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Thread: Blackjack

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    Blackjack

    I'm going to try Blackjack for the 1st time tomorrow, and I have some questions about the trail.

    Do you ride it clockwise, counterclockwise, or both?
    What is the mileage for Blackjack trail proper?
    Are there other technical trails in the area?

    We're going to try to get in around 20 miles, and trying to decide which pedals to run. I would prefer riding platforms for Blackjack, but I'm guessing that I'll probably want clipless for the rest of the ride.

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    don't hit on 17

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    Quote Originally Posted by KarateChicken View Post
    don't hit on 17
    Who's 17, and why would I hit on her?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dthomp325 View Post
    I'm going to try Blackjack for the 1st time tomorrow, and I have some questions about the trail.

    Do you ride it clockwise, counterclockwise, or both?
    What is the mileage for Blackjack trail proper?
    Are there other technical trails in the area?

    We're going to try to get in around 20 miles, and trying to decide which pedals to run. I would prefer riding platforms for Blackjack, but I'm guessing that I'll probably want clipless for the rest of the ride.
    blackjack is the only tech trail @BC. A full ridged 29'er is the best bike for the rest of BC. BJ is short, I don't know distance but it's not long at all, but there's a physical climb to get to it. I often do two loops. Def do it clockwise starting at raspberry ridge, not black jack. Here's a vid to show some of the lines: Colorado Rocks on Vimeo

    I ride flats for everything, but clips certainly aren't an issue for BJ. Some of the best tech riders I know ride everything clipped.

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    I've only done it cw, and it seems the more fun direction. For 20 miles, I'd do something like starting at buff TH - redskin- gashouse-charlies-BJ-sandy-543-shingle-co trail. I like to start that loop (cw) at 543 off 126, but by the time I hit BJ, I'm nearly spent!

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    A full ridged 29'er is the best bike for the rest of BC.
    Well, that sounds lame, but Blackjack itself looks like fun fast flowy goodness. I'm pumped for this ride. I know I have the skill to ride all the lines in the video in clipless, but sometimes I get intimidated if I'm riding clipless on my 1st try down a tough line. For example, the steep line at 40 secs in the video would intimidate me on my 1st try (probably be fine after riding it once). Logically I know it is just a straight roller that doesn't require too much skill, but psychologically it looks steep and dangerous, and for some weird reason platforms help calm the nerves.
    Last edited by dthomp325; 09-24-2011 at 09:52 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slimat99 View Post
    blackjack is the only tech trail @BC. A full ridged 29'er is the best bike for the rest of BC. BJ is short, I don't know distance but it's not long at all, but there's a physical climb to get to it. I often do two loops. Def do it clockwise starting at raspberry ridge, not black jack. Here's a vid to show some of the lines: Colorado Rocks on Vimeo

    I ride flats for everything, but clips certainly aren't an issue for BJ. Some of the best tech riders I know ride everything clipped.
    I think BJ is one way. We ride all ride it clipped in not that we are the riders slimat99 is talking about. We start at Buck Gulch then to Charlie's cutoff then Ponderosa to Raspberry to BJ. There's a nice 4ft drop near end of Charlie's cutoff on the left after some swoopy S turns. Other than that BJ and Raspberry have all the techy stuff. Our total distance is about 12-13 mi. If you rode BJ twice is would be closer to 16 mi.
    Narrow is the path to life, few are those who find it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dthomp325 View Post
    Well, that sounds lame, but Blackjack itself looks like fun fast flowy goodness. I'm pumped for this ride. I know I have the skill to ride all the lines in the video in clipless, but sometimes I get intimidated if I'm riding clipless on my 1st try down a tough line. For example, the steep line at 40 secs in the video would intimidate me on my 1st try (probably be fine after riding it once). Logically I know it is just a straight roller that doesn't require too much skill, but psychologically it looks steep and dangerous, and for some weird reason platforms help calm the nerves.
    I'm exaggerating a bit when I say full rigid. Just don't expect other trails in that area to be anything like BJ, and you certainly don't need much travel at all at BC. I do feel 29'ers and hard tails are best suited to the vast majority of BC trails. I'm sure some will disagree with me. You should ride out there and see what you think.

