Caribou Classic Detailed Information
The fun all happens in one big, beautiful meadow on the corner of Rainbow Lakes Rd and the Peak to Peak Highway. Look for the large gravel parking. From Nederland, it is a easy 7 mile drive north. This is a different portion of the Caribou Ranch than we experienced the last two years and, logistically, it should be great!
Be there by 7 am
On the morning of the ride, each rider will be required to sign a liability release form stating that the ride, the ride organizers or its sponsors are in no way responsible for anything that may happen to your person, your gear -- or your feelings.
Buy a CORSAR card
BMA highly recommends that each rider purchase a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) card. If you are injured and volunteer search and rescue teams have to pull you off a trail, costs can run in the thousands of dollars, but a CORSAR card will reimburse the search teams for costs they incur while rescuing you. Cards cost $3 for a one-year card; $12 for five years. CORSAR cards can be purchased online or at select local businesses such as REI and McGuckins. (Anyone with a current hunting/fishing license, or boat, snowmobile, or ATV registration is already covered by the fund.)
Day of The Caribou Classic
How to Get There - 7 miles North of Nederland on the Peak to Peak Hwy.
Parking will be limited at the Caribou Ranch staging area. We encourage people to carpool. Those courageous few camping on Saturday night will be allowed to park on the meadow.
Half the reason to do this ride is for the big campout and celebration we will hold afterwards. Plan on relaxing after a big ride!
BMA will provide at camp:
- dinner Saturday night courtesy of Oskar Blues and the Bone Wagon
- post-ride snacks on Saturday afternoon
- breakfast Sunday morning - Yours truly will be cooking up oatmeal and cowboy-coffee.
- beer - provided by Oskar Blues for the riders
- bathroom facilities - more than just brush and wildflowers.
Participants should bring:
- Any special food needs. We are serving a lot of meat and will have some vegetarian options. If there is something you have to eat, please bring it.
- Plates and utensils so we have less waste
- Coffee mug or something to hold liquids
- Dry clothes for post-ride. Think of Fall weather patterns and bring layers.
Camping info Click Here
What If You Have to Bail?
This is a long ride - about 29 miles with upteen feet of elevation gain.
For 2013, we will have a couple Sag Wagons to pick up those who are unable to complete the ride. We encourage riders to think about the course and know their abilities. That said, sometimes conditions or bike failures mean that you have to leave the ride before completion. If you do have to bail, please do so at one of the aid stations so you can inform a Caribou Classic volunteer that you are leaving the route. There will be a shuttle van picking up those in need at the aid stations. Otherwise get another rider or reliable buddy to inform a Volunteer that you are bailing. If you do not inform Caribou Classic volunteers that you have left the ride, we will send out search and rescue teams to find you and you will be billed for the expense - don't go there!
What to Pack?
On the Ride
On the trail, please be prepared to be self-sufficient. This is a longer backcountry ride where available help might be far away, so pack accordingly. There are serious objective hazards such as ELECTRICAL STORMS OR HYPOTHERMIA due to inclement weather. It is best to be prepared for bad weather. Being equipped and in shape will increase your safety and comfort on this ride. There are only a few places to bail out and cell phone reception is spotty at best. In short be prepared to ride point to point.
Here is the long list of what to bring on a ride like this. You can get away with less, but don't prune this list too much, especially for folks who do not do long alpine rides often. Use your best judgment and err on the side of 'too much stuff' rather than be caught unprepared.
You can squeeze all this into a smaller hydration pack (e.g. Camelback Mule) but it is tight and uncomfortable; we suggest you use a larger hydration pack.
- 100 oz water
- 1 water bottle of hydration drink
- Small flashlight or headlamp (with fresh batteries of course)
- First aid kit (essentials to get yourself off the trail if injured)
- CORSAR card
- Good rain gear
- Arm warmers (or a base layer)
- Leg warmers
- Skull cap
- Light vest
- Multi-tool with small pliers
- Tire irons
- Patch Kit
- Duct Tape (easily wrapped on your frame)
- Latitude 40 Map (or a print out of map from website)
- Optional: Compact water purification (Iodine or Aqua Mura)
- "Butt Butter" (you will get chafed, be prepared)
- Few extra links of chain (and a quick-link for when it breaks)
- Extra cleat and more importantly screws
- Derailleur hanger (if you have a spare)
- Optional: shifter cable and brake cable
- Small tube of chain lube
- Small whistle
- Flame (matches in a ziplock)
- Little bit of toilet paper in a ziplock
- Food: for example, 3 bars, 3 gels, and sandwiches(s)
- Ibuprofen (or your choice of pain inhibitor)
- Space blanket (seldom used, but if you have to it will be the best $3 ever spent)
- Camera ... take great shots of your buddies!
