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  1. #1
    Team Velveeta™
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    Hotter than a 4-balled tomcat

    Quick story for the folks that are still stuck in front of the computer this late on a Friday.

    I took the day off today and started for a ride as soon as I could get my crap together. That time happened to be 8:20 AM. I left from my house in Salida and rode to Poncha Springs, up the highway to the Marshall Pass Road, and up said road to said pass.


    (disclosure: this photo is actually from another time. The bike is now quite a bit dirtier, and there is a significant amount of moon dust now on the trail)

    It was already warming up quite a bit by the time I finally got my butt pedaling for the pass. The headwind up from Poncha southbound on 285 was heinous. The aspen tunnel of the dirt road up to the pass, once I had left the highway long behind was wonderful.

    (OK, this is from September of 2011. Now it looks much dryer and more burnt, oddly. Summer has just begun and the vegetation at 11K elevation is already burnt.)

    Stoke posts must include photos. I took no photos today. I did not intend for it to be the way it was, but the reality is that I did not really stop. The stats on my GPS at the end said, 6 hours, 4 minutes moving time, 4 minutes, 56 seconds stopped time.

    In the early part of the ride, I just felt like pedaling and did not feel like stopping. In the later part of the ride, it was just so god@mn hot I wanted to be back in town where I could drink cool things and hide in the shade.

    From a beta standpoint: the trail south from Marshall Pass has been totally cleared of trees. Many, many, many trees were cut. It smells nice. Very piney. Also, there is moondust.

    Then, Silver Creek Trail. Wow, it is so full of rubble. The Forest Service is flagging up there, I actually passed a guy I know who was busy flagging. Looks like they have some work planned. But it's going to be quite a project. Here it is, June 22. Usually we'd be a couple weeks from the beginning of the Crest Ride "season". But it's game on. And the trail is already totally hammered. It's dry, it's loose, rocks are tossed all over the trailbed--basically it's in September condition.

    Rainbow? Hot. Mofo Hot. Moondust. Creeks are almost completely dried up.

    Got back home. Enjoying this quite a bit:



    Good weekend y'all

    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  2. #2
    slow
    Reputation: sgltrak's Avatar
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    Nice ride. Thanks for the beta. Headed up your way in a few weeks. Hope it cools off and rains some between now and then.

    What a difference between this year and last. Some quotes last year's Monarch Crest conditions thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    My money is on the Crest being ride-able before July 15.
    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    I'm preaching to the choir here--almost everyone who reads this knows; 4th of July is the "typical" opening day up there. On a "typical" 4th of July there are 2-5 snowdrifts to cross. In 2002 or '03 when we had the drought, I rode it June 10th or so, and there was still some snow. And that year snowpack in the Sawatch Range was like 50% of normal. This year, as topmounter and others are saying, July 4th is a stretch.

    Sections of the Crest always melt during June, so there will be stretches of open and dry singletrack up there starting to show in the next month. But I've seen people get pretty badly hurt sliding off the back of the drifts when they are huge. Or they walk or ride around the drifts, which is really bad since they trample and kill the emerging tundra flora, making U-shaped dirt paths visible for years. This year the melting drifts will be huge.
    Absolute Bikes Area Rides

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 2wheelsnotfour's Avatar
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    I'm liking the posting of these rides along with maps......good ideas for rides I haven't done before. Thanks.

  4. #4
    Your bike is incorrigible
    Reputation: Guyechka's Avatar
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    Creeks are half the fun. Get hot pedaling, drop into a creek at full speed, cool down.

  5. #5
    Team Velveeta™
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    the difference...

    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    ...What a difference between this year and last....
    Basically, last year we were wondering if it was going to be practical to ride the crest any time in July. This year, people are riding it now. I have not seen the crest trail yet (defined as the section of CT/CDT between Monarch and Marshall) but the shuttles are running and people are riding it. For all intents and purposes, the Monarch Crest is good to go. And it's not even July yet.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  6. #6
    Team Velveeta™
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    Totally. When they have water in them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guyechka View Post
    Creeks are half the fun. Get hot pedaling, drop into a creek at full speed, cool down.
    No argument here. I loves me the creek crossings.

    Problem today was that there was barely enough water in them to get my tires wet.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  7. #7
    Oh, So Interesting!
    Reputation: davec113's Avatar
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    Denver had a record hot day today at 102, 4 degrees hotter than the previous record. March was record-breaking dry and I believe we have had other temperature records set this year. I was at Winter Park today and the trails had moon dust, last year at this time they had plywood boards covering the boggy sections. This is very strange.

    Denver breaks long-standing heat record, temp climbs to 102 - The Denver Post

    Pray for rain.
    .




    Strava: turn off your dork logger when you're not on sanctioned trails.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Basically, last year we were wondering if it was going to be practical to ride the crest any time in July. This year, people are riding it now. I have not seen the crest trail yet (defined as the section of CT/CDT between Monarch and Marshall) but the shuttles are running and people are riding it. For all intents and purposes, the Monarch Crest is good to go. And it's not even July yet.
    Last weekend there was one maybe 30ft section about a mile past Fooses. That's it

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the post. We rode Copper to Kokomo and crossed two small patches of snow. We are in desperate need of rain at this point.

  10. #10
    Team Velveeta™
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    dry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Disney's Frozen Head View Post
    Last weekend there was one maybe 30ft section about a mile past Fooses. That's it
    No snow within 20 feet of the Crest trail as of this morning.



    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  11. #11
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    Looks like September, not June up there. We hit an all-time record high today of 105F.

  12. #12
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
    Reputation: SkaredShtles's Avatar
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    Is that cat in the picture the 4-balled one?

  13. #13
    Heads up Flyboy!!
    Reputation: mountaingoatepics's Avatar
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    I have also heard that Jones Pass is ready to go. May confirm this next weekend. Last year we waited till August to even try it.

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