It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The 470 mile long Colorado trail starts in Denver and finishes in Durango, I set out to ride the last 20 miles of it. Keen mathematicians will have gathered that this implies a 40 mile round trip, which is quiet a lot. I don't have the exact figures, but I'd estimate there was roughly a billion feet of ascent involved too. The first 3 hours were nearly continuous uphill on dirt road – all steady middle ring climbing, just for 3 hours solid. That was OK, I was on schedule when I hit the Colorado trail and was looking forward to 90 mins of glorious singletrack. For the first 30 mins it rocked, then it turned steeply uphill which blew. I was pushing for long periods and didn't really know where I was beyond being on the Colorado trail, in the trees, with the creek below me – which narrowed it down to a 15 mile stretch. When I thought I'd got to the top of the climb the trail started undulating, but by this time my legs had gone and was pushing every time the gradient went up. After forever it levelled out and i had a traversing super narrow trail to enjoy for so long that it started getting boring! Then it finally started descending. Relentlessly. I was nearly too worn out to enjoy it, but not quite :)
I think it was an hour of continuous craic. Possibly the hardest ride I've ever done, certainly one of the best. Epic.