It started with an idea: race the International Six Days (ISDE)
qualifying race in Colorado, then spend a few days riding the trails
of Taylor Park near Gunnison. I hooked up with St. Louis buddy Matt
Sellers on July 5th for the long drive to Walsenburg, south of Pueblo.
|Here's what you hope to see in your rear view mirror.
|Middle of Kansas on I-70, nothing better to do than read
|But wait, here's a little excitement...one of the trailer's
16-year-old tires shredded itself (no spare). Pulling the
trailer was an afterthought - we honestly believed we could
fit our bikes, gear and camping stuff in Matt's truck.
|We got lucky...Wally World was only two miles down the
road (Hays, Kansas).
|I had actually been to the Hays Walmart in a past life as a
St. Louis banker.
|Here's what we saw when we pulled into the race site on
Friday (7-7-06). Where's the hills? Where's the trees?
|At 6,000 feet, a few carburetor jetting changes were
needed. Matt tests his jetting on Friday afternoon.
|International enduro rules require impounding all bikes on
Friday night. Once there, we couldn't touch them until the
race began on Saturday morning. Afternoon
thunderstorms were moving in.
|All the bikes inside the impound area.
|Saturday morning, rider's meeting.
|Ready for the start. Riders left in groups every minute. We
had to push our bikes up the ramp onto the stage, then start
them within 60 seconds after they'd sat outside all night.
|Finally, some scenery. We rode up the canyon on the trail
to the left, then back down on the other side.
|The flatbed trailer was actually part of the course, although
an alternate route to the right was available for (scared)
riders like me.
|A few crazy guys jumped it (Jordan Brandt).
|Matt had some problems with flats on the first
day...Saturday night in the KOA Kampground, repairing
|After two days of racing over the weekend, we moved on to
the Dinner Station campground in Taylor Park. No showers
for 4 days!
|My home (tent on the left) for a total of 6 days. Altitude =
9,500 feet. Low temperatures at night = 35 degrees.
|My bike...never complained for 300 miles with only a
couple air filter changes.
|American Flag Mountain, elevation approx. 13,000 feet.
The bikes were a little underpowered at this point.
|When the sun was out (which wasn't often), this is what we
awoke to in the morning.
|Not a bad way to start the day.
|Matt is a tiny speck in the middle of the photo.
|We did manage to find some mud....
|Dinner Station was 34 degrees when we left; 7 hours later,
peak temperature in Kansas was 104.
|Here's what happens when you don't shower or shave for