Ditch Day -- Keeping it Light on the Mountain Bike
Don’t get me wrong – I love mountain bike racing. The encouraging atmosphere and high demands force you to push your limits and work your absolute hardest. At the end of it all, it’s extremely rewarding. But after a long and challenging weekend at the Aspen/Snowmass Big Mountain Enduro race earlier this summer, I was craving a no-pressure weekend of fun riding.
So when BME stop #2 came to Colorado’s Keystone Resort a couple of weeks later, I readily allowed myself a “ditch day” and hit the road west, back to Aspen.
Upon arrival, I hit up my most beastly riding friends in town. Just my luck…one of them is training for the Power of Four race and proposed a 22 mile, 4,000’ vert day. Why not? I packed up my Deuter Compact EXP 10 SL pack (the perfect 20+ mile day pack) with 3 liters of water, rain gear, power foods and off we went.
With Enduro riding, it’s easy to get sucked into downhill bliss. I often forget how necessary those strenuous climbing days are and how truly rewarding they can be.
All that uphill pedaling brought us to some of the most amazing crevices in Aspen. From the classic Smuggler view of town, deep into the Hunter Creek Valley, over the land of hobbits, and finally, down the Sunnyside descent. The stunning views and long descent were worth every pedal stroke! And my Deuter pack kept up like champ! It didn’t even flinch with my OTB (over the handlebars) crash, my need for guzzling all 3 liters of water, or the intense downpour that hit us at the end (thanks to its easy access rain cover). It was the perfect pack for a long and beautiful day on the mountain bike!