Post subject: Mountain Bike TR: Colorado Trail 10/6/07
Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 10:14 pm
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:19 am Posts: 544 Location: Capitol Hill, Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
The Burly Dude had been on the DL all summer with the knee rehab, but he finally put together a late season mountain bike ride just outside Denver. The South Platte area is one of the most unique and intriguing locales in Colorado. Unlike the rugged Alpine Cirques that have become my favorite backcountry playgrounds, the place features rolling hills and deep valleys not unlike the Black Hills. Throughout these hills are hundreds of massive rock formations, all climbable, and many unexplored. Dozens of maintained roads criss cross through the evergreen forests as the powerful South Platte River snakes down towards the its long journey through the great plains to meet the Mississippi.
One of the many nice rock formations in the valley
After dropping a car at the beginning of "leg 2" of the Colorado Trail, the team piled into the truck and headed for the end of "leg 3". From the end of leg 3, we rode backwards through the trail. Instantly I noticed that the CO Trail (which stretches from Littleton to Durango) is very well maintained with native pea gravel (or squeegee as the local contractors call it) that is compacted nicely, forming a very solid singletrack free of ditches, ruts, and techy rock sections.
The French Race Pro was out ahead of the pack ruding the whole ride, while us lazy Americans groveled along the 23 miles of roller coaster trail. The trail saw a lot of use, mostly other bikers, but also some hikers. Also, because it was the bye week for hunters, many sportsmen could be heard practicing their shots in the forests around us. One streach of trail felt like a war zone, as we raced through the changing trees surrounded by unseen gunfire!!
Near the final third of the ride, we rode throuh a massive acreage of burned terrain. The barren hills exstended for miles, dotted with dead trees. A new ecology was growing here, but how long it would take to once again become a lush green forest was unknown. Without trees to block the horizon, we had excellent views of the south faces of Mt. Bierdstadt and Mt. Evans.
Mt. Bierdstadt left and Mt. Evans right
The Barney Bros.
_________________ Riding a '06 Voile Split Decision Freeride 173, '07 Salomon Malamutes, Spark Ignition I bindings.