Just wanted to let you let you die-hards know that the off-road riding is surprisingly GOOD down by Chatfield. I rode some of the Ken Caryl trails (Kathy Johnson, Grazing Elk, Coyote Crossing, etc) and they were half packed snow and half tundra. You gotta do your riding early in the morning before it warms up too much or you'll be ridin in mud and muck.
The real treat, however, was crossing over Deer Creek Canyon road and doing the Open space trails. Started with Rattlesnake Gulch, which was packed snow and completely rideable. Fun, Challanging . . . with the only really tough sections being the tight switchback turns. After that, Plymouth Creek was a nice surprise. The first little section from the parking lot you need to ride early in the day (again, to avoid mud). But after that, it was all packed snow beginning at the short steep climb all the way to the top. With decent knobbies (I used Specialized Roll X Pro's) and low tire pressure, the traction was surprisingly good. Because of the snow, the trail was much smoother and less technical than it is during the summer. Just point and climb. Traction was tough to come by on the steepest of the climbs.
Plymouth Mountain trail had some good parts, some mud-very little, and lots of ice. Lots of spots were very tough due to the ice, snow and the off-camber nature of the trail. I would avoid this trail unless you like dismounting a lot. I rode it clockwise, climbing mostly.
Red Mesa was pretty good. Mostly rideable on packed snow with only a very few dirt sections showing. The challanges were the meadows near the top where the snow drifts were very deep and not completely packed by hikers footprints. I'd recommend riding Red Mesa, the good far outweighs those few bad spots where you have to hike-a-bike.
There was only one other rider out there today with no othe Mountain bike tire prints out on the high parts of all three trails. Just wanted to pass this on so that you don't have to subject yourself to riding on bike paths, the road or worse yet an indoor trainer. Happy riding.
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Thread: Good Riding Today, Sunday