    Most of BC is decomposed granite with many large fixed granite rocks, but the vast majority of BC trails do not make use of the fixed rocks. BJ is the exception. I think the trail builders did a great job making use of the natural terrain BC has to offer. Hopefully we'll see more trials in this style all over CO. We have great natural features to work with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dthomp325 View Post
    Well, that sounds lame, but Blackjack itself looks like fun fast flowy goodness. I'm pumped for this ride. I know I have the skill to ride all the lines in the video in clipless, but sometimes I get intimidated if I'm riding clipless on my 1st try down a tough line. For example, the steep line at 40 secs in the video would intimidate me on my 1st try (probably be fine after riding it once). Logically I know it is just a straight roller that doesn't require too much skill, but psychologically it looks steep and dangerous, and for some weird reason platforms help calm the nerves.
    I wouldn't call BJ fast and flowy, It is one of the most tech descents on the FR. Most everything else at buff creek is fast and flowy.

    Blackjack = personal favorite trail on FR, have fun

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    Quote Originally Posted by wilsonblur View Post
    I think BJ is one way.
    It's not. But it would be MISERABLE to ride it "backwards"...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    It's not. But it would be MISERABLE to ride it "backwards"...
    Could you imagine trying to ride up slot machine?
    Narrow is the path to life, few are those who find it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wilsonblur View Post
    Could you imagine trying to ride up slot machine?
    Well for me riding up would probably be easier than riding down it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    Well for me riding up would probably be easier than riding down it.
    Its not as hard as it looks.
    Narrow is the path to life, few are those who find it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wilsonblur View Post
    Could you imagine trying to ride up slot machine?
    tiggerider probably could

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    Wow, what a great trail. Definitely well built and challenging. COMBA did a great job.

    I rode clipless for the ride and wussed out on 2 sections: the large drop (Hit Me) and the last double black with the crazy entrance. I doubt I could ride those sections even with platforms. I brought knee and arm pads, which I would recommend. I probably wouldn't have ridden any of the double blacks without pads. I would even consider a full face if you want to bomb it.

    On the down side, my first try down Bad Finger ended with a slide out when I hit the loose dirt at the bottom, and I put a nice nick into the upper stanchion of my fork, right in the middle of it's travel, where it goes past the seals most often

    We ended up riding 25 miles around the park with 3300' of climbing, but next I time I think I would prefer a couple of laps on Blackjack instead of hitting the other trails, which seem like an excellent place to take my gf.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    Well for me riding up would probably be easier than riding down it.
    Yeah, but no more belly aching about the up hills... They all suck, but are many times mandatory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dthomp325 View Post
    We ended up riding 25 miles around the park with 3300' of climbing, but next I time I think I would prefer a couple of laps on Blackjack instead of hitting the other trails, which seem like an excellent place to take my gf.
    gf = GirlFriend or Gary Fisher? Either your Girl Friend is gnar (keep her), or that's the best place to take your girl friend to dump her (or she'll be dumping you).
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure View Post
    Yeah, but no more belly aching about the up hills... They all suck, but are many times mandatory.
    Screw that. I shall retain my right to b1tch about EVERY uphill... even if I forget that they are there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure View Post
    gf = GirlFriend or Gary Fisher? Either your Girl Friend is gnar (keep her), or that's the best place to take your girl friend to dump her (or she'll be dumping you).
    gf = girlfriend. I meant all the other trails in buffalo creek.

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    Glad you liked it!

    Looks like you already figured all this out, but in case anyone else stumbles over this thread.

    Blackjack and Raspberry Ridge are the "two" trails that make the connection from Homestead where you climb to the top (Raspberry Ridge trail) and Blackjack where you ride down from the top and re-connect with Homestead right before the creek splash crossing right before that very short punch of a climb where it connects with the bottom of Miller Gulch and the Sandy Wash trail immediately after.

