the ride down the canyon was very pretty. there were hardly any cars and the temperature was just right.

and another….

this part was all down hill. when i got to lyons it turned flat and hot. it was about 60 miles today and i was feeling pretty good when i got home. even though i didn’t look very good :)

i can’t wait for the next trip!


by the time i left camp it was about 7am. nothing but up hill. it was ok today, however, i think i needed the rest.


everything is so pretty in the early morning.

it looked like it had rained a little last night… i didn’t notice, must of been while i was sleeping. the road was a little wet, and it smelled like rain. i even saw one of these things:


it was a really nice morning. i was somewhat concerned about my water supply, so i stopped at this campground to fill up. i had about a quarter of a camel bak full of water left, so i filled the rest with camping water. just as i topped it all off some nearby camper yells at me, “that water is a little brown”… i yelled back “oh well… nothing i can do now”. then i asked him if it was ok to drink, he said “i think so” i thanked him for the heads up, even though it didn’t look brown to me.

a few more miles down the road i came up to raymond


i found a “general” store in raymond. i walked in and couldn’t tell it i was walking into someone’s kitchen or a store. i kind of peeped my head in and said “good morning”. the guy from the store answered back. i found some frappuccino, some gator-aid, and some salt vinegar chips.

as i’m paying the guy notices the news paper under my stuff that i just placed on the counter. he removes my stuff from his paper, then points out to me the headlines: “e85 comes to longmont”. then he started telling me about how e85 is going to bring down the economy. he told me that it takes one gallon of diesel fuel to make one gallon of e85. to tell you the truth i didn’t have time to read about e85, nor did i have the time to research what this guy was telling me but that’s what he said. i welcome anyone to inform me on this subject. he started telling me how stupid “boy george” went down to brazil and asked what are they were using, they told him sugar cane… so “boy george” came back and started making corn based fuel. i was kind of slow, and thought he was talking about the 80s sensation “boy george”. then i was thinking, why would that send a transvestite down to solve our country’s energy problems?? he’s not even american. then i realized that he was in fact talking about our beloved president george bush. thought my association was quite humorous, and i laughed internally for a while. so then this guys tells me that corn is not the way to go… we have a much better crop that is “everywhere” … “hemp”! just then everything this guy was about became clear to me. the way he acted, the way he dressed, and even the way he wrote down all my merchandise and tried to add everything up, then gave up and just said “about 5 bucks” i should of asked him “everywhere huh?”

as i was leaving he invited me to fill up my water bottle with his water cooler, fresh from arapaho springs. i filled up my bottle while he told me of how he got the water. he drives up every now and then and fills it up himself right from the spring. he claimed that his water was far better than anything you can find in the stores. just then a story popped into my head:

a few years ago, my friend paul rode his bike up to ward after work. he underestimated the ride and was out of water by the time he got to the top. he saw some guy filling up a bottle from a “spring”. paul asked him if the water was ok to drink. the guy didn’t just say yes, he said this is the best water you’ll ever drink. it is far superior to anything you can find in the stores. paul took some of the water…. and the next day found he had giardia.

i thanked him for everything, and hung out outside and ate my food. it was a nice morning.


e85 is bad, hemp is good. beware of “pure” water.

don’t be in a hurry.

i closed the garage door, and rolled down the driveway. just as i got to the street, i remembered that i wanted a picture of me leaving. so i turned back and open the garage woke up up my wife and asked her if she would take a picture of me. “no way” she was too sleepy. so i can’t post a funny picture of me and my camping gear heading off to work.

i felt like i needed to hammer on the way in, since i was so late. trying to hammer with a full load is quite tiring, as i soon found out. my ride was about 17 miles and by the time i got to work i was soaked in sweat, and my legs were burning tired. i guess i’m pretty note worthy at work, because people i don’t even know were asking me,” so you ride all the way in from loveland? i always like hearing that, because i’m used to working at places where people are in pretty good shape and no one really thinks it’s a big deal. so now it’s a big deal, and i guess i’m happy.

