I got started on this tangent after watchin the unicycle pair ride the Continental Divide Trail; not that I want to ride that far, but…
So one option I’m exploring is the BC Bike Race in British Colombia, it’s seven days, mileage choices are 30k/day or 50k/day, fully supported, it’s very nice, but it’s also very expensive ($2000 +) and really geared toward bikers.
Which got me thinking: Do we really need to be supported to that degree (catered meals, tent set up, shuttles, etc…) or can we be partially supported in a way that allows for unencumbered riding on single track trails, with lodging in established places like yurts or cabins/huts?
The first situation that comes to mind is to use the 10th Mountain Hut System in the Colorado Rockies. I have used the huts quite a few times for ski trips, so I know they’re nice, but I don’t know much about the trails adjacent to the huts.
What I’m thinking about is a five days/four night ride, with 10-15 miles a day of challenging single track, up to 20 miles if there’s less climbing, trying to avoid double track, staying in a hut each night which would mean no tents or cook gear, then have a guide service pack in the food/beer for each night.
Since the high country takes a while to thaw out, this would be an end of the Summer or Fall trip.
Aspen Mike might have some ideas, so if doesn’t chime in I’ll send him a PM.
Ha! I’ve already been thinking about doing something like this (though probably a bit more hardcore) over the past couple of years. Check out the San Juan Hut Systems. Basically for your $$$ you reserve a block of trip dates. You start your adventure and basically ride each day, hut to hut. When you get to the hut it’s exclusively yours (or your group’s) for the night. The hut is fully stocked with food and water and all the stuff needed to cook. I think all you have to bring with you is your clothing and possibly a sleeping bag as well as whatever you need to carry food/water for the day (and own supply of daily food that you can’t get from the hut i.e. gels, power bars etc…). The packages I’ve seen are mainly geared towards mountain biking so the distances between huts may be too far for a lot of MUni folks though I think if you’re in terrific shape and you have all day to ride I think it’s totally doable. I even contacted the owner and he was warm to the idea of unicyclists taking on the challenge.
Again this is just food for thought. Definitely could be done cheaper and in a more customized way as long as we had a support crew to haul gear each day from stopping point to stopping point. But I still like the idea of a long point-to-point, multi-day minimally supported ride like the San Juan Hut Systems (or something similar) provide. Still a pipe dream at this point but perhaps in the next few years… Got too many ultramarathon running goals right now!
On a different note, much closer to home, I thought about doing something like this but on the Georgia Pinhoti Trail. There is a ~70 mile, unbroken, section that would be fun to ride over 2-3 days. If we enough interest I’d be game to do something like that in the Fall. I have all the Pinhoti maps and a boat load of experience on that trail as I speed-hiked the full 335 mile trail a couple years ago… Interested?
I looked the San Juan Huts as an option, pretty much any hut or yurt system could work, but my primary interest is in riding single track. I have done quite a bit of backcountry hut skiing and many of the trails are jeep roads, forest service, etc…which would not be all that interesting to ride. I could do more mileage, but I think it would appeal to more riders if the mileage was more moderate. Of course you can always make it harder by carrying more gear, riding all the hils, doing some trails, etc…
I would like to have a group of riders, four to six, his would make support easier, we could share the load, costs, and shuttle, also that would allow for better group dynamics and allow slower and faster rider groups to develop. I think there are some strong riders out West, like Aspen Mike, who would be interested in a multi day ride.
Locally, I’d be game for a multiday ride over a long weekend, could probably get my family to provide support and even ride along. I’ll take a look at the trail you suggested.
So Claude, what time of the year is best for you to go on a long ride?
Hut trippin is great, no matter what time of year. What is on my radar though, is the Colorado Trail, segments 24-26. I don’t think there are “huts” along the way though, this is self suppport with vehicle resupply every few days, or cache food ahead of time. This is in the pristine Colorado high alpine. I have ridden some of it, just day trips though. I would love to piece a 75-100 mile adventure together someday.
There are hut systems between here and Vail, and here and Crested Butte. I would have to look into some of the lat 40 maps to see if single track alone connects them, I doubt it though.
Kind of hard to think about MUni now that ski season is starting to get good, finally.
Check out XGames, some young talent going big!
Already have a trip to Eastern Europe planned for the end of June into July so unlikely I’ll be able to get out west for long, though am planning on spending at least a week or so, probably mid July in the Lake City area of Colorado (hopefully!).
As for the Georgia Pinhoti check out (http://parkaymaps.110mb.com/PinhotiMaps/PinhotiMapsIndex.html) is essentially the maps I used heavily on my speed-hike a couple years ago. In particular look at the Georgia Maps #5 - #15 (Georgia Pinhoti miles 22.93 - 91.62). This is 68+ miles of unbroken trail. Yes there is some “boring” gravel road but it is so very scenic, especially in the Fall that I doubt anybody would care, plus these “roads” are very seldom used and most are gated and in serious disrepair. I often wasn’t sure if I was on a trail or a road! There are a lot of access points were crew could get to us. If you want more detail I can provide it as I’m very familiar with this section.
There is even some nice riding in the last sections of the Georgia Pinhoti (Chattahoochee National Forest), probably, overall, better singletrack but it’s a lot fewer miles. All kinds of possibilities.
I’ve got some big dreams involving a multi-day (multi-week) MUni Epic. This would definitely be another great step in that direction. Keep me posted.
Right on! Next Fall will be a much better time for me. Too much going on this Spring/Summer but my Fall isn’t booked (yet!). I’ll have to see how my body responds when I get back into trail riding. Probably won’t be able to do too much (at least around here) until things dry out in the Spring… Until then I’ll try and get out for some non-singletrack riding every now and then.
It would be great to be able to knock out this whole section in like 2-3 days. I think it could be done in two but 3 would be a bit more comfortable. If we have a support crew, with possibly multiple vehicles it would be possible then for riders who wanted to ride shorter sections could do that while still allowing those who want the full daily mileage to do that as well; then just all meet up at the end of the day somewhere. Sounds like fun!
Sounds good, however, like I said before, I can’t commit this early on. I don’t even know if my body will be able to handle MUni riding anymore; won’t know until I try back this Spring (perhaps sooner if things dry out). I also may be planning a Fall mountain 100 mile race. Probably wouldn’t conflict anyhow but just letting you all know. I just threw out the Pinhoti idea as it’s fairly central to a lot of riders in the south east; don’t really need me there necessarily though I am interested. It’s a spectacular trail system; especially the Snake Creek Gap section (look it up, there is a mountain bike race series on that section of the Pinhoti).
Judging by the time frame of the Colorado Trail Race every year, it looks like end of July, early August is a good time to go. It’s not only the snow pack you have to worry about but the monsoon and regularity of electrical storms up high. Thus I think the reason why a lot of the endurance races in Colorado are in the months of July/August…
The monsoons are in July/August, the reason is because that is really the only time that it won’t snow allot up high, it will snow though. June is monsoon free, but the high country is still closed out. So you ride early, and get off the peaks by noon in July and August. September can be the best month, monsoons are gone, but the snow returns.
Okay Mike, it’s ski season for you and kinda ski season for me; I’ve been to busy riding to go skiing, so I’ll bide my time…
I’n the interim I’m going to be checking on the Pinhoti in March-April, might try the Georgia section before Ride the Raccoon, otherwise it’ll be June when I get the chance to ride it, which may be too hot
Hey Mike, the high country ride sounds good, I’m game for a week of riding anytime in later summer/early Fall, I’d be flying into Denver, then rent a car, so we could do a shuttle. Maybe Claude would make it three, anyone ele??