Sunday, February 6, 2011

22 mph on the Breck "Groomed Road" System

Sprinting down the final homestretch.
We hit our top speed of the season today: 22 mph! Woohoo -we were FLYING!

Every once in a while you get a full days dump of snow (as happened Saturday) which leads to the following fun condition the next day:

The entire system of roads throughout Breckenridge become a network of "groomed ski trails." That is, the plows clear and pack the deep powder - transforming the roads into a condition akin to the trails you'd find at a well-groomed nordic center.

You have to hit the roads early & quick, before the sun can melt through to the dirt or asphalt and before the plows do any 2nd passes on the roads.

This is what Max, Zorro and I did today - skijored the streets of Breck as if the town was one large, well-groomed nordic center!

If you have followed our adventures of this season, you will note that I have never mentioned "well-groomed" or "nordic center" to date. Our usual skijor routes are strictly backcountry - today was a rare venture onto well prepped trails. The difference between skijoring a nordic center versus backcountry, you ask? Speed, Speed, and MORE Speed - nordic center conditions are a frictionless sprint track to my Siberian Husky pals!

The Route: Carter Park (in central/south Breckenridge) to Sunbeam Drive; cruise up Hermit Drive and connect to Goldflake Drive; sprint down Goldflake to Wellington Rd; cruise up Wellington to French Gulch Rd; cruise up French Gulch Rd to the French Gulch winter trailhead; (rest the human); SPRINT back down French Gulch Rd to Wellington; cruise back down Wellington to Royal Tiger; ski up Royal Tiger to Pine to Goldflake and reconnect with Hermit Drive; return Hermit/Sunbeam to Carter Park.

Vital Stats: 9.7 miles total; 1h 45m total time; 85 minutes moving time (we had to deal with the occasional cars, plows and loose dogs - leading to 20 minutes of non-moving time); 6.9 MPH moving average; 22 MPH top speed!

The only letdown: Wellington Rd had been "return plowed" for both of our stints on this road. That meant we had to take this stretch carefully - dodging the occasional asphalt/dirt/concrete patches (often skiing on one ski, holding the other off the ground until sufficient snow returned). Had Wellington been less plowed, we would have *easily* hit a moving average of well over 7 MPH - darn, that would have been cool!
Cruising up French Gulch Road.
Recently plowed over yesterdays' big dump of snow - turning the road into a "nordic center like" groomed trail.
Our return leg down French Gulch Road is where we hit 22 mph!!!

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