Yesterday’s stage three was the first of two stages to take us over 12,000 feet, and the only one where we cross the continental divide. Twice. Shown above is some of the backcountry single track as we joyfully ride through the fields, unaware of the massive climbs to come.
Check more photos from stages three and four, including some of the leftover mining equipment and more great trails after the break…
La la, more fun riding through fields, then…
BAM! We start heading up into the clouds. The temperature starts dropping from a relatively pleasant 55 degrees to a cold, rainy and windy 48 degrees as we cross 11,000 feet.
A couple of riders emerge from the mist behind me as we reach the top:
12,035 feet. The battery died after this descent, so i don’t have the actual altitude for the second crossing of the Continental Divide.
Proof that I made it. Those Press Camp jerseys are nice, but warm they ain’t.
Amy from Yeti Betties and I ended up riding together quite a bit over the past few days. I think she ends up beating me more often than not.
A panda shot showing some of the fine alpine singletrack.
One of many mining remnants.
So far, this has been the biggest, baddest example of Breckinridge’s gold mining history. Called a Dredge Boat, they would start at the bottom of a river or stream, it would start digging about 90 feet down into the riverbed and chuck the rock to the side after pulling out the ore. That’s where the big piles of rocks come from.
As it dug into the riverbed, it would slowly dig forward and fill in behind it, creating a mini pond that the Dredge Boat would float in as it worked.
Once the boat reached the top of the ore’s vein, it would simply stop working and they’d abandon ship. What you see here is the back end of the boat. The hull is sunk, and the water is a beautiful green blue. The whole contraption is huge, probably 100 to 120 feet long, maybe more, these were tired eyes gazing upon it as this was very near the end of the day’s stage both yesterday and today.
Other than a few bridges, this was one of the few man made technical trail features on the course. Not really visible from this vantage point is how it drops down to one plank near the end.
Me, finishing today’s really, really long stage.
Cannondale rider Garth Prosser headed back out on the course after the race for some ‘shroom hunting. His efforts yielded a giant bag of porcinis and has me rethinking my post race activities.
Instead of ‘shroom harvesting, we Media Cup contenders had our second special points challenge: The paper airplane toss. Sadly, Shannon did well in this, too, which did little to help the rest of us. He and Peter tied for first place, followed by Jordan, then Jasen, Dicky, me and Sara. Tomorrow’s post race challenge promises to be awesome.
I’ll post BMC results somber tomorrow because it’s late and Stage 5 has more climbing than any other and tops out over 12,500 feet.