Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Let the good time roll

First off I want to point out how sweet it is to have 3 official followers now! Rock on! Well lets get down to business. This is a freakin' biking blog, so biking it is!
Crow Peak, in short bad ass!, was really my first experience with "real" mountains on a bike. I have been to CO and the Black Hills multiple times but this was my first time testing, what I would like to call, skills!
Crow peak trail head, as I had mentioned before in my previous blog, was difficult to find if you are looking for actual markings. It is pretty much the only thing that resembles a parking area and trail head on the 10 miles of road that my dad and I drove. When I got there I told my dad I would see him in 2.5-3hrs as that is how long I was told it would take me to ride to the top and back down by the guys at the bike shop. I started off hard, feeling fresh and was quickly taken a back by the thin air. Thin air you say? yeah that's right 4200 feet apposed to the measly 700ft of elevation here in the Twin Cities is pretty substantial and it was all climb to boot!

As I climbed I began to get use to it, I wouldn't call it acclimating as that takes 7-21 days to officially acclimate but my body realized it was time to work and things began to work smoother. I did have to take breaks, about 4 in total to make it to the top. I also had mini breaks, from riding, aka hike a bike on some of the sections that I couldn't muster the energy to ride or they were just too gnarly to ride. I do feel that I rode about 80% on the way up and I know I ripped all 100% on the way doooowwwn! Holla! but I feel if I was in a little better shape and more use to the altitude I could have rode closer to 90-95% there were a couple sections that were basically unridable unless you were maybe Hans Ray or Mark Weir or something.

The vista view from the top was so worth the climb! I can't even explain how crisp the air was there at 5700ft and the view was epic as picture shows!

The riding here is just so much more raw and gnarly then anything I've rode in MN. I know that I have to get up to Duluth and the north shore and really start ripping up there but that probably wont happen till next summer! The trail is just littered with rocks and loose shale and even loose baby head rocks in parts. The trail in general wasn't originally designed to be rode by bike and you can tell that it was an after thought but man it is awesome.
The decent was fabulous! I don't even know to explain it but hold on and let her rip. The top section was very steep and some what sketchy. Not having any experience with "big" mountain biking and no serious DH riding unless you consider BC DH, which I don't, it was exhilarating and I feel like I killed it. I did use my breaks a lot at the top, your MORCers would be proud of my front brake usage!, like I said it was super steep and some really tight switch backs and not a lot of room for mistakes.

I thought I broke my derailleur here on the way up but some how the rock just jarred it loose from the catch on the derailleur hanger and swung it backwards? Who knows but a quick and easy fix and I was back pedaling, might have tweaked the hanger though as it now ghost shifts a bit. This section was sketchy at speed on the way down. The further down the mountain I got the more comfortable I felt, it started to become more flowy and fast and smooth. Exactly what I'm use to, so I started to let it all hang out then and off the breaks went and the speed increased. I did almost kill a hiker, sorry :( take your head phones out, haha I didn't wear mine for that reason!

All in all it took me about 1hr and 45mins to make it to the top, with the repair and 15mins to get to the bottom! Damn that was sick, I need to get someplace with a lift assist so I can have multiple runs like that in one day. I think I could only do crows peak like twice in one day even though it is only 3.25miles one way. The climb is brutal! haha

Totally worth your time to make a trip out there. If you check the schedule they do have periodic DH races at Terry Peak which is lift assist and there is so much bad ass riding to do out there!
Keep it real!

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