    I don't think the Forest Service has any intention of making it one way or enforcing any kind of one way rules, but we built it so you would descend Blackjack West to East. So you climb up Raspberry Ridge and descend Blackjack. I have seen people climbing Blackjack. I have NO idea why.

    And about the bike type, we figured a 5" or 6" trail bike was about right for Blackjack. Everyone has their own opinions about all of this. I ride a 4" travel bike all over Buff Creek including Blackjack. I may bring a bigger bike there just for Blackjack for grins. I'll never drag my DH bike out there; Buff Creek is a sweet trail riding/xc riding zone except for Blackjack; tech and fun with fast sections. The rest of the Buffalo Creek system is incredibly fast and flowy (and very buffed out). Especially when compared with Blackjack.

    FWIW, climbing and descending Raspberry Ridge is actually pretty fun itself. We were surprised at how much fun it was when aligning trail corridor and building! So if you aren't feeling the tech descent of Blackjack, Raspberry Ridge is fun and fairly technical itself while climbing or descending.

    Here's an online map provided by the Front Range Mountain Bike Patrol here:
    Front Range Mountain Bike Patrol | Maps Page

    You can buy an awesome map of the area at local shops (or direct from his site linked below). Map made by Singletrack Mapping - local ripper, good guy
    Buffalo Creek, Waterton Canyon, & indian creek

    Best bang for the buck?
    Park at the lot at 543 or the ranger station in Buffalo Creek. Ride West on 543 to the connector to Baldy and Gashouse. Take this right and climb either Baldy or Gashouse until they intersect again at the top of this climb. Turn right towards Miller Gulch, then right onto Miller Gulch (FS access road), turn left then right to access Charlie's Cutoff. Ride this fun trail to Homestead. Left on homestead up to Raspberry Ridge trail. Turn right onto and climb Raspberry Ridge to top, descend Blackjack to bottom and to lower intersection with Homestead. Left onto Homestead, cross the creek, pass Miller Gulch to the right (stay straight until you get on Sandy Wash). Descend twisty fun Sandy Wash back to 534. Left on 543 back to the car. LOADS of trail riding in this area. This is about the most efficient way to ride Blackjack - and tons of fun corners to boot on Charlie's and Sandy Wash.

    Have fun out there!!

  21. #21
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    Everything (except BJ) is awesome at BC on a rigid 29'er.

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    Quote Originally Posted by topmounter View Post
    Everything (except BJ) is awesome at BC on a rigid 29'er.
    True, and a solid tech rider would be fine on a blackjack with a rigid 29'er.

    For those that feel you need suspension to ride tech. Check out this video: one guy on a DH bike, me on a Nomad, and another guy on a full rigid.

    THe guy on the rigid could hit just about everything other than the larger drops and he skipped those because he didn't want to beat on his bike, not because he needed suspension. This trail is WAY gnarlier than Blackjack too!

    SoCal on Vimeo

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    Quote Originally Posted by slimat99 View Post
    True, and a solid tech rider would be fine on a blackjack with a rigid 29'er.

    For those that feel you need suspension to ride tech. Check out this video: one guy on a DH bike, me on a Nomad, and another guy on a full rigid.

    THe guy on the rigid could hit just about everything other than the larger drops and he skipped those because he didn't want to beat on his bike, not because he needed suspension. This trail is WAY gnarlier than Blackjack too!

    SoCal on Vimeo
    That guy had a least 3 inches of suspension front and rear in those monster truck tires.. nice video, I enjoyed it!

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    There are some great trails near San Diego.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jiker View Post
    That guy had a least 3 inches of suspension front and rear in those monster truck tires.. nice video, I enjoyed it!
    yes, I wasn't being honest. He does have front suspension in the form of a 2.7 tire! His bike is unique that's for sure: single speed, no suspension, and beach cruiser style bars!

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