Brian’s CTR Adventure



As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, “So Cool, So Psycho,” Brian Vaughn, the Chief Endurance Officer of GU is undertaking the Colorado Trail Race. This event sounds so positively unhinged that when Brian told me about it I, a guy in no position to require anything of anyone at GU, demanded updates whenever feasible. Yuri Hauswald just sent me the shot above, which he snapped at a post office where Brian was retrieving a pre-arranged mail-drop.

Something I left out of yesterday’s post is the live tracker that will allow you to follow all the crazy action. It can be found here.

Strictly speaking, this endeavor isn’t the typical sort of editorial we serve up on RKP. Maybe it’s because I find Brian fascinating, or maybe it’s because I’ve been thinking a lot about bike touring lately (and missing it a bit more than I might ordinarily due to kids at home), but I’ve wanted to follow this trip through Yuri and try to see it through the eyes of someone there. Lord knows I wouldn’t actually want to do this particular assault on one’s own body.


I got a few text messages and images from Yuri a short while ago. Apparently, things aren’t exactly stellar for Brian. As reader Jason noted in the comments on yesterday’s post, Brian went off-course, and ended up descending into Silverton on the road. He says the trail has been much tougher than expected and Brian is making progress at something like half the rate he expected. These first two days may have been difficult, but the next two days, which will have sustained episodes above 13,000 feet are to be a good deal harder.

After my brief experience at 9700 feet, I really can’t imagine trying to pedal a heavier-than-usual bike up singletrack climbs at elevations north of 12,000 feet. At least, not if I hadn’t been living in Boulder or something similar. But Brian, like me, lives at sea level. The obvious answer, EPO, has something of a bad rap around these parts, doesn’t it? I don’t think it fits within his moral compass to employ. Similarly, I’m betting that he decided to forego vasodilators.

Hopefully we can get some pictures of the sweet singletrack, even if it’s not with Brian in action on it.


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  1. Alan

    One of my friends, Toby Gadd, has done it 3 times, finished twice. But it is grueling. So tough to finish within the “rules”

  2. scaredskinnydog

    He’s still smiling, so thats a good sign. I have 2 words of advice Ibuprofen liquigels. Keep up the good work!

  3. Rob D

    This is awesome. Love that you guys are tracking his fat tired goodness. I actually met Brian last year in a Leadville pre-ride. He is an incredibly cool guy. Just one of those dudes you pull up next to as you’re overthinking the hell out of the big race and puts you at ease.

    Look forward to following the adventure!

  4. tinytim

    Brian seems to flourish in these conditions. Did a recent ride with the guy, which included a brutal 2500′ climb followed by a loose, gravel descent. Brian dropped everyone on the climb, then proceeded to crush the descent. He will pull through.

  5. Jarral Ryter

    Tough that he had problems. It is not an easy course for sure. Did it, Leadville 100 and tour divide. I think while tour divide is longer the CTR is harder. It will give him something to think about over the winter and go for it again!

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