Dinner and breakfast will be provided at the campground. You DO NOT need to bring any cooking supplies, or food Saturday dinner or Sunday breakfast. Don't forget to pack:
- sleeping bag
- sleeping pad
- warm clothes
- extra socks
- camp shoes
- down jacket
- eating utensils
- food for Sunday (if you intend to ride after breakfast)
Tent space is limited at the Caribou Ranch, so please plan on sharing your tent with a partner. If you bring a huge family-size tent, plan on sharing it with others - smaller tents are preferable.
If you have additional bike parts, bike tools and/or a collapsible stand, we may need you to bring them; 2-3 bike stands will be needed, but no more than that. Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are willing and able to have your tools or bike stand on-hand for the weekend.
Check In at Aid Stations
Everyone will have a number plate assigned to him or her so that we can track your progress. It is mandatory to check in at the aid stations to ensure that a check mark is next to your name. Should you decide to turn-back on bike or catch a ride with the Sag Wagon, we need to know. Once you return to the Village, do not go straight to the food and beer no matter how hungry you are: check in with Elizabeth Pike at the finish line.
It is highly recommended that riders travel in groups of two or more. This is a long and serious ride. To keep people safe, it is important to always have a buddy who can help in the event of an accident, mechanical issue, etc. . If you aren't bringing friends with you, introduce yourself to other riders at the start and along the trail, and keep an eye on each other.
At least one person in each team should carry a small first aid kit and/or any medications that team members may require. Remember, Ibuprofen can be a lifesaver when you're sore and bruised. If people are allergic to stings, make sure to have an EpiPen on hand.
Be prepared for mechanical issues such as flats, broken chains, brake issues, etc. At least one guide or "sweep" will stay at the rear of the group to help ensure that no one is left behind, but you should be prepared to act as a self-sufficient team and not have to rely on additional help. Dial-in your rig a couple of weeks before the ride and please PUT SOME MILES (~30-50 miles) ON NEW COMPONENTS. The rule of thumb before a big ride like this is: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. It's much nicer to enjoy a beer and food after the first day's ride than it is to stress over broken equipment.
The minimum bike repairs you should know how to do are below in rank order. You will likely team up with folks, but don't count on it; be self-sufficient.
- Change a flat
- Lube and clean your chain
- Fix a broken chain with your multi-tool
- Replace a shifter cable or brake cable (not as critical)
Weather will happen - be prepared! Have a solid rain jacket, arm warmers, leg warmers, thin hat, long finger gloves, etc. That said, none of these items will protect you against lightning. Be ready to take shelter and weather-out a storm. It is advised that at least one person, per team of two, carry a map such as the Caribou Classic route map or better yet the Boulder County Latitude 40 map.
Make sure to stay hydrated! The key to a successful and enjoyable ride is to make sure you start each day hydrated and continue to drink water throughout the ride. Carry at least 100oz of water as well as a filtration system or potable water tablets, in case you need to refill from a stream or pond.
We will have some water available at the three Aid Stations.
Although there will be some minor snacks and bars at the aid/check-in stations, hearty trail food is not provided. You know your body and how it burns calories. Pack accordingly: energy bars, energy gel, sandwiches, etc. As a rule of thumb, your stomach can absorb 200-300 calories per hour, so anticipate needing at least that much food per hour to keep going for the entire ride.
The elevation of the trail ranges between 8,000 and 10,000 feet. Dizziness, shortness of breath, and vomiting are just a few symptoms that may occur when exercising at this height. The more fit and hydrated you are, the less likely it is that you'll suffer from altitude sickness. If you do become sick, it may require leaving the ride and descending to a lower elevation. Be prepared to monitor your health and make prudent decisions.
Being able to enjoy this ride will largely depend on your level of fitness. High altitude makes even moderate climbs feel difficult. Several sections of trail are demanding even for seasoned riders. Make sure you come to this trip in strong physical condition. You should do your best to have a number of long ‘practice' rides under your belt prior to the the Caribou Classic. Anything you can do to acclimate your body to the elevation and terrain prior to this weekend will make it that much more enjoyable and keep the pain level at a minimum.
SufferFest organizer Mic De Min
We gratefully acknowledge our sponsors: Oskar Blues, The Caribou Ranch, Whole Food Market, Rocky Mounts, Orange Theory, Fitness, Shaving Peggy, Hoog, Kelty, Eldorado Springs Water, and Reeb for their amazing support, year after year.