all through the day i was telling people to look at my bike. i was pretty excited about what i was going to do after work, and i wanted them to ask questions. some people took the bait and i was pretty excited to tell them my plan. actually it worked out well because a couple of them knew the camping laws better than i did, so i got some more useful advice.

according to my coworkers, i can camp anywhere in national forest as long as i maintain a certain distance from the road, and a certain distance from a stream/river. i don’t remember the distance very well it was either in yards or feet… no matter i will play it safe.

so around 4 the boss came through and told everyone to go home… woo hoo! i wasted no time getting back into my soaking wet cycling clothes [yuck], and started sorting out my work gear and my camping gear. about 4:30 or so i was out of there;

i headed out the nearby bike path and instantly noticed that my legs had not recovered from this morning. actually my whole body was not feeling very well from the start. i decided to just take it easy till i get out of town [about 12-15 miles]. i was planning to eat something on the way out of town, but it was only about 4:30 and i had just eaten lunch at 1:30…. i wasn’t very hungry. i skipped my “fast food” meal i had planned.

after i got out of town i felt like i was behind schedule so i picked up the pace a bit. i was actually ahead of my original schedule, but since i severely underestimated the trip i had reevaluated while i was riding through town. it is so hard to ride fast with panniers on. i just felt like i was going no where. when i was “picking up the pace” i really noticed how difficult it was going to be. one thing that i learned was; if you find yourself bike touring, do not be in a hurry!…. it will kill your energy, and your motivation. so there i was, no energy, no motivation and only a couple of hours of daylight left [i actually had more but since i was in the canyon, it felt like it was getting dark pretty quickly].

i don’t know if you could tell from the picture but it was going to be 9 miles of pure up hill. according to the internet, the first 6 miles or so average just over 4%. then the last 3 miles average 8.5%. i was already dying with the 4%. i’m usually a good climber and hardly ever get passed. on this day, i got passed no less than 3 times. after about 3 miles of climbing and loosing my self respect, i decided to relax, and not worry about the pace. i had lots of lights and reflectors, i shouldn’t worry too much about the amount of day light left. believe it or not that little realization made the rest of the ride so much more bearable. i just put my bike into my lowest gear and cranked up the road.

as i was riding up this hill, i began to distract myself by looking around for a place to camp. not that i was going to camp already, but i would just look at a place, and figure out how i could camp there, if i were going to camp there. right after the first two imaginary camps i laid out, i saw this sign on the road that said no camping, next 8 miles! holy crap, 8 miles. i didn’t think i could make it that far before it became completely dark or i became completely exhausted.

i think i was only about 5 miles into the 9 mile climb, and i was already thinking about dinner. let’s see i was going to have some avocado, cheese and some noodles… oh no! i just remembered that i left my avocado and cheese at work. i put them in the refrigerator and forgot to get them out when i left. well, jametown was just ahead and i should be able to get something there. unfortunately it was too late and since jamestown is so small, they don’t have stores open all night… at least till 7. they did have a restaurant that was open, in fact there were people having drinks on the “balcony” right next to the road. i was going to stop in for a bite to eat, but for some reason i was worried about the 4-5 more mile i had to ride till the “no camping” rule was over. besides i still had some pretty good food waiting for me in my packs.

here is a picture of my camp from the road. i took the picture in the morning, because it was kind of dark when i first got there. i tried to find a place that was out of sight from the road… i think i did a pretty good job.

camp site

here is looking across from my camp. notice the target over on the tree? my camp is actually someones shooting range. there were thousands of bullet shells where i put up my tent. i felt a little safer there than under that tree with the target :) i thought about finding another spot, but the 8-9% grade had already started and i was genuinely tired.

other side of camp.

i put up my tent and couldn’t wait to get into my noodles. as i picked up the noodles i ran them by my nose, “mmm.. they smelled so good”. i put together my jetboil and screwed on the fuel tank, and noticed that the tank looked a little rusty around the stem. oh no, not good. empty! i tried and tried to light it with the flint, but nothing… i couldn’t even hear the hissing sound of blowing gas. damn it!

talk about being depressed, not to mention hungry. i still had a bag of cajun mix, and some dried fruit to hold me over. i didn’t feel like eating a power bar for dinner. i tied the rest of my food up on a distant tree, and just sipped on watter for the rest of the evening.

