Day 8 - Doctors Park , Crested Butte
I had seen on the weather that snow was forecast below 7000ft in the Grand Junction to Vail area, and I woke up to see snow dusting the hills around Grand Junction this also meant I had to scratch my plan to go ride the 2 Elks trail at Vail with Beanman.I saw that there hadn't been much snow over at Hartmans rocks so I suggested to Beanman that we could go and ride at Hartmans rocks, so we set off in convey to Gunnison. We arrived at Gunnison around mid-day and suggested that we should check in at a local Bike shop to see if Doctors Park would be rideable as its a great ride , and with two vehicles we could cut out the 8 miles of fireroad.
At the bike shop they said they thought it would be good to go with a few muddy spots so we changed our plans and headed up the start of the trail, we had a longer drive to the trail as there was a road shut and we had to go up jacks cut off , we left Beanman's suv in a carpark near the end of the trail and then headed up the dirt road to the start of the ride.
The River crossing was pretty cold
The ride up to Doctors trail was almost all ride able apart from one section where snow had turned to ice on the track, as we rode up occasional flurries of snow blew around us
When we got to the trail head we encountered snow, we had to hike-a-bike in places as horse's had been through at some point and there was churned up mud under the snow.
Most of the trail was rideable apart from some sections where the snow had melted and the trail had got muddy - the mud totally gummed up our wheels and gears and needed to be removed with sticks. Definitely not ideal conditions to do the ride but it was great being out there with all the snow clouds around us, and great views
Beanman's front tyre went flat along the trail on a section of trail out of the sun, he didnt have a pump or puncture repair kit or a spare tube luckily I did. When we took his tyre off we found he had no stans liquid left in his tyres. We eventually got a spare tube in and pumped up although we did break a spoke nipple while doing it as the nipples had become brittle in the cold. While we were doing the tyre change all the snow and mud on the bike froze sold and we had to chisel the mud off the bikes before we could start moving again. We kept our fingers crossed that nothing else would go wrong as it wasnt long now before the sun would go down...
Once we got to the section of the trail that started to head down through the aspen we were able to ride faster due to less snow and mud on the trail
This section of the trail is great nice and fast through the aspen, shortly after this picture though it got dark, yet again I was more prepared than Beanman I had brought a helmet light and bar mount light with me, so i gave BM my helmet light and i used the bar mount
The rest of the descent in the dark was a lot of fun, and we rode fast down the trail non stop, probabey faster than we would have in the day as we couldnt see all the rocky features.
When we got to the bottom we came to the road and rode along to where we thought we had parked - and Beanmans car wasnt there for a few moments we bth though he car had been nicked , but we then decided to ride further along the road and we came to another car park with his car in it , which was a relief
Every holiday should have at least one ride on the edge like we had today !!!
Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups
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