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  1. #1
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    Looking for a Good 40 Mile Ride

    I'm training for the Firecracker 50 and need to do a 40 mile training ride on Saturday. I've ridden Buffalo Creek way too much and am looking for something different. I want to do something in the area without doing too much overlap (i.e. 4 10 mile loops). From what I've seen Waterton Canyon to the Indian Creek loop looks pretty good and can be turned into about a 40 miler. I've never been on the Indian Creek loop. It sounds pretty sweet but a little difficult to find your way around. Are there any other rides in the area that would make up a good 40 mile ride? TIA

  2. #2
    My cup runneth over
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    Morrison Monster: link Mt Falcon - LOB - road work - Apex - Dinosaur Ridge - Green Mountain - Bear Creek Lake Park. Lots of different ways of doing it. ~45 miles.

  3. #3
    The 5th knuckle
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    You could do the big old loop of Indian creek.... That would get you elevation gains like the firecracker.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando Gutierrez
    The only thing you have to figure out is don't fall down. To keep riding the bike.

  4. #4
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    This isn't quite 40 miles, but the long, soul sucking, climbs are similar to the Firecracker. 5,300 ft of total climbing over 35 miles.

    Waterton Canyon to the South Platte and back with a little detour through Roxborough Park.

    Waterton Canyon - Colorado Trail to South Platte and back. | Mountain Biking in Colorado

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    Centennial Cone from mayhen gulch to the upper lot over to white ranch and back.

  6. #6
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    Heil to Hall via picture rock, a few laps at the top of Hall, then back up Picture Rock

  7. #7
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    Devil's Backbone up into Horsetooth, big loop then into Lory and back.
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
    Where we should go,
    We just ride...

  8. #8
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    Thank you all for your suggestions. I have a few long training rides so I may try them all in the coming weeks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jradin View Post
    This isn't quite 40 miles, but the long, soul sucking, climbs are similar to the Firecracker. 5,300 ft of total climbing over 35 miles.

    Waterton Canyon to the South Platte and back with a little detour through Roxborough Park.

    Waterton Canyon - Colorado Trail to South Platte and back. | Mountain Biking in Colorado
    Not sure what happened with my last response, but I'll post again - best option (closest to the Firecracker - which is a tough race), is to do both the South Platte (out and back), and then do the Indian Creek long loop. The South Platte ride is 31 miles with 4,200 vertical (including Waterton out/back), and Indian Creek long loop is 28 miles with almost 3,300 feet of climbing. That ride would put you really close. You can also fill up on water at the midway point of Indian Creek (at the campground).

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    Thank you. I'm pretty sure I'll go with the South Platte and Indian Creek loop this time around. Good to hear you can get water at the campground. Water is always a concern on such a long ride. The good thing though is you have to carry it around in a camelback for training rides but not for the race so you're a lot lighter for the race.

  11. #11
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    Golden to NTM > White Ranch (Belcher-Sawmill-Mustang-Belcher) > Chimney to Apex > Green Mountain Loop > Back to Golden would be right at 50 miles, but you can add Mt.Falcon to LOTB back to Golden for 75 and near 10k of climbing.

  12. #12
    My cup runneth over
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    Quote Originally Posted by claystrick View Post
    Golden to NTM > White Ranch (Belcher-Sawmill-Mustang-Belcher) > Chimney to Apex > Green Mountain Loop > Back to Golden would be right at 50 miles, but you can add Mt.Falcon to LOTB back to Golden for 75 and near 10k of climbing.
    Trying to picture this - do you do it as a figure 8?

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    Not really a figure 8 cause after Green Mtn or LOTB I'll just take the road or bike path back to Golden, kindof a cooldown for the legs

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    My buddy and I plan on riding (this Saturday) Centennial Cone from the Mayhem Gulch trailhead, over to Golden Gate Canyon State Park for a small loop, then back through the Cone. Should be 40 to 50 with a ton of climbing. A giant lollipop ride with a little suffering I suppose.

