaked wool shirt. If I took it off, it wouldn’t dry overnight with all this moisture in the air, and would be potentially frozen in the morning. I was grateful that I brought a synthetic layer instead of down, because that meant it would still be warm, even when wet. I decided to sleep with my wet shirt on, under my vest, so that my body heat would dry it out overnight. This worked reasonably well, although a full jacket would have been nice instead of just a vest. I was a little nervous about how cold I would be that night, but with my 30 degree down quilt and a chemical hand warmer at my feet, I was warm enough to sleep. 

Fortunately, on the morning of day 6 this year, the sky was clear and the sun immediately began to warm me up. After the cold wet night, I was slow to get moving. I let everything dry in the sun before I packed up. By the time I finally got moving, I was a little frustrated that I had spent that long at camp, because now I was making my way to the high point of the CT and I wouldn’t be there until midday when storms could potentially be brewing. Are you sensing a theme here? But the weather was fair, and I crossed the high point and segment 23 without any thunder.

Doesn’t get much better than this.

Of course, I was back in full rain gear as it poured on my descent down Stony Pass, but I reached Silverton in time to get a few extra snacks at the grocery store. I made it a few miles west of Molas Pass before drowsiness took over around 11pm and I found a spot to sleep.

I had purchased an extra breakfast burrito in Silverton, so I enjoyed a decent breakfast while warm in my bivy. It was chilly and I attempted to get dressed while in my bivy.

Of course this meant extra time in camp, and again I was kicking myself for not getting an earlier start. Staying focused on a two week time goal is challenging in the moment. It’s important to reach high passes early in the day to avoid the risk of thunderstorms, but often it’s unavoidable that you end up above treeline in the afternoon, at least if you’re racing. Indian Trail Ridge was on my mind, a section of trail that’s totally exposed to lightning and pretty slow moving terrain. I figured I’d be there mid afternoon, and I was really hoping I wouldn’t encounter a storm that would force me to wait. That’s what happened last year, Katie and I ended up spending the night on the side of the mountain after scrambling down from the trail when a storm rolled in. Starting around noon, I began to encounter the grand depart racers headed the opposite direction. It was fun to see some people I knew, and eventually I saw Katie, Alexandera, and Leigh all riding together. We said hi and went our separate ways. I was still on a mission to get up and over Indian Trail Ridge before any weather popped up. My legs felt good, I was riding more trail than I expected and hiking fast. This was where I caught up with Todd Johnson who was doing an ITT UNsupported (no resupplies at all, carrying all food from the start! First time this has been done on a bike). He and I made good time getting up and over the section above treeline. The sky looked mostly clear overhead, but just west were dark clouds so we hiked fast, determined to get to Durango at a decent time.

On the way down Kennebec, the skies opened up and it was a full on monsoon for at least 30 minutes. I put my gear on and continued down. The trail was a stream of water, my brakes were howling. This slowed my descent down quite a bit, but only for the last 8 miles or so, and I was super motivated knowing I was so close to civilization. I finally got to the trailhead after dark and rolled into town.

Obligatory trailhead shot

Fortunately city market was open until 11. I got a hotel room, put the bike inside, started charging stuff, and ordered 2 large pizzas before walking across the street to the grocery store. $60 later I was hustling back and the pizza guy arrived right when I did. I unpacked my bike and started organizing food. I rinsed my clothes and showered. I realized I probably bought too much food and I couldn’t really process how I was going to fit it all, I was mentally drained. Pushed my alarm back to 6am so I could get a decent amount of sleep, even though I wanted an earlier start to hit Indian Trail Ridge at a decent time to avoid storms.

