New Benjamin Trail Loop at Betasso Preserve

25 05 2011

I posted a comment on 303Cycling about the the new trail.  Rode it before the rains came down.

Last week, after coming up from the Link onto the Betasso Loop, I noticed a little sign which I had never seen before. To my surprise, I had unwittingly come on opening day of the Benjamin Trail. The sign was announcing that the Benjamin Loop was open for riding that very day. I had ogled the entrance to the loop countless times over the last 6 months, but now I was being invited to ride it. Here’s what I found.

The trail is buff and swoopy. Consistent with much of the rest of Betasso, the turns were often off-camber, which is proper trail design to allow runoff, but keeps you on your toes. In fact, if you miscalculate or misplace your attention, you might find yourself 100 feet off a cliff. While it may be treacherous in places, there is love in that trail. Smooth, tight singletrack and huge, hand-built stone retaining walls took a lot of time and sweat. Don’t forget to check out the faux-steel bridge. The rails looks like metal, but it is made of some type of composite.

I snaked my way to a sign that directs all bikers to hang a sharp hairpin left. After that, the trail climbs for a while until a bench materialized out of nowhere. It was planted up on the hillside and seemed strangely out of place. But after a few pedal strokes I understood why the the bench was there. The exposure of the trail near the high point allows for a panoramic view of Four Mile Canyon. Looking across Four Mile, I could see a dirt road zigzagging up the opposite hillside. It took a second, but I realized that I was looking at Poorman’s. I didn’t recognize it at first because I’d never seen it from this perspective. It occurred to me that I hadn’t seen anyone on the trail, and this was supposed to be the inauguration. It seemed strange, and I felt isolated out on the bluff looking at familiar territory in an unfamiliar way. For no reason, I got a little sense of Deliverance. Why was nobody out here? But I quickly forgot about squealing pigs as the trail turned downward. If you carry any speed into those turns, you had better pay attention. I rode out the lollipop and headed for home as the rain came down. I don’t ride with a computer, but I would guess the distance is similar to the original Betasso loop, but it takes a bit longer because you can’t just air it out on the descents. The grade is not steep, and it sets up nicely for single speeds. It’s loads of fun, and a great addition to Boulder’s surprisingly diminutive quiver of singletrack. I’ll try to remember to bring my camera next time.

Big props to Parks and Rec as well as the BMA on their huge effort to bring the Benjamin Loop to life.

BTW, it turned out I was all alone because I too early to the party. The official ceremony was scheduled a couple hours after I had ridden it.

Urine retention and New England Bicycle Expo

23 05 2011

going feels good

Just saw a lady who hadn’t been able to pee since last night. She was doing the peepee dance in the room when I walked in, and she looked none too happy.  Urine retention goes right up there with pus and ear wax as far as fixable chief complaints. Pop a catheter in, and you have another satisfied customer.  Too bad they all can’t be like that.  Not being able to go makes you appreciate the little things in life, like being able to go.  I don’t look forward to the day when my overgrown prostate shuts off my pee hole.  When I broke my back years ago after falling off a big rock, I couldn’t go, at least not while lying flat.  Horrified screams of “I CAN PEE! I CAN PEE!!!” could be heard throughout the trauma bay after I overheard the trauma surgeon casually order a foley catheter if I couldn’t manage to squeeze out a sample.

Claire sportin Alchemist Merino at NEBE

Claire introduced Alchemist to the East Coast a couple weeks ago at the New England Bicycle Expo.  Check out the nice write up about the event in Lovely Bicycle.  Scroll down for the Alchemist plug.

Alchemist eats RATS for breakfast

16 05 2011

Numero Uno, baby!

Nice article in about the Desert RATS Classic  last weekend.  Alchemist’s, Jon Pulley, is quoted in the article, and Ken gets mad props as the men’s non-pro champ.  Stuart took second by less than a second.  Jon was 8th overall.  Ryn took home the gold medal with a time under 6 hours.   Nice work Team Alchemist!  Photo by Glen Delman Photography.

Hip Dislocation and Racing News

15 05 2011

Ball and socket, time to rock it.

Cleaning up my shift today when a fella comes in with a dislocated hip.  Debra was seeing him, but it’s always nice to have extra hands on a hip dislocation, so I went in for the relocation to push the sleepy meds and be a cheerleader.  This guy was 300+ pounds, and Debra barely makes three digits, so it was hardly a fair fight.   But she was game, so I pushed the Propofol (yes, the Michael Jackson drug), and she stepped into the Octagon to take on the hip.  After 15 minutes, she was gassed, so I had her tap out.  My turn.  Full of man juice, I stepped onto the stretcher to take on Goliath.