  15. #15
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    I rode Leadville last year and am riding it again this year. This was a good training ride for me:

    Park near the Conoco lot at Morrison and C470. Climb up and do Mount Falcon -> Parmalee Loop -> LOTB -> once you are done here, look for Grapevine road near the entrance of LOTB. Climb up and over grapevine. It will take you to US 40 / I70. Climbe up US 40 the backside of Lookout Mountain. You can then ride down Apex. Leave the apex parking lot and ride back to Matthew Winters and then back down to your car.

    It is a solid days work. I am planning to knock that out on Saturday Morning. The next ride will include NTM and White Ranch for the super loop of pain.

  16. #16
    Addicted to Dirt
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    Some great local ride ideas. Just did this version of the "Morrison Monster" on Sunday: house>GM (Hayden, Summit Loop, BOR )>Zorro/DR>Mt Falcon (UGH)>Parmalee Gulch>LOB>Grapevine Rd>Apex/Enchanted>DR/Zorro>GM>house

    About 52 miles 7k feet of climbing.

    Looking to add a side trip to 3 Sisters and make it a group ride, could be a good fall season event.

    If only we could be getting high right now, like last year, the OP could just go and ride the FC50 course.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ingluis View Post
    If only we could be getting high right now, like last year, the OP could just go and ride the FC50 course.
    Well, since this is Colorado we technically can be getting high right now.

    I am really surprised by some of the combinations people have come up with. I can't believe you can combine some of these places. However, I avoid roads at all costs, too scary for me.

    I've finally decided on Waterton, Indian Creek, back down to Waterton, up the CT, through Roxborough and back down to Waterton and out. Should get me a rough 40.

    Thanks all!

  18. #18
    zrm
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    Managed 39 miles out my door and back in Breckenridge. It's starting to melt out and dry up on the lower trails. It was nice to get a long, almost all dirt with very little using the same trails twice ride in.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    Managed 39 miles out my door and back in Breckenridge. It's starting to melt out and dry up on the lower trails. It was nice to get a long, almost all dirt with very little using the same trails twice ride in.
    What did you ride if you don't mind me asking? I live in Breck and have just been looping flumes and the penn so far.

  20. #20
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    white ranch to the top, down that dirt road into GGCSP (the only scary part is knowing you gotta climb back up it 2hrs later), do a loop of the perimeter (burro > buffalo > hare > mule deer counterclockwise > hare > buffalo > mountain lion clockwise....then back up the dirt road and down white ranch however you please.

    lots of vertical, gets you up to ~9000ft, and its good riding.

    also don't necessarily think you need to ride 40+ miles to do fine in a 50 mile race. yea, its good to get the feeling of being on the bike for 4-5 hours a couple times to mentally know you can do it...as well as get your body used to that feeling. but training consistently with hard efforts is probably more important. especially with only a month before a race. unless you're already well trained through the winter, sometimes a bunch of long rides will take out as much from you as you'll gain. easy to drain yourself, bonk, and take a week to feel right again.

  21. #21
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeRiethmiller View Post
    What did you ride if you don't mind me asking? I live in Breck and have just been looping flumes and the penn so far.
    Hmm, let's see if I can remember the whole thing.

    I live in French Creek so I started with Betty's trail, then continued up French creek to X10U8, rode that then hung a left on Minnie Mine and rode that all the way to Prospect trail, took Detroit placer to Fall Classic ST, then to Slalom ST.

    Upper flume east to middle flume & Toxic Forest is closed due to mud so I took the pavement through the Highlands down to Gold Run Rd and then Discovery hill trail for a short while and got on what the town is now calling the "ZL" trail and rode that all the way through Summit Estates to Galena Gulch Rd and down to the dredge. (not really a social trail but not strictly legal yet. Part of the trail is on private open space. The town is working on an alternate alignment away from the Summit Estates property but haven't finalized it. You can just stay on the Disco trail and ride up Tiger rd to the dredge.)

    From the Dredge I took a left on the CT and rode to the "Hippo" trail. (furthest west of the upper Soda Creek trails). This was mostly an exploratory ride and this trail is NOT ready. I'll bet I walked close to half of it due to muddy conditions. You can use the Hay trail and get to basically the same place and it's totally dry.