Somehow I woke up before my alarm and finished packing up my stuff. This was a nice reset at the halfway point, and a luxurious one. I lubed my chain, added air to my fork, and stuffed as much food as I could into my bags, including one large pizza. I really did have too much food, I left a small pile in the room with a note. I arrived at the trailhead at 7am and started my return trip. There was no hesitation this time, I was committed to the yo-yo. It’s a long climb up Kennebec, but I had a week’s worth of hiking in my legs, had fully replenished calories last night, slept in a bed, and I felt good. I had been traveling on the trail westbound knowing that I would cover that ground again, but once I turned around, every mile felt like meaningful progress toward the finish.

Unfortunately there were some threatening looking clouds over Indian Trail Ridge when I reached Taylor lakes, so I took a nap in tree cover and waited out the weather for about an hour. When it had passed, I made my move and again hiked as fast as I could over the ridge. The following section is fairly fast, and I kept moving through some afternoon showers. I went up Blackhawk Pass in twilight and then forced myself to keep moving until 11pm.

I was moving especially slowly the next morning, and I wasn’t sure why. I did my best to keep the calories coming in. Approaching Little Molas Lake my front brake got soft, then pulled all the way to the bars. I saw oil on the caliper, then saw the hose had a kink in it. Uh oh. Hopefully the bike shop in Silverton has a hose. I rode with just the rear brake until I got service. Google says bike shop is closed until Thursday. It’s Tuesday. I call, and Cliff picks up! He splits time between Silverton and Durango, but the shop is open for the CTR. He just got hoses from Shimano. Win. He says he just got done with CT bikes and started on his regular workload. Asks if I can install myself, why yes I can. I let him know I’ll be there in about an hour and then cautiously descend with just the rear brake. Not a lot of braking power, and I couldn’t stop without skidding for a while. I definitely hit a few drops with more speed than I would’ve liked. I stopped at grocery store in Silverton for snickers, chocolate milk, a sandwich, and 2 ice cream sandwiches, one for my new friend Cliff. I get to the shop and he has all the parts and tools laid out on a tray for me to take outside and work on in a stand. I realized my tarp was strapped to the front of my bar bag over the brake hose and caused it to kink when the suspension bottomed out. Dumb. 

Spot the kink.
Surgical quality

I got it replaced and paid him for the hose and another baby bottle of lube, why did I think one was enough? I hurried out of town to make up for some lost time, feeling relief that I got my brake fixed but also like I’d been stressed all morning. I stopped by the river and filled water and just sat to let my feet air out, change socks, and remind myself that everything is okay. 

After a quick reset, I decided I wanted to see how fast I could get up Stony pass. I settled in to hiking around 3mph, at least at the beginning. I think it took less than 2 hours from the bottom of the climb, which felt good. I caught the lantern rouge of the grand depart going up the pass. I turned off the road and onto the trail as the sky got darker to the north. I got over the first hump and started hearing thunder. This is the longest section above treeline, not a good spot to be during a thunderstorm. I took cover under a rock outcropping and watched the storm. So much for that effort climbing up Stony.

Thunder is scary up here.

The sky started looking better ahead on the trail, but I tried to be patient, I really didn’t want to get caught somewhere without any cover. I visualized the trail ahead and set some goals. Sitting still was making me anxious, but it helped to have a plan to reassure myself that I wasn’t too far off my plan. I’d try to get near Carson Saddle tonight, then Sargents Mesa tomorrow evening. I could still be right around 6 day pace, I thought. I ended up waiting for 2 hours. The lantern rouge caught back up to me. He didn’t seem concerned about the clouds near us and kept going. I hesitantly followed as the sky had lightened, then 10 minutes later lightning went off on the peak next to us. I realized I had a false sense of confidence seeing another person out in that weather. So I took another nap in a low spot as he kept walking. Clear sky started to show through so I decided to go ahead. Over the next ridge I descended into a cloud.

My brake pads weren’t working, they probably got oil on them when the hose was leaking. I sanded them and the rotors a bit, much better. After dark, I could see lights on the trail far ahead. It was strangely comforting seeing someone out there. I’d spent a week riding solo and being the only weirdo on the trail after dark. Eventually I caught owner of the lights around 9:30pm as he was setting up camp. I had my goal of Carson Saddle, so I kept moving. I ended up at the bottom of the valley just before Carson saddle at midnight. Perfect. If I can push through the 9-10pm lull, I think I’m better off going late and waking up when it’s light out.