The art of hip relocation is often  20% technique and 80% effort.  It can be a real grunt.  And it’s certainly not a pretty site. Squatting on the stretcher, hugging another man’s leg, his knee against my chest, his shin in my groin, my veins popping, my face bright red, my eyes bulging, and his relaxed anal sphincter passing noxious fumes right in my grill.

A hernia in the making

After I had worked up a nice lather, Debra finally called for the Valium.  30 seconds later, I nearly flew backward off the bed as the hip clunked back into place.   I gave an obligatory primal yell, and flexed as Deb and the nurses rolled their eyes.  “Who’s yer daddy!” Of course, it was mostly the Valium  (that Deb thought of using), but hey, I’ll take some credit.

Some racing notes: Stuart took home 4th in the solo category at 18 Hours of Fruita last weekend, logging nearly 170 miles!  He went back to Fruita today to win his age group in the Desert RATS Classic.  Stuart, you stud.

Ken was top 5 overall at the RATS and also won his age group.   Note, this was not the Clydesdale division.  This was the 30-39 skinny guys.  He and Stuart would have finished even faster had they not taken a wrong turn.  Ryn crushed it and brought home a gold medal, finishing under 6 hours on the 100k course.  No report yet on Jon, Jenn and Deb.

It went down to the wire for Walt and Brian at the 12 hours of Mesa Verde last weekend.  In the end, they prevailed over legends like Wiens, Overend, Brown, and silly fast riders like McGelky and Zanni.  And they did it with only 3 guys on the team!  Get the full scoop here.  It’s worth the read.

Front Range 60

12 05 2011

Todd rocking the FR 60

Sunny skies and hot temps this past weekend for the Front Range 60.  The course gets a bum rap for being sort of boring, but I like the race because I don’t have to drive far to get to it.

The FR 60 is in Bear Creek Park in Morrison, just 45 minutes from Boulder.  Todd “off-the-couch” Kleinman and I went down to represent for Alchemist.  This year the Warriors Cycling folks mixed it up a bit.  They added a lap to the 10 mile course and flipped it around to go the other way.  It turned out to be a wicked fast course.  None of the climbs was too malignant going clockwise, and there were lots of opportunities for hammering your big ring (unless you only brought one gear, in which case, there were lots of opportunities for crazy leggin’ it).

The heat proved to be a bigger obstacle than the hills.   Fast flats mixed with short punchy climbs made for a good day of cramping.  I expect to cramp, so I just rode through them.   I passed lots of folks standing straight-legged and bent-over next to their bikes.  Reeled in a bunch of guys and took 6th in the onsie category, good enough for some series points.   Not good enough for the podium.  But Ken pointed out that I snuck into second place in the overall points total.  Todd had a nice race until his legs went on full lock down on the last lap.  But considering his training, not a bad showing.  For more on the race as well as photos, check out  The photo is from Ben Welnak for 303cycling.

Stuart and Jon were down at 18 hours of FruitaWalt and Brian were mixing it up in the 12 hours of Mesa Verde.  They had great races, and Walt had a dramatic finish.  More on that later.

303 Cycling

5 05 2011

303 cycling

Your source for Front Range Cycling News

Check out 303 Cycling.  They are the premier source for cycling news around Boulder, the Front Range, and Colorado.  They are also sporting a couple sexy Alchemist ads.

Baby and Mountain Biking in 3D

2 05 2011

Saw a fella the other day for belly pain.  As I was examining him, I couldn’t help notice that his wife kept doting on the little baby in the car seat. Tucking, retucking, calming.  The kid was perfectly still, so I didn’t understand what all the fuss was about.  I glanced a little closer and realized the kid was a little plastic baby.  WTF?  She kept on with this, so by the time I was finished with my exam, I couldn’t hold it in anymore.

“So what’s the deal with the little guy?”

Turns out they were “babysitting” their daughter’s class project while she finished her shift at Taco Bell.  Apparently, they were taking it seriously.   But as time went on, the infant car seat became a repository for all their crap.  By the time I was discharging him, there were car keys, a phone, a book, a bag of Doritos, and a little plastic baby lying face down in the carrier.  Poor little guy.  Needless to say, I called Child Protective Services.

Our friends at 303 cycling posted this mountain biking 3D video by  I don’t have the appropriate eyewear, so it just looks blurry.  But honestly, it seems like he spent a lot of time filming the guy washing his bike.  Maybe watching a guy wash his bike would be cooler if it were in 3D.  If someone has 3d glasses, please let me know if this is true.  Can someone also tell me what trail in Boulder they are riding?   I don’t remember us having trails that cool. Either way, seems like a cool new way to watch mountain biking footage (if you have 3D glasses).  You can see how the film was made on his website.  Enjoy.

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