Getting settled back into the shop life after two weeks of just, outdoors, only worrying about how much water you have and how many miles until the next checkpoint, has been quite an adjustment. During Covid19 we've seen such a shift in the industry, sending people flocking to bike shops as they're stuck at home. While this has been great for the industry, this volume of business has your local bike wizard itching for a vacation and that's when this trip came up just in time. In late 2019 the idea was sparked to ride the Continental Divide route from Rawlings, Wyoming to Salida, Colorado, to get a bit more intimate with the outdoors by bike.
With gravel bikes like the Specialized Diverge, Cannondale Slate, Niner RLT Steel, and Moots Baxter raising the bar on what a gravel bike is capable of, we set off on the mountain trail with no concern for lack of capabilities. Roadrunner handlebar and copilot bags, Ortlieb seat packs, Blackburn frame bags all seemed to be the favorites for carrying gear!
Patagonia Capilene shirts kept us UV safe, dry, and stink-free lol. Assos bibs, RBX SWAT bibs, and Angeles creative apparel are always the go-to for endurance pedaling.
In about 12 riding days, with a couple of rest days in between, we covered around 470 miles and 30,000ft of gain. We started off with short days to get acclimated to the elevation. Keith and I, coming from LA, definitely worried about the lack of oxygen but quickly realized that we'd be just fine at cruising speed.
We started off in very flat and rolling terrain for the first 50 miles and then quickly started ascending into The Rockies.
The hardest day I can recollect is definitely day 3, riding from Aspen Alley to Steamboat Lake. it doesn't seem like much but in the span of 50 miles we got a decent, flat roller, and a heavy-duty 4x4 trail 25% climb across the watershed divide up to 9k ft of elevation. that wasn't what put me out, a 10-mile rocky descent into the campsite featured jarring high-frequency bumps that had me seeing stars. I wouldn't trade it for a thing. all bikes kept it rubber side down, all equipped with Shimano GRX/Ultegra RX had zero mechanical issues!! shout out Shimano for the GRX Di2!
Low tires pressure, high cadence, and making the journey the destination -- are all mandatory actions.
for the next 10 days, we would experience beautiful views, high elevation, one flat tire, difficulty breathing due to the fires damaging much of colorado, and at the same time love every minute of it. at the end of the trip, dusty, depleted, and drained, we enjoyed ourselves a couple of cold ones in Salida to celebrate. definitely, the first of many adventures to come on the GDMBR.
Moots Baxter frame 29er Large
Moots Ti stem
Moots Ti Seatpost laid back
Moots Red Anodized Bits
P.R.O. Discover big flare handlebar 30 deg. (shout out Derek @ Shimano)
Chris King red anodized headset
Specialized Phenom Mimic saddle
GRX Di2 shifter/derailleur set (shout out Shimano Gravel Alliance/Junior)
XT 2x11 drivetrain 26t/36t x 11-42t
Road Runner Bags Jumbo Jammer handlebar bag
Road Runner Bags custom Frame bag (Thanks RoadRunner!!)
roadrunner co-pilot stem bag
Oveja Negra snack bag
Specialized Burra Burra Top Tube Pack
Topeak Top Tube Pack
Arundel Looney Bin cage
King Cage Many thing Cage
2x Nalgene 1.5L bottles
Thule Rail 4 hydration Hip Pack 1.5 L
a plethora of Voile Straps lol
Vittoria (shout out Vittoria) Mezcal Tires 29x2.1 set up tubeless
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Bikepack Tent
Thermarest NeoAir XTherm Sleeping Pad
Patagonia Men's Tropic Comfort Hoody II (we should be getting some in the shops)
--lightweight travel hoody, UPF protection, etc...