I was moving by 6:30am. I rode with all my layers on for 30 min until the sun came over the mountain. I hiked up to the high point of the CT, then rode mostly downhill to Spring Creek Pass aside from Jarosa Mesa.

Photo credit: random hiker at the high point!

I filtered water at the pass and started the La Garita Wilderness detour. I decided I wanted to get Sargents Mesa done tonight, so I kept on the gas through segment 18 which is super fast. I reached the highway crossing around 7pm, got on the trail at 7:45. It was more rideable than I remembered in this direction aside from the big ridges with hikes. I made it most of the way through the segment by midnight and decided to stop. It would be a big push to get to BV during grocery hours tomorrow. 

My alarm was set for 5:45am and I was rolling just after 6. I checked off Sargents Mesa, another milestone done. I descended to Tank Seven Creek where I caught racer Jay. We rode together on and off until Marshall Pass. Saw the Pleskos pushing up to Windy Point with their tandem, so gnarly!

I descended down Fooses and ate some lunch then started attacking segment 14. The miles were starting to tick away. I got to Princeton Hot Springs at 6pm and skipped the small store. I had the grocery store hours in BV on my mind. I kept riding hard in segment 13, eventually reaching the final couple miles of techy singletrack that parallel the highway around 8:30pm. I ran where I couldn’t ride. I was onto the highway by 9:15pm and cruised into town. Made it to City Market with 30 min to spare. I loaded up with 12k+ calories and set out to finish the detour. I started to fade rolling on the wide shoulder of pavement, but I finally made it back to the CT at 12:30am. Then walked up the climb until I found a flat spot at 1am, past a few sleeping racers. I set an alarm for 5:45am, it was starting to feel more like a race.

I ate a breakfast burrito in my bivy. Probably should’ve slept longer, I was slow to get moving. I was walking slowly, legs felt super heavy when pedaling. The previous day was a big effort. I started to suspect my BB of making things harder than they should be. I briefly consider stopping in Leadville to visit the bike shop, but eventually realized I should clean and lube chain more thoroughly. That seemed to help. Sometimes common sense isn’t so common during these efforts. I stayed with my original plan and skipped Leadville, the BB would have to survive another few days. Checking the tracker, I noticed that I’d passed a few guys in front of me because they all stopped in town. Turns out I wouldn’t catch very many racers out on the trail on my return trip, I mostly passed people after they’d gone to sleep or when they were resupplying in town. The Tennessee Pass section is super fast, but I changed into and out of rain gear a couple times as the afternoon rain started. As I started up Kokomo, the sky turned dark again. I hiked up with my rain jacket on, feeling drowsy late in the afternoon. Rain started getting heavier, I could see thunder and lightning up at the pass. I decided I’d hike to treeline and sleep early if the weather didn’t pass. At 6:30pm I was feeling exhausted so I made the call to set up my tarp and bivy to get a few hours of quality sleep while the storm threatened the pass.

The closest thing to a flat spot on the side of a mountain.

I woke up a few minutes before the alarm at midnight. I peeked out from under the tarp and I could see stars in the sky. Excellent. I headed up the last bit of Kokomo Pass and over to Searle pass. The descent down Searle was kinda slow, lots of wet roots. In the early morning hours before sunrise I had a slow speed crash on the traverse across Copper Ski area. A muddy corner where my front wheel slid out and I half caught myself then high centered and tipped over. Out loud I reminded myself to be careful. Staying injury free for 2 weeks requires a certain amount of caution. I was at the bottom of Tenmile at 4am and at the top by 6:30am. It can be really satisfying to get a solid chunk of riding done before sunrise. I descended to find Katie camped just below treeline. She was tired and ready to be done. After a brief exchange I left feeling frustrated that I couldn’t do anything to help. I know she was disappointed that she wasn’t going as fast as she wanted to. I sent her a text encouraging her to stay positive. It’s all a mental game. To distract myself, I turned my attention to catching Lenny, he was just a few miles ahead across Hwy 9 on the tracker. I started hiking pre Georgia pass then Georgia pass, no Lenny to be found. Three quarters of the way up Georgia Pass it started raining and storming nearby. Rain gear on, I kept marching to the top. I hesitated near the last few trees, but it looked like the storm had moved past. I had seen a bike and some hikers come over the pass in the last 30min. Time to go.

