Rocky Mountain High.
Out on my annual pilgrimage to the Rocky Mountains for some cool weather and high altitude single track. Started off in Durango on Saturday the 25th of May.
I started off by riding north on the highway towards Purgatory to ride Hermosa Creek back. Got right in the middle of the Iron Horse race. 4,000 road bikes racing the train to Silverton. Managed to pull off and watch it go by. Amazing amount of bikes. The first 10% usually beat the train. There are 2 passes over 10K on route, Molas and Coal Bank.
Rode Hermosa, Barn Sale and some of the Colorado Trail. (Hermosa pictured)
Drove on to Glenwood Springs. This is a cycling Holy Grail. Soo much to ride and so little time. Rode from Glenwood to Vail on the bike trail that runs along the Colorado River.
Good spin, all paved epic scenery.
Here. I learned something that Arizona lacks, a mindset. Cycling is woven into the fabric of society in Colorado. It truly represents a lifestyle here. In Arizona we have a devoted community, but here it is seemingly part of everything. The picture is the bike path to Vail, it winds and criss crosses interstate 70 many times. It goes thru tunnels, over bridges. The city fathers are obviously tuned into the vibe. Arizona is, and will always be home, I think we as a community can and should petition our city councils to learn from Colorado.
We have tough summers, they have tough winters. Our opportunities only are limited by our determination and imaginations. Imagine riding from Phoenix to Tucson or perhaps to Prescott, Sedona and Flag without ever crossing a road or highway. Whether paved, gravel or other makes no difference. A commitment is what we lack.
More to come. Time to Ride
There are tunnels under the 51 and Cave Creek Rode in PMP.....so that's kinda cool. I can ride from 44th st to 7th Ave without crossing a road!
i'll bet shoveling is more deeply woven into their society and lifestyle than cycling is.
we can always get up early,, they have major roadways impassable half the year
After riding to Vail yesterday morning, I talked to the guy that owns the RV Park I'm at. he told me of a trail just across I-70 called "No Name". It started as a dirt road to a water treatment shed for the homes around here. My afternoon appointment awaited.
Single track started in ernest. It was narrow rocky lots of HAB. It went from 6K to 9K in no time. It followed a rushing river and was extremely steep and only about 50% ridable.
Lots of water crossings, none ridable, but all enjoyable. Dark timber was awesome. A few hikers. not really a bike trail.
This morning rode halfway back to Vail to a trailhead I saw. It was simply a vehicle pullout with some cars parked with bike racks on them. A series of menacing swithbacks took me abruptly above the timberline. My iPhone altimitere said 9873' ? At least above the pines to sage brush country.
This week has reinforced one thing, there are only two directions here. up and down. there is precious little time wasted with such luxuries as traversing.
For my afternoon ride, i wanted something easy and fun. So....go to the LBS.....right?
It went something like this,
LBS; Where ya from
LBS; Ya like climbing?
Me; Is there anything else here?
LBS; Not really, Can ya handle exposure?
Me; Oh yeah, I ride BCT
LBS; OK, Boy Scout is for you.
Me; Ok, where is it.
At this point we had to walk outside because from inside he couldn't point high enough.
LBS; you see that up there above the Hot Springs?
Me; you mean that little ribbon looking thing up there?
I found the trailhead, there were no cars, which gave me pause, not normal here.
I rode the first climb out which was a brute, followed by a long traverse
of off camber single track about 4 inches wide.
I was now at least 1000 vertical above Glenwood Springs.
Leaving for Aspen tomorrow.
Yes, we can get up early and ride. But, I am sleeping till I want to get up and doing a morning ride and an afternoon ride.
I get it, It's not year round. Great vibe in all these towns.
neato! Love the looks of that Boy Scout trail above Glenwood Springs.
I also wish biking was a little more like what you are saying. I do think that the Maricopa Trail is a pretty good start though. I live in Waddell, and work at 3rd Ave and Jefferson in Phoenix. Once the trail is complete, I will probably ride to work on mostly dirt. I just gotta find a way from the trail to my office with the least traffic.
Work is actually sending me to Golden, CO soon. This just got me more excited to go.
“Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.”
Alive and Lurkin'
Rocky Mountain High.
In Aspen the Government Trail is must (ridden from Snowmass to Buttermilk) but see if you can get some intel on the Arbaney-Kittle Trail lots of miles way back in the woods...
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A guy here told me I could ride from here in GS all the way to Denver, never ride on one road (160 miles)
Originally Posted by tysonnemb
The biggest problem I have is sensory overload. Just to many choices to make. I don't know the name of the road but I think it's called Maroon Bells road, from Aspen up to the Bells. Big, Big Road climb. Gonna get the beta in the morning, thanks for the tips.
Originally Posted by Jibro
One of my favorite towns..Glenwood Springs. Nice pics and write up!
Bender to AZDog: I'm not the best person to give advice on not riding!
That's pretty cool, I had to add it to my ever growing to-do trails list, thanks!
I love goat path trails...thanks for the pics!
good stuff man... nice that have a good ole arizona boy show them Colorado potheads how to ride
Originally Posted by metalaficionado
There is so many places to ride, you don't see many folks on the trail. I think that guy at the LBS might have sent me up there just to see if he could get the old guy to bite.
Aspen was a trip, what a bunch of snobs. Not a good vibe. You're either a rich dude or you work in the service industry that services the rich. I rode the road up to Maroon Bells and called it good. It's a real grind. Nice view.
Left there and continued on. decided on a change of scenery.
Great post, Steve. Thanks for posting all those cool pictures, too! I totally agree with you. I just spent a week MTBing in Park City, UT. They sure have the cycling (road/MTB/XC/DH) mindset! Great trails, paths that go under the roads, by the roads, etc... Cyclists and I swear 1 out of every 5 cars had a bike rack! Found this at one of the trailheads and almost couldn't believe it!
Originally Posted by chipolopolo
I agree with Mike, too. Seems like the perfect blend is Winter in AZ and Summer up there in CO or UT!! :-)
Originally Posted by longhairmike
Steve - Did you do that Porcupine ride on Monday? I was driving through Moab at about 1 or 2 pm and saw somebody riding a bike that looks like yours out in the hot hot heat southbound on 191 north of the town proper. I thought "that dude is crazy."
I was in a dark blue Yukon with two bikes up on top.
Yeah, that was probably me. I was completely tanked after that fiasco.
I left my Motorhome about 7:30, rode to the Porcupine Rim trailhead down the Green River. Rode up the PRT to Kokopelli Trail. Took Kokopelli to Sand Flats Road, past the Slickrock trailhead lot and back into town.
Got back early afternoon. Had to beg for water and food out on the trail from some guys in Jeeps. It was way hotter than I expected out on that red rock. I figured, "Heck, I'm from Phoenix, I can handle anything"
Worked out pretty good, need to learn how to ride when I am really uncomfortable and mentally don't want to be on the bike.
You must have been cooked. It's the Colorado River. Although some have made the case that it should be a tributary to the Green. Kudos to you for doing that ride in early June.
Originally Posted by chipolopolo
Are you going in the backway to Crested Butte or staying in the I70 corridor?
"The world is worse when you are behind a keyboard. The world is best when you are behind handlebars." M77Ranger.
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