    From the bottom of Hippo I crossed the creek and climbed up the Soda Creek trail to the Mushroom trail (The FS is calling it "Groovy Uvi" I'll have to ask Cindy at the FS where the hell did they get that? )
    Took Mushroom all the way to the Summit Cove trailer park then rode up to the Wispering pines TH and climbed the Soda Creek trail for a while to the Elementary School turnoff, crossed through Summit Cove to the Soda Ridge trail and took that to the Aqueduct trail and all the way to the Ranch and climbed the Hay trail to Blair Witch, back to the Dredge, back down Tiger road to Disco hill, then up Gold Run Rd to Slalom.

    Did Slalom again then too the upper flume back to French Creek rd and home. A little over 39 miles. Could have easily added on to it.

    Got all that?

    There was some mud here and there. I walked some fairly significant portions of the Aqueduct trail and as mentioned, the Hippo is not recommended. There're a few trees down on Soda, Mushroom and Hay that you have to portage. (I usually carry a folding saw this time of year but forgot to put it in my pack. )

    You can keep up on trail conditions on the Summit Fat Tire Society's FB page and the Town of Breck's open space dept. page.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    Hmm, let's see if I can remember the whole thing.

    I live in French Creek so I started with Betty's trail, then continued up French creek to X10U8, rode that then hung a left on Minnie Mine and rode that all the way to Prospect trail, took Detroit placer to Fall Classic ST, then to Slalom ST.

    Upper flume east to middle flume & Toxic Forest is closed due to mud so I took the pavement through the Highlands down to Gold Run Rd and then Discovery hill trail for a short while and got on what the town is now calling the "ZL" trail and rode that all the way through Summit Estates to Galena Gulch Rd and down to the dredge. (not really a social trail but not strictly legal yet. Part of the trail is on private open space. The town is working on an alternate alignment away from the Summit Estates property but haven't finalized it. You can just stay on the Disco trail and ride up Tiger rd to the dredge.)

    From the Dredge I took a left on the CT and rode to the "Hippo" trail. (furthest west of the upper Soda Creek trails). This was mostly an exploratory ride and this trail is NOT ready. I'll bet I walked close to half of it due to muddy conditions. You can use the Hay trail and get to basically the same place and it's totally dry.

    From the bottom of Hippo I crossed the creek and climbed up the Soda Creek trail to the Mushroom trail (The FS is calling it "Groovy Uvi" I'll have to ask Cindy at the FS where the hell did they get that? )
    Took Mushroom all the way to the Summit Cove trailer park then rode up to the Wispering pines TH and climbed the Soda Creek trail for a while to the Elementary School turnoff, crossed through Summit Cove to the Soda Ridge trail and took that to the Aqueduct trail and all the way to the Ranch and climbed the Hay trail to Blair Witch, back to the Dredge, back down Tiger road to Disco hill, then up Gold Run Rd to Slalom.

    Did Slalom again then too the upper flume back to French Creek rd and home. A little over 39 miles. Could have easily added on to it.

    Got all that?

    There was some mud here and there. I walked some fairly significant portions of the Aqueduct trail and as mentioned, the Hippo is not recommended. There're a few trees down on Soda, Mushroom and Hay that you have to portage. (I usually carry a folding saw this time of year but forgot to put it in my pack. )

    You can keep up on trail conditions on the Summit Fat Tire Society's FB page and the Town of Breck's open space dept. page.
    Thanks for the detailed route! Amazing. Certainly going to give this a whirl once I replace my chain tomorrow or Saturday. Off topic, did you race last night?

  23. #23
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    You will not be unhappy with that Waterton/ Indian Creek/ Roxborough loop. Bring a map with you and it's pretty well signed these days.
    "There are two kinds of mountain bikers in the world: those who are faster than me, and me."

  24. #24
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    Come on down to C/S tomorrow. We can easily do 40 miles or more here in 1 big loop and do riding above 10,000ft on singletrack.

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