well it was...
The goal: super(^3?) Hall ranch.
Start at my place in Gunbarrel (75th and lookout)
Route: take as much dirt as I can find.
Pre-ride fuel: two eggs over easy, on English muffin, half an avocado and some tomato slices. Water, OJ, and "swamp juice".
Unfortunately I have no pics as my wife stole the camera to take pics at MC Donaldís, and I didn't want to pull and Icegeek and lug around a Dslr.
Sweet day for a ride (sat 2/6) slight breeze from the north east, cool enough temps I could get away with a long sleeve shirt and not have to ware any sunscreen, representing the manpris and knee warmers.
Eagle Trail (and other stuff near Boulder Res). This is the first time Iíve ridden this stuff, for the most part its cx bike territory, packed with people (Sat around 10 what can you expect). I saw an older guy 40-45 trying to catch and harass (pummel more like it) a jogger who has having no problem keeping a safe distance away. Sounded like the jogger may have defended himself from the dog, but the dog owner thinks the jogger went too far. The dog was running along with a sh*t eating grin on its face. Hard to say what transpired. Out on Eagle trail and heading north the population thins down, and the remnants of the fire that hit a while ago are still evident. Ash covered snow hiding in the shadows of steep stream banks. Cactus and yucca plants who got a free hair cut (and singe) from the fire. Hopefully I'll remember to get back to this area when the flowers and grass sprout this spring. Popped out on Neva road, and snaked around to get to north 36 and eventually Heil.
I love seeing people drive to Heil. I still have the best parking place for Heil, my garage. Heil Ranch is one of those trails I ride so I can get to Wild Turkey. I generally don't have much love for Heil, till the trail starts going down hill, and then itís pretty fun. On the climb up however I was feeling pretty good. Stretching at the start eating a small bar and eyeing my target rabbit is always a good way to start a ride. I tried to never get in my easiest gear on Heil, and I think I did it, but I could have been hallucinating. Overall the climb went well, and I felt strong all the way to the Wapiti and Domesticated ToFurkey.
Now its payback time... One of the main reasons I was feeling so strong was the 40PSI road/dirt path ready tire pressure. This is, less than optimal for descending, however, I really didn't want to let air out and risk a flat, as I only had one spare tire, and havenít had the best luck with patching tubes lately. But it still beats climbing
This is the first time I've ridden this trail, and its F****ing amazing, just the switch backs alone with a sheer drop-offs are astonishing, a unique trail feature for the Front Range (IMO). As my first experience (with pinball hard tires) I thought the top portion of the trail was more trialsy and less flowing. According to Dave at Redstone my opinion will probably change with more rides, and I'm pretty sure he is right. Itís hard not to like dirt, rocks and trees. The bottom of Picture Rock is really cool, in parts it felt like riding in Fruita, fast flowing, bench cut trails through short ponderosa (maybe) pines, then out onto softly undulating grassland foothills. Dropped into the dirt jumps (nothing big) just to check them out, and then moasied on over to Redstone to get some food, and drink.
Redstone and Dave.
I'm not sure how long I stayed at Dave's place, but it was a welcome rest and refuel location, at this point I'd consumed about 3/4-4/5 of my camelback water and didn't have enough food for the ride home. I really nice local hooked me up with gold fish (raw and wriggling) a prefect mid ride snack of salt, carbs and cheese. Dave gave me an IV drip of sugar, best damn Pepsi I've ever had. After trying to get enough courage/stupidity to ride Hall an then all the way home, I decided that Picture Rock alone was daunting enough.
Let the suffering begin...The return trip.
This part is going to be short, cause, well it was an out and back, and you've already heard my impressions of the trails etc. I tagged along with Doug, another Lyons local, up Picture Rock, who set a "brisk" pace. Apparently I haven't lost all my SS (self sacrificing) habits, and I apparently like torturing myself. Doug pulled away from me pretty quickly. Hopefully he did well at the Leadville race. They say after wars soldiers will have a thousand yard stare, I was only doing a fifty yard stare, Iím glad no one had a camera.
At the top of Heil (where Turkey hits on the south easy side of the loop) I was feeling pretty out of it, so I shotgunned 2 small V8s for some salt, minerals, and liquids. And had eaten some more fish (these even had star fish!).
Near my limits for intelligent decisions. I guess itís debatable when I actually hit that point (10am when I started the ride or sometime later), Riding down Heil at my normal speed was out of the question. But it was fun, and I had a few rock slide turns, some good line choices as well as some bad ones. The temp started dropping but I didn't have to cut open any ton-tons to stay warm. The ride home was all about calculating what trails would have me loosing the least elevation, and hence having to climb back out of that jam.
I don't have a ODO meter, so I'm not sure how far I went, but I'm pretty sure I hit in the 30 mile range, not bad for the begining of Feb.
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