Looking back from treeline at Georgia Pass

I hiked fast and flew down the other side to the trees. Still raining, I was cautious on the rooty descent. Going up to Kenosha Pass, my shirt was soaked under my rain jacket and I was getting cold. The cloudy day made it seem late, or was it because I’d been up since midnight? I was really hoping Stagestop would be open when I hit the detour. I checked the tracker and Lenny was already turning onto gravel on the detour, he was flying and now out of reach. I needed more calories to get to the finish while maintaining 350 calories per hour. Fortunately the bar was hopping when I arrived and the new owner opened the store for me to grab a few snacks. I got trapped talking to locals on the porch for a few minutes and finally rolled out near sunset. I had trouble keeping my eyes open on the pavement after dark so I stopped for a 5 min nap and a snack in the ditch. I wanted to get onto the gravel road where I could camp on public land. The gravel was soft and the climb up to the National Forest went by slowly. It was raining again and windy when I got to the spot where Katie and I spent our last night on last year’s ride. Drained, I spent too much time setting up the tarp, but I was thankful for my dry shelter and midnight snack of cheesy rice with pringles. It took 23 hours to go 99 miles, from Kokomo Pass to halfway through the Tarryall detour. Part of me wanted to get up really early to finish off the ride, but I decided I would be better off with a decent rest. Even with 0 hours of sleep, I was too far away from the end of the trail at Waterton Canyon to get there by 6am for a sub 13 day time, which was my goal.

I was rolling by 6am. It was still cloudy, but no rain. The gravel was soft, but I could see tread marks that sunk in much deeper than mine. Eventually I saw sloppy looking footprints going up some of the hills. Yikes, some racers had a rough time on this stretch. It stayed cloudy and cool for me this time on the detour and I hit segment 3 of the CT around 11am. I ate some chips and cheese for lunch and set out to finish the yo-yo. I estimated 6 hours to go. Segment 3 is a dream, so fast. I had my final water refill at the fire station before starting segment 2, 4hrs to go. On the last few miles of trail I was ready to be done, but knew I’d soon miss waking up and riding this incredible trail every day. Before I knew it I was cruising down Waterton Canyon, dodging walkers and bikes instead of rocks and roots.

I finished my yo-yo in 13 days, 10 hours, and 50 minutes. I shaved 3 days off of our time from last year (16:14:20). I’m so grateful for the time I was able to spend on this trail. It was my 4th and 5th trip down the whole CT and I’m sure I’ll be back for more.

CTR yoyo stats:
Distance: 1056.4 miles
Elevation gain: 142902 ft

6:15:30 westbound split
6:09:50 eastbound split
13:10:50 total time

10 days with full rain gear on at least once

6 hours of sleep average westbound
5 hours of sleep average eastbound
1 night indoors (hotel in Durango)

0 flat tires
1 kinked hydraulic brake hose
1 toasted bottom bracket
1 pretty thrashed fork with some bushing play

~70k calories consumed
50 aqua tabs used to purify water
No caffeine used

Longest continuous push: 23hrs
Longest mileage: 121mi (day 1)
Most elevation gain: 15489ft (day 1)

Average distance: 75mi
Average elevation gain: 10200ft

Distance hiked: hard to say, over 100 miles for sure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *