Kody and I are in Breckenridge, Colorado working for CHUMBA USA, an American made mountain bike manufacturer, at the Breck Epic. After spending the week supporting our riders and racing ourselves we got a few days off to get into the backcountry. What says recovery after 3 days of racing like 3 days of bikepacking?! We loaded up our bikes with food: avocados, quinoa, dried beans, fruit, some candy bars and oatmeal, camping gear, our cameras & sketch books and set off literally into the sunset.
DAY 1: Pushing up to the tree line of the Ten Mile range at sunset, hiking with our bikes up to 12000′.
Finally near the top it is “flat” enough to ride again.
The sun is going down, but we haven’t traversed the peak yet.
At the peak at 9:00 PM, the Milky Way is arching right above us, terrain is all bowling ball sized rocks.
DAY 2: After a long night of hiking our bikes down from the peak in the dark, Kody and I slept in until 10 AM and then enjoyed a nice fire, coffee and breakfast.
Recharged we set out on the trail again, now enjoying our first hard earned descent.
Coming up hill I saw this incredible light hitting the grasses and had to stop.
Inspiration, I love the contrast in textures.
We came up on so many great views, but it was easy to choose when to sketch. You just know. All of the sudden I just had to stop. This happened a number of times, it was very exciting. Luckily, I chose a good riding partner who was equally enthralled with photographing. Kody was happy to enjoy the opportunity to shoot.
Warming up after another long day on the bike.
Kody plays with long exposures again, this time with our fire lighting up the trees. I was ready for bed, worn out after riding, starting a stubborn fire and eating the last of our dinner food. Though I agree, you have to shoot that Milky Way!
DAY 3: We went a bit overboard on lunch yesterday and only had a pack of oatmeal and some dates/apricots to split today. We still had enough energy to enjoy the views and I couldn’t help but pull off and sketch again.
We made it to Georgia Pass. Not sure how far our ride was, but it felt far, so I’ll say it was. From Copper Mtn at RT 91 to Georgia Pass to downtown Breckenridge nearly all on the singletrack of the Colorado Trail. Tough trails and fun trails, I have added respect for Continental Divide riders.
Kody doing a victory lap before our final descent down to town and finally to breakfast. Once we hit town, around 2PM, we were so hungry we went out and bought two breakfasts and a pitcher of warm coffee each at the Blue Moose Diner.
One last sketch, I will post some images from my sketch book when I return in a few weeks from Colorado and New Mexico.
Thanks to Kody for always having the camera ready, CHUMBA USA for the reliable bikes, Wanderlust Gear for the well designed bikepacking bags, and to Orange Seal for keeping us flat free all ride!
Photos courtesy of Kody Gibson and CHUMBA USA. 2014 Copyright.