Sea to Summit’s North American offices are located in Boulder, Colorado in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. We choose to live and work here in part because of the amazing variety of world-class outdoor pursuits virtually ‘on our doorstep’ – and also because there is an extremely active community of great athletes who serve as inspiration and sometimes as trail buddies.
Boulder is less than an hour’s drive from the northern trailhead of the Colorado Trail – a magnificent, almost 500-mile scenic ribbon which stretches from Denver to Durango, transitioning through six wilderness areas and eight mountain ranges, over a high point at 13,271 feet (4045 meters). It’s a classic hiking trail (on the ‘bucket list’ of many backpackers from all over the world); but it’s also open to mountain bikers, whose respectful interaction with hikers means they continue to enjoy access to this Colorado classic.
Scott Shirey, friend of Sea to Summit, recently rode the Colorado Trail on his mountain bike. He carried his equipment primarily on the frame and handlebars of his bike, so he was grateful for his lightweight, compressible Sea to Summit gear. Scott used several Sea to Summit pieces along the way including UltraSil and Compression Dry Sacks, Ultra-Sil Nano Dry Sacks, TPU Cases, and a Micro Sleeping Bag .
It was really interesting to follow Scott’s progress via the leaderboard and tracker. Scott completed the route over 7 days, 22 hours and 15 minutes – that gives you an idea of just how long this trail is. In fact, it was 2:00 am when he joyously fist-pumped the air, got off his bike, pulled out his trusty Micro II and fell asleep. He plans to do it all again next year. Ah the wonders of retrospect enjoyment and endorphins! Self-supported mountain biking requires gear that is both light in weight and that has a minimal packed volume. There are stretches on the Colorado Trail with long distances between re-supply points, and some places water can be scarce. For that reason, riders attempting this route need to carry four or five days of food and a water filter with them, in addition to their camping gear. Some riders still prefer the ‘old school’ approach of packing all their gear into a backpack of approximately 35 – 40 liters. However, attaching the majority of the gear to the frame and handlebars – using Compression Dry Sacks with a smaller hydration backpack for the remainder – is becoming more common. There are some great custom-made bike-packing bags available; some of which are made here in Boulder, Colorado.
If you’ve ridden the Colorado Trail, or are planning to ride it, we’d love to hear from you! Let us know what gear you took/are planning to take – we’d love to post a follow-up blog and pass on tips, suggestions and pictures.
You can read more about Scott’s cycling experience at his blog and there’s a pretty neat video clip HERE that tells the story well. And, if that doesn’t inspire you get on your bike I don’t know what will!