i brought a dry shirt to sleep in but only had my chamois for pajamas. i wasn’t about to sleep naked in my down bag.

i started hearing some weird noises before i went to bed, and it was freaking me out a bit. it’s not that i thought i would get killed by something (although that entered my mind a few times), but it is just kind of spooky to alone. i tried to get my big halogen light together, but as it turned out, i left the chord at work when i was showing it to a coworker. i don’t think i slept for more than an hour at a time. it wasn’t because i was spooked, i was just so uncomfortable.

i was up at 6am. not bad for camping. usually it’s closer to 4am.


no fuel.

didn’t bring avocado, and cheese.

lessons learned.

camp out of sight,

don’t try to hurry while you are touring.

bring something comfortable to sleep in.

things to note:

water running low

all summer long i’ve been wanting to do an overnight-er bike trip. it’s been pretty difficult to plan, for one reason or another. sometimes it has been impossible, due to vacations, or family obligations…. and sometimes it just simply slipped my mind. this past thursday i remembered, and i had the time and availability. there was one small problem… my bike was in pieces.

i wasn’t too worried about it because it wasn’t anything i couldn’t handle. so i focused mostly on packing my gear. i have never been on a bikepacking trip before, but i did go on a unipacking trip last year so i had a list of learned lessons. for one i didn’t need so many clothes. last time i brought way too many clothes and had to carry them with me the whole time, despite the fact that i used the same clothes everyday. also, i brought way too much food last time. last time i stopped at stores and fast food, so i had little need for camping food. so this time minimal food. i really liked having my stove, there is nothing like hot french-pressed coffee in the morning. other than that lights, water, tent, sleeping bag.

as i was packing that night i started getting a little discouraged when i remembered that it was labor day weekend. this was a problem because all of the camping spots were going to be full… and a quick check on-line proved this to be the case. i didn’t think i needed a camp ground, but i didn’t know enough about roadside camping to give it a try.

i went to bed thinking that i was not going to go after all. a funny thing happened while i was sleeping….i dreamt that i was bikepacking in denver. i asked someone where i can camp, and he told me to camp next to this pond. the pond was full, so my wife [who just appeared out of no where] suggested that i try highlands ranch. highlands ranch is a super suburb of denver and not suitable for camping in any form, but it was just a dream.

i woke up the next morning super motivated. i was going to do it. i was still a little unsure of the camping thing, so i looked it up and found this guy with all this great advice. i read some helpful advice and then realized that i had better start putting my bike together. when i went outside to look at it, i noticed that it was far more dismantled than i had remembered. the chain was disconnected, the derailleur was in multiple pieces, the bottom bracket was removed and the bearings were still soaking and covered in old grease and sand. there was a good 2 hours of bike work to do.

i worked as hard as i could cleaning and reassembling everything, and when i finished it was about 8:30am. i still had to clean some tools and test ride my mods. plus, i smelled like a lemon grease pit.

well, it takes me about an hour to ride to work, so even if i left at that moment it would still put me about a half hour late. i decided to send my, “i’m going to be in late this morning” e-mail just so it wouldn’t be unexpected when i showed up. i should just make that message a template in word so i don’t have to type it in so often.

i had a little more packing to do and i had to pack my lunch for work, and shower…. i didn’t leave the house until about 9:10.

here is a quick summary

bike status: clean, bottom bracket is worn. two panniers, and a handlebar pack. everything normal.

me: clean, one backpack with work related items [clothes, lunch, etc].

food items packed: one liter of water, one water bottle, three energy bars, one pack of cajun trail-mix, one bag of mix dried fruit, one dehydrated bowl noodles, a few honey sticks, one avocado, and one cheese stick.

camping items: hooped bivi [small tent], down sleeping bag, sleeping foam, jet boil, fuel, misc bike tools, tire tube, cell phone, wallet, one 10w halogen light, one led blinking headlight, two red led taillights, two bar end leds, one digital camera.

items to note: no extra clothing, and i think i